I saw a small piece about this the other day, the name Sovetskoye Shampanskoyegoes back a long way to time pre revolution when they made a Champagne that beat all the French entries at the 1900 world fair, which must have been upsetting!
The revolution saw the industry swept away and it survived in small enclaves in places like the Crimea and returned as a typical Soviet block cooperative industry with little merit.
Since perestroika the Soviets have advanced and the countries wealth for some as increased hugely so the market for imported Champagne has increased enormously and is now big business.
But so has Sovetskoye Shampanskoye and Russia has declared that all imported Champagnes should be re labelled ‘French Sparkling Wine’ this has naturally created a row with the French producers and the EU with protected status to names like Champagne being sacrosanct.
LVMH the luxury goods conglomerate that owns Moet , Veuve Clicqout and Krug, immediately stopped all exports wanting the order repealed, as usual money talks and with no EU to protect them they have crumbled and will label their Champagne as demanded.
Which begs the question as we have left the EU perhaps we could do the same, after all our product pound for pound is every good as theirs, retires to safe distance and opens bottle…
What comes out of it is not just the rather pointless flexing of Russia’s muscles in this but the craven LVMH where money is concerned.
It was not long ago that the EU and its GIs, Geographical Indicators, ran foul of the US in trade agreements as the US believed they were a form of protectionism, so it is not just Russia that is/was playing games, does it all matter, to a degree, if you cannot tell the difference between Canadian Cheddar and the real thing that is your problem, it does say Canadian, similarly Sovetskoye Shampanskoye perhaps it should have been left at that.