Russian lawmakers: only Champagne made in Russia can be labelled as such, everything else is sparkling wine
On Friday last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin took a break from his campaign of murdering people who disagree with him, and sowing chaos around the world to stop us tackling climate change by banning oil and gas use, to sign into law a decree which states that only ‘Champagne’ made in Russia can be labelled as such. According to the new law, Russian brand ‘Shampanskoye’ is now the only fizz that can use the word ‘Champagne’, with all imports now labelled as ‘sparkling wine’.
According to Reuters, Moet Hennessy, which produces Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Dom Perignon, briefly paused shipments to Russia while bosses considered how to respond to the new law. While you might hope the French brands, who are generally fiercely protective of the Champagne appellation, would have said ‘fine, have your crappy Russian chAmPAGne, we’ll keep the good stuff for the rest of the World’ and stopped exporting to Russia, profit inevitably outweighed principle, and those brands will now carry ‘sparkling wine’ on their labels in Russia, and export to the country has resumed.
As a result, it would appear that Russia’s new Champagne law will change very little about who-drinks-what in the great scheme of things, and the move was probably just another example of Russia giving the EU the finger. However, we’d be willing to bet that an oligarch somehow made a lot of money from this piece of legislative chicanery, and that some of that money will filter up the chain into Putin’s back pocket.