Waiting for my Veuve Cliquot

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Dear Hillary,

You bleat on every week about not having any expensive French champagne. Why don’t you do what the rest of us do, and that is to drink the cheaper champagnes from Australia, Chile, Spain or Italy? They’re just as good.

Methode Champenoise

Dear Methode Champenoise,

You have answered it already in your ‘nom de plume’ my Petal. You obviously know of the restrictions on using the name “champagne”. The Champagne producers successfully lobbied the European Union to restrict the use of that term within the EU to wines produced from their region. Thus, wines from elsewhere cannot even use the term “méthode champenoise” on products sold in the EU, and instead the term “traditional method” (méthode traditionnelle) or the local language equivalent may be seen; for instance, in Germany the term used is “klassische flaschengärung”. South African wines from the Western Cape are labelled with the term “Methode Cap Classique”. However, consumers outside the EU may see “méthode champenoise” used on labels for products made outside of France. So for little people like me I would much rather drink the “real thing” than some other country’s copy. So, please send me the good stuff, that’s a nice chap. And don’t forget the chocolates.