Wine 101 (was Re: POL: Reaction to Microsoft ruling)

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Thu Apr 13 2000 - 12:09:43 MDT

From: Charlie Stross <>

>> Ahem: Champagne and Burgundy are _regions_ of France. Their
>>produce is appelation controlee, meaning it's graded by quality.
>>This is to some extent a hold-over from the agricultural age,
>>and you'll note the tendency to name modern wines by the grape
>>they're produced from -- which isn't a controlled designation.
>>If someone in California makes wine that is indistinguishable
>>from champagne to a panel of tasters in a double blind test, it
>>is champagne, and they should be free to call it that.

>>By that reasoning, if I can make an operating system that is
>>indistinguishable from Windows (presumably by reverse-engineering
>>all their APIs), I should be free to call it Windows. Right?

>> Accepting the claims of the French for 'cultural heritage', when
>>that 'heritage' is nothing more than a desire to maintain their
>>elite attitude as being the 'superior culture' of the planet is

>Nonsense. Appelation controlee status is just a variation on
>trademark law, one that you don't recognize because you're a
>parochial-minded American with very little experience of the
>outside world.

>Calling Californian bubbly "Champagne" is an attempt to violate
>the regional trademark.

Nonsense. The standard for producing Champagne is internationally
recognized. It is by definition produced by me'thode champenoise.
They are produced in a variety of places around the world. It is
the method of production, not one isolated region that make the

Upstate New York produces some excellent champagne for example.
(try a Gold Seal Blanc de Blanc sometime.)

>This is an entirely different issue from trademark law, and
>variants thereon like the appelation controllee stuff (which
>doesn't exist in the USA but is widely recognized as having the
>weight of trademark law elsewhere in the world). Incidentally, it
>can be argued that those Californian bubbly producers who call
>their produce Champagne have exactly the same relationship to the
>real thing that Chinese software pirates have with Microsoft:
>they're simply infringing a form of intellectual.

More nonsense.

Appellations exist in the U.S. and every other wine producing
country in the world.

Try an outstanding Australian Shiraz/Syrah while your at it.

Get thee to

<sigh> I wish I was in Provence right now....


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