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Apr 3, 2013 08:02 AM

US Trade Representative criticizes EU restrictions on wine labels

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  1. The problem is multi-faceted, and not so simple.

    On the one hand, while historically such terms were (IMHO) valid in their day, few reasons exist for their continued use today. But while it was easy to ban semi-generic terms like "Chablis," "Burgundy," and "Champagne" on American wine labels, it's more difficult to find acceptable substitutes for wine terms such as "Port" and "Sherry." But if we can find them, I'm all for banning these as well.

    On the other hand, the EU regulators do tend to get carried away . . . to try to prohibit terms like "Chateau" and "reserve" is ludicrous!

    2 Replies
    1. re: zin1953

      Agree re 'reserve', but as I understand they are not restricting the word 'Chateau' to themselves, but saying that Chateau should have the same meaning, i.e. an estate wine.

      1. re: zin1953

        Australia now uses vintage, ruby or tawny or fortified shiraz etc for what they used to call 'port', and Apera for 'sherry'.

      2. How is the use of the terms "reserve," "classic," and "chateau" regulated in the EU?

        I know that there are certain appellations where they have meaning (e.g. Chianti Classico is a sub-region of Chianti) but how does it cause problems for American exports?