Talk:Champagne

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Champagne capitalization[edit]

Champagne from the Champagne region is a proper noun and protected designation from the European Union. Champagne with a little 'c' is like Korbel's California champagne is the imitation stuff that is not from the Champagne region. For reference, look at the consistent capitalization used by such wine experts as Katherine McNeil in the Wine Bible ISBN 1563054345 as well as these articles from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, CNN, Farlax's dictionary entry on Champagne, Wiley wine guide, Champagne mfg themselves use the capitalized Champagne, as well as Wine Spectator. Simply put, in the wine world Champagne wine from France being a proper noun is common and consistent knowledge. The article should reflect that appropriately. AgneCheese/Wine 03:23, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

I inserted the following statement, which was quickly removed. As I indicated, I have no authoritative references, but it is factually true:

Regardless of the legal requirements for labeling, many consumers regard champaigne as a generic term for white sparkling wines, regardless of origin. The laws described here were intended to reverse this tradition and reserve the term as a designation of origin.

The problem is that the EU wants to claim that all other sparkling wines are imitations of champaign (as stated above), which is a matter of point of view, although legally inforceable in the EU. Passing a law does not make something true. I recall that some legislative body passed a law making pi = 3.00 --Zeamays 21:46, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

The statement was removed because it was a rather imprecise generalization of the matter but also largely because there wasn't a source. It's a rather touchy subject but at least with a source attached to the statement the curious reader would have a resource to go to for further information. AgneCheese/Wine 01:43, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately blogs don't pass the standards of reliable sources. I'll see if I can find a better source but if not then the text should probably be removed in a few days. AgneCheese/Wine 19:27, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

The French association of champagne-makers also capitalise the word: http://www.champagne.fr/fr_lire_etiquette.html Robma (talk) 17:47, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

A word about the capitalisation of champagne. The OED writes, "champagne: White (esp. sparkling) wine from Champagne". I admit that you can find your French sources that give it as upper-case "C", but the French have wholly different capitalisation protocols from us British. It's the Légion d'honneur after all, while we call it the "Legion of Honour". So I don't think we need to be taking spelling lessons from them. The idea behind using lower-case "c" is, as the OED suggests, to helpfully discriminate between the wine and the region. I say "I love Champagne", but do I mean the region or the bubbly? No one knows if both are UC. As an aside, within British food and wine book publishing, lower-case "c" for the wine is the overwhelming norm. Ericoides (talk) 15:54, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Copied from my talk Champagne from the Champagne region is a protected name, essentially a brand name like Pepsi or Budweiser (note the capitalization in those articles). In that context it is a proper noun and should be capitalized. When the term "champagne" is being hijacked by producers like Korbel, it becomes a different thing entirely-more a "style" rather than a distinct wine and then it should be lowercase. This is the pattern followed by the vast, vast majority of WP:RS used in wine articles and so it is only proper that Wikipedia continued the correct usage. AgneCheese/Wine 16:28, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Additional thought The two capitalizations are meant to distinguish between real, authentic (and protected brand name) Champagne and the products of imitators (like Korbel). There is no need to distinguish via capitalization between the wine and the region because people normally use the terms interchangeably anyways (like Bordeaux and Burgundy) to refer to both the wine and the region. When people do need to distinguish between the wine and the region, they normally would add the qualifiers "region" and "wine". AgneCheese/Wine 16:42, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
I'd love to have the brazen confidence to disagree with the Oxford English Dictionary, the Collins English Dictionary, the Cassell English Dictionary, the Chambers English Dictionary, etc etc. But what do they know? I chuckle at your talk of 'hijacking' and 'authentic' given that French wine-growers imported root-stock from the US. Terroir you say? As for your analogy, I would say that a more useful analogy would be whisky: whisky is the generic name and Talisker or Highland Park are the brand names; likewise, champagne is the generic name and Heidseck, Moët et Chandon, or Krug are the brand names. Ericoides (talk) 17:04, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
One further thought. Surgeons have to be called Dr in their early career, before they specialise as surgeons, but once they become surgeons they revert to being Mr (or Mrs, or Miss). Mr, usually a humble term, becomes a moniker of distinction. I think it's the same with champagne (may I say I am touched by your attempts to protect its upper-case status). It went through the tedious showing-off phase of being called Champagne, but such is its fame and popularity that it is now honoured with a lower-case "c". (I don't know a thing about RSs, but is a dictionary not the highest court of RS appeal? Just one to ponder.) Ericoides (talk) 17:13, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
I think this is just one of those things where there is no definitive "correct" answer, and a judgment just has to be made, based on what predominates out there in the real world, and then you stand by that for consistency's sake. Wine shops for example here in the UK (ranging from high street retailers like Majestic and Oddbins, all the way to the posher merchants like Berry Brothers), all tend to have an upper case C. You can check their websites for this. Books vary - for example the edition of Hugh Johnson's A Life Uncorked that I have (Phoenix/Orion) uses lower case; Robert Joseph's French Wines (Dorling Kindersley) has upper case. I wouldn't want to pick a fight with dictionaries of course, but do they necessarily trump everything else? --Nickhh (talk) 18:18, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I think they do, as they record spellings (in your words) "based on what predominates out there in the real world". They are the RS par excellence for word spellings. You may set out to research usage in websites and books etc to find which spelling predominates but this counts as OR. And besides, the dictionary has already carried out this work for you. NB the OED doesn't even give champagne (the wine) an alternate spelling in UC. Ericoides (talk) 19:32, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
again, from Agne's talkpage Legally, and therefore to all practical purposes, there is no generic term "champagne". If you're not referring to sparkling wine from the Champagne region, you're not talking about Champagne and should be calling it "sparkling wine". Other sparklers with protected designation of origin, like Cava, follow the same protocol. --mikaultalk 20:18, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
dittoOh yes there is. It's the word (generic level) that describes Heidseck, Moët et Chandon and Krug (species level). I made no mention of wines from outside the Champagne region. When describing wines from Champagne, champagne is quite obviously a generic term. I refer you to the OED: "champagne: White (esp. sparkling) wine from Champagne". Ericoides (talk) 20:23, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Nope, those are sparkling wines (generically) and Champagnes (specifically). The old colloquial use will probably pass out of use eventually; I see the dictionary use as proceeding etymologically from a time when any Champenoise-style wine called itself "champagne". Over the years the French have established the right to retain geographical names to describe their wines using their proper noun derivatives and set them apart from wines of a similar style, and they're still fighting.[1] In our article on that self-same product it should clearly be used as a proper noun and capitalised. An example by way of contrast would be sherry. It's plain "sherry" not because it isn't a protected name – the PDO is very vigourously enforced – but because there's no such place as "sherry"; it was never a proper noun, only a wine style. In any case, regardless of legal enforcement, when referring to the likes of Gorgonzola in its article it should be – and is – always capitalised. Parmesan, Burgundy and Port are all capitalised in their article in this context. No matter how you cut it, regardless of ownership of the name, in an article on sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France, the only reason to use the lowercase version is when it's in quotation marks referring to the way non-genuine versions were once described. --mikaultalk 23:39, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Mick has pretty much hit the nail right on the head. This article is about Champagne - the sparkling wine that uniquely comes from the Champagne wine region of France. This article is not about "champagne" the sparkling wine style used (illegally in some parts) by some producers. To talk about "champagne" is to talk about something completely different then the officially defined, protected designation of Champagne. As I noted above, it is essentially a trademark like Pepsi or Budweiser. You wouldn't get much traction going to those articles arguing that it should be "pepsi" and "budweiser". AgneCheese/Wine 02:38, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Well I'm not noticing pepsi spelled lower-case in the dictionary. You might like to note that the OED has "port n. ~ (wine), strong dark-red (occas. brown or white) fortified wine of Portugal". Port with an upper-case "p" looks as pathetically pushy as champagne with an upper-case "c", but I guess in an encyclopedia in which trees and animals are in upper-case it's what one has come to expect. Incidentally, I can't recall hearing of a place called Port where port is made. If you say, "It's Oporto" then I'll just reply, "Sherry is from Jerez" and we haven't got anywhere at all. Secondly, if champagne is the species, then is Krug a sub-species? I don't think so; sparkling wine is the family, champagne the genus and Krug the species. Any taxonomist can see the structure. But it's all getting a little too big end of the egg vs small end of the egg so I'll bow out. Nickhh (above) has provided the only really sane response to my initial point. Ericoides (talk) 04:30, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
This is a fascinating discussion, and I agree that references are important to support the contention that the word "champagne" is used to designated wines in this style from areas other than the Champagne region of France. Here's a dictionary definition I just located which seems in accordance with the way most people (in my experience) use the word: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/champagne
"Definition of CHAMPAGNE

1: a white sparkling wine made in the old province of Champagne, France; also : a similar wine made elsewhere 2: a pale orange yellow to light grayish-yellowish brown" I suggest that the article should reflect this usage - at the moment it just reads like a handout from the regional producers association and fails neutrality. If as Agne27 suggests, this is an article about such wine from the Champagne region rather than elsewhere, then there needs to be a separate Wikipedia article for other wines which are made by the same method and also call themselves champagnes. However, it would seem more sensible to simply make this article more balanced.

Twilde (talk) 15:30, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

There is a separate article. It is called sparkling wines. AgneCheese/Wine 03:26, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
  • In that case, where it is a "champagne" is a sparkling wine, there should be no ambiguity. I just see that my downcasing of the drink name was reverted on that pretext, but it does not escape the fact that there is ambiguity in the articles as both the drink in a general sense and the region are capitalised. The family of articles abundantly uses the term "Champagne" to refer to the drink and the region, so using the upper case form to refer to the drink causes confusion as readers have to do a double-take. We talk about King Edward VII and King George VI, but we say "the kings". However, if we search on-line, we see that the BBC refers to the wine using the lower case. Where's the problem? -- Ohc ¡digame! 06:57, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
The full details of this discussion can be viewed here but essentially Champagne (the drink) from the Champagne wine region is considered a proper noun, much in the way that a Bordeaux wine from the Bordeaux region or a Barolo wine from the Barolo zone is also considered a proper noun. In Champagne, the capitalization is even more helpful because it helps distinguish authentic (which as the New York Times describes it as "Champagne With a Capital ‘C’") from the semi-generic and slang use of the term "champagne" to refer to any sparkling wine, regardless of where it is from or how it is made. Having all reference to Champagne be lower case introduces confusion as to whether you are talking about real Champagne from Champagne, France or something made by Korbel or Cook's, etc. AgneCheese/Wine 07:49, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Pink champagne ?[edit]

anything on this? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 219.108.16.189 (talk) 05:19:15, August 19, 2007 (UTC)

Please read the Rosé article on Wikipedia. Cheers. Zanusi 10:54, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Attribution note[edit]

Some content in the varieties section are from the merged articles Blanc de noirs and Prestige cuvée. AgneCheese/Wine 05:55, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Thoughts on assessment[edit]

This one seems more B than not but some extra thoughts are welcomed. Here are my thoughts...

  • The referencing needs to be improved throughout the article.
  • I think there can be some work down with the structure and flow of the article. For instance, the "Varieties" section starts by talking about grape varieties and then segways into different wine styles in a less than smooth transition. The serving Champagne & Champagne etiquette section could be merged together. The bubbles section seems out of place from the rest of the Champagne production etc. The health benefits and alcohol absorption should probably be merged.
  • In terms of comprehensiveness, there doesn't appear to be any major section lacking which is what tilts it more to the B side. The only thing that would be a major concern is the absence of a viticulture section. AgneCheese/Wine 22:54, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

What about England?[edit]

From what I have heard, the english (technically) invented champagne. They imported green, flat wine from Champagne and added sugar and molasses to start it fermenting. They also developed the strong coal-fired glass bottles and corks to contain it. As the records of the Royal Society show, what is now called méthode champenoise was first written down in England in 1662. The French added finesse and marketing flair, but it wasn't until 1876 that they perfected the brut style. Any more info on this?

Not the best source ever, but I found this information in "The Book of General Ignorance". It contains information suitable for use on the TV program QI.

By the way, I am a newcomer (this is actually the first thing I have written on Wiki), so please do not bite me if I have done something against Wikipedia policy!

--Timdpr (talk) 16:23, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Since Champagne is well-known and equated with luxury and so on, many want to say that they were before Champagne in producing this style of wine, including the sparkling Limoux wines from further soouth in France. As to the overall history of sparkling wine (rather than just Champagne) I thought that some of this information would be available in the article Sparkling wine, but I can't see it there. Some history is included in the Champagne (wine region) article, but not that much about the production method. I believe you're partially right in that a light "fizz" initially occurred and was appreciated due to second fermentations in buyers' cellars, both in England and e.g. Paris. In those days wine was shipped and sold in barrel. The English definitely had an influence on the production possibilities of today's Champagne in another day, because they were the leaders of glass manufacture during the era when bottled wine became more common. The first strong, thick-walled bottles were (mass)produced in England.
A minor point, the brut style only refers to a quite dry wine, not the rest of the production process. At least during the 19th century, the standard style was quite sweet, probably because of a combination of sugar being luxurious in those days and the ability of sweetness to make a mediocre wine more palatable. Tomas e (talk) 08:25, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
There's an excellent history of Champagne here which says that sparkling Champagne was being drunk in England well before 1662. The website is French, is run by on behalf of the champagne producers and cites it's sources. Richerman (talk) 15:02, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Another thing: it was also the distribution of wine and Champagne from France by the English / British to the far corners of its Empire (and the British love of good booze) that largely helped in creating the popularity and good reputation of not just Champagne but French wine in general. There were vineyards in Italy - for example - that were producing wines of equal quality to French wines, but suffered because of the Alps - so to speak - being where they were. Perhaps the artice could reflect the British influence on Champagne rather more than it does. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.174.35.87 (talk) 17:22, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Indeed the British influence has played a prominent role in the historical development of Champagne. That is why it is so prominently discussed in History of Champagne. This article is already very long and meant to provide an overview on the modern entity of Champagne. We have splinter articles such as Champagne (wine region), Sparkling wine, Sparkling wine production, History of Champagne and Champagne in pop culture that more fully explore those topics. Trying to cram them all into this article would be counterproductive. AgneCheese/Wine 20:36, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Oops - hadn't seen the "History of Champagne" article. Thanks... actually, "cheers" may be a more apposite comment. 86.174.35.87 (talk) 23:38, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

WikiProject Food and drink Tagging[edit]

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What is Blanc de noirs?[edit]

The Varieties sections states that 'Blanc de noir (white of black) Champagne is pressed from 100% Pinot Noir or black grapes', the Blanc de Noirs section states is it made from 'either Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or a blend of the two', which is it, a quick google seach is not conclusive. --Stefan talk 06:30, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Oxford Companion to Wine says that 'either Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or a blend of the two' is correct. Camw (talk) 06:46, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I updated the page. --Stefan talk 07:38, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

French bias?[edit]

The French would like us to believe that champagne must be produced in Champagne. I have in front of me two empty bottles of U.S. champagne from a New Year's party. The first bottle is Domaine Chandon and says it's made with the méthode traditionnelle but does not include the word 'champagne' anywhere on the bottle. Bear in mind that Domaine Chandon is a subsidiary of Moët & Chandon, the company that produces Dom Pérignon. The second bottle is André, which denotes itself as 'California Champagne' because its parent company E & J Gallo Winery does not bother to use the traditional method. My question is, why should we say that the Domaine Chandon--made the EXACT same way as champagne from the region of Champagne--is not champagne and relegate it the title of 'California Champagne'? The French have created a dichotomy whereby companies like E & J Gallo are allowed to turn the term 'California Champagne' into a reference to a wine that is not even made using the method of the Champagne region WHILE other companies are making champagne THROUGH the traditional method IN California, but they refuse to call it 'champagne' either for fear of losing standing in the international wine community or because their parent companies are French. The U.S. and France have no trade agreement on the terming of champagne, though France has such an agreement with fellow members of the European Union. My dispute with this article is that the opening states: "It is produced exclusively within the Champagne region of France,[1] from which it takes its name." The only source for this claim is [J. Robinson (ed) "The Oxford Companion to Wine" Third Edition pg 150–153 Oxford University Press 2006 ISBN 0198609906], which I claim is biased. Look at the third entry in the Wiktionary definition of champagne: "(informal, and legally incorrect in some jurisdictions) Any sparkling white wine." I would like to propose a middle ground, saying that since the term 'champagne' legally CAN be applied to 'any sparkling white wine' regardless of the method used or the place produced WITHIN THE U.S., saying that champagne "is produced exclusively within the Champagne region of France" is NOT accurate for all jurisdictions. It's a minor change to the article I'm proposing, but an important one that merits consideration. All I want is a disclaimer that not all jurisdictions RECOGNIZE the Champagne region's claim to the term 'champagne' and that some jurisdictions will allow the term 'champagne' so long as the method was traditional, and others will allow the term 'champagne' so long as the product is a bubbling white wine. Personally, I believe U.S. labeling law on this subject is too permissive in allowing André to be called champagne even though it is not made using the traditional method, but I refuse to accept Wikipedia telling me that the Domaine Chandon is NOT champagne. It is made using the traditional method, and the only reason--as far as I can tell--that Domaine Chandon doesn't call its 'Brut Classics' champagne is that its parent company is French. Domaine Chandon is made the EXACT same way as champagne made in Champagne. Since the U.S. allows André to call itself 'champagne' (it is only by the company's choice that it includes the term 'California'--there is no Californian or federal statute specifying that the term 'California' must immediately precede the term 'champagne', so André COULD decide to just call itself 'Champagne' and put 'Made in California' in tiny print along the bottom of the label and it WOULDN'T be false advertising), the Wikipedia article should recognize IN THE INTRODUCTION that not all jurisdictions recognize the Champagne region's claim and that different jurisdictions have different laws concerning the degree of similarity a product must have to the Champagne region's product in order to call itself 'champagne.' That's all I ask.Beeswax07 (talk) 01:59, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure I was entirely clear: I understand that disputes over the term are mentioned in the introduction, but WIKIPEDIA takes a side! WIKIPEDIA opens by affirming the Champagne region's claim, which--to the reader--seems like it's the "Truth" with a capital 'T'. Then all other claims to the term--though they are equally valid in almost every jurisdiction in MY country--will appear invalid, despite the law saying otherwise. Wikipedia must not take sides in this debate that influences the world economy because Wikipedia is itself an important source. When people have debates about things like this and want to know a brief history of the issue, they trust Wikipedia. So if some person on a U.S. game show answers that champagne is 'any sparkling white wine' and loses a point because the show's producers trusted Wikipedia's statement that "It is produced exclusively within the Champagne region of France", the French will agree with the show's producers and American companies will agree with the contestant. The Wikipedia statement should read: "Some jurisdictions recognize ONLY the Champagne region's claim to the term 'champagne' while other jurisdictions allow other wines to be called 'champagne', either because they are made using the same method or because the final product is highly similar to the final product from the Champagne region. The issue of legality in internationally terming products 'champagne' has been a matter of contention between French and U.S. producers." NOWHERE should Wikipedia ASSERT that the Champagne region has an inherently correct claim.Beeswax07 (talk) 02:17, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

I think you're confusing Champagne with sparkling wine, which has its own article. AgneCheese/Wine 02:42, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Also, BTW it is not just the Oxford Companion but pretty much every reliable source relating to wine. We can pull up references from Tom Stevenson's Champagne & Sparkling Wine Guide, Katherine MacNeil's Wine Bible, Andre Domine's Wine, Gordon's Opus Vino...hell even Wine for Dummies. They all say the same thing. While Champagne and sparkling wine are the same type of wine, they are as different as Bordeaux wine and a Meritage. Champagne (wine) is a brandname that is recognized by governments such as the European Union. Sparkling wine is a wine that anyone is free to produce, in any method that produces bubbles. As I noted before, we already have a sparkling wine article to cover stuff like Andre's. AgneCheese/Wine 02:49, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Counterpoint: A quick search reveals that Merriam-Webster, Collins, Random House, Princeton's WordNet, and the American Heritage Dictionary all recognise the use of 'champagne' as a term for some sparkling wine not produced in Champagne, France. Are you really asserting that all of these dictionaries are simply incorrect? 203.24.97.8 (talk) 12:26, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
That issue is dealt with in the introduction. Legally, Champagne is a certain product from a certain place. That Webster promotes a common misconception doesn't mean that Wikipedia should do so as well, hence this article's introduction.--Nwinther (talk) 16:43, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Funnily enough, the part of the introduction that deals with this issue was written by me about three hours before your comment. If you check the history of the page, you will find that the previous intro (which was current at the time of my earlier comment) didn't deal with it at all. I agree that Wikipedia shouldn't endorse one definition over the other. An encyclopedia is a descriptive, not a prescriptive, work. (as, ostensibly, is the Merriam-Webster dictionary) 203.24.97.8 (talk) 06:39, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
Even if your counterpoint should stand, how would you propose the article should be written? Pretty quickly you'd have to use the word "sparkling wine" and also quite fast have to seperate real Champagne from all the rest, and it'd just get confusing. Where dictionaries have one purpose, Wikipedia - or any encyclopedia - has another. Try looking up America. To many people, it defines the USA, but in reality it's much more than that. This doesn't justify that we make an article "America" that's about USA. Same goes for England - often used in the sense of the UK.--Nwinther (talk) 12:00, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
Sparkling wine is (and should be) a separate article from Champagne; the latter is a specific type of the former. Making the clear distinction is no more incorrect than having distinct articles on quartz and amethyst, or on mammal and horse. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 12:56, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Let's be honest, Champagne is just a sparkling white wine, albeit one to have been marketed so successfully it's pulled a flanker and got special marketing privileges and references in the industry. All very clever, but one can see why folk get a bit agitated about it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 149.254.120.140 (talkcontribs)

No, that's not honest because it is incorrect. Champagne is a sparkling wine that is made in Champagne which is an unique product that reflects the particular people, place, history, soil and climate conditions of that region. It's just like the sparkling wine made from Chateau Ste. Michelle is a sparkling wine made from Washington State and reflects the people, places, history, soil and climate conditions of that region. Calling the Domaine Ste. Michelle sparkler is just as dishonest as calling a Krug a Washington wine. There is a reason why we have a Napa Valley AVA, a Chianti DOCG, a Cote Rotie AOC, a Rioja DOC, etc. It is because a wine made in a particular place is unique. AgneCheese/Wine 22:08, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
It is interesting that Gallo's so-called California Champagne should be mentioned. Our article on the winery notes that even the United States has come around to barring the misleading use of 'Champagne' on new U.S. wine labels. Due to a certain amount of inertia and lobbying, labels which existed before 2006 were grandfathered. Gallo isn't selling five-dollar 'Champagne', any more than the guy in Times Square is selling you a five-dollar 'Rolex'. Unscrupulous producers have been allowed to trade on the reputation of real quality brands, generally with the tacit understanding that they aren't selling the genuine article. It's fair for us to acknowledge that there is a popular misconception (principally in the United States) that all sparkling wines are 'Champagne', but where there are questions about nomenclature we ought to rely on the consensus of both the world at large (which includes far more than just the U.S.) and on wine experts (including those in the United States) for determining correct usage. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 12:56, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

The correct use of the term 'champagne' is simply a matter dictated by usage. Since there are differences in how the term is used across the English speaking world (i.e. in the US 'champagne' and 'sparkling wine' are usually synonyms, but the same is not usually true in Europe) AND because there is already two articles with these names, I (as an American) have no problem using the article titled 'champagne' to refer to the stricter European sense. However, if so, then the article should only contain content which is specific to that sense. All content which applies generally to sparkling wines (especially the sections 'Champagne etiquette' and 'Health benefits') should be moved to the article 'sparkling wine'. Not doing so would be inconsistent. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.222.213.68 (talk) 22:30, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

"Blanc de noirs" and "Blancs de blancs"[edit]

I think that "White of blacks" and "White of whites" is a poor translation - better would be "White from black (grapes)" and "White from white (grapes)", since it refers to White wine being made from black / white grapes. Wine is not made of grapes, it is made from grapes. (Yes, you could say that it is made of grape juice, but that is singular). DonaldQ (talk) 15:33, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Sinking[edit]

From unregistered reader: I believe the chapter on sinking champagne should be erased. I read the Swedish articles referred to in Swedish Wikipedia article on "sinking" (may easily be found following the link from this article) and it appears that some rich guys occasionally sink a bottle or two, but it's by no means common behavior. I don't think occasional showings of bad manners deserve to be mentioned here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.113.36.73 (talk) 05:55, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Subscript text

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: wine promoted to primary topic. Favonian (talk) 18:10, 18 March 2012 (UTC)


Champagne (wine)Champagne – By far the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, most other articles using the word are related to or deriving from the wine, including many that expand on its history, production, etc. Articles totally unrelated to the wine are mostly about obscure localities. Most who search "Champagne" are going to want the wine's article. — FoxCE (talkcontribs) 04:38, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

  • Support as nom. — FoxCE (talkcontribs) 23:41, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose – no credible case has been made for the wine topic being much more common than all the others. Plus the proposed title is already in use, so you'd need to do a multiple-move. Dicklyon (talk) 23:25, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - per above. ..and also not convinced that the capital "C" throughout WP articles (see above) is in line with WP:RS where champagne is not capitalized rather than EU wine protectionism. Maybe Champagne (capital C) is needed? In ictu oculi (talk) 03:11, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
I added a brief note to acknowledge that usage varies; but I think most of the world does respect the European protectionism on this one. Dicklyon (talk) 04:32, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Google champagne -wikipedia and there is only one result on the first page that doesn't refer to the wine. ("Champagne Bakery" -- and we don't have an article for that.) You have to go to result No. 17 to find a reference to the region. This is also the first result where the issue of disambiguation arises. The region got 19,000 views in the last 90 days, the wine got 260,000. BTW, the bubbly wine is lower cased, according to both Oxford and Merriam-Webster. Kauffner (talk) 07:08, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
I get the 4th hit being about the region. And there's the movie, and other stuff. And we do have other articles like Champagne (wine region) that are about the wine and the region, and the history and classification articles. Seems like not a good place to be picking a primary, given all the ambiguity. Dicklyon (talk) 08:58, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
The wine region got 20,000 page views in the 90 days, the movie 2,100. Kauffner (talk) 10:13, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. This one seems like common sense; in English, most people mean the drink when they say "Champagne" -- and those that don't could hardly have a credible claim to be surprised that they ended up on that page. Powers T 21:00, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Page "already in use" is a navigational page (a disambiguation), so would be moved to Champagne (disambiguation) as a matter of course if the consensus is that this is the primary topic (which it appears to be in English usage). -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:56, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Clearly the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. For reference, last month Champagne (wine) received 66,824 views, while Champagne (wine region) and Champagne, France received 6,366 and 6,286 views, respectively. BlindMic (talk) 00:00, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Just because the wine received its name from the region doesn't mean it isn't the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Consider a similar case of Boston, named after Boston, Lincolnshire, yet I bet we can all see that older or first ≠ necessarily primary! CanuckMy page89 (talk), 04:39, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I have considered Boston; If it were anywhere other than WP, the American Boston would be differentiated as Boston, Mass. And I can't think of another example off-hand where we do that. The American Birmingham is Birmingham, Alabama, the American Lincoln is Lincoln, Nebraska and the main American Portland is Portland, Oregon. If the original isn't sufficiently important to be the main article, then a dab page is the logical next best thing. Moonraker12 (talk) 21:52, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/10/police-evict-occupy-boston-protesters does not differentiate it. WP:USPLACE explains the reason: "Cities listed in the AP Stylebook as not requiring the state modifier may or may not have their articles named [[City]] provided they are the primary topic for that name." The Alabama, Nebraska, and the Oregon/Maine examples are not so listed in the AP Stylebook. -- JHunterJ (talk) 23:49, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Also, Philadelphia is comparable. Not the first city so named, but the primary topic, listed without a differentiation. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:37, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This article is about wine from the Champagne region. The primary topic is sparkling wine. Kauffner (talk) 11:44, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
    Why is the primary topic "sparkling wine"? -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:36, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
    Please see my comment below, I think you have developed a misunderstanding of the nature of this move request. — FoxCE (talkcontribs) 22:04, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose:The sparkling wine is named for the wine-growing region which is named for the historical province of France. It takes a very particular interpretation of the word "primary" to argue that a derivative of a derivative is primary to the archetype. And I'm sure putting the wine in prime position would be very attractive to those marketing the stuff; Am I not assuminmg enough good faith in questioning the motive behind this move suggestion? Moonraker12 (talk) 21:38, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: I think you (and Kauffner) have a fundamental misunderstanding of this move request. I am not requesting that Sparkling wine be merged with Champagne (wine) and then this article renamed to Champagne as the primary topic for all sparkling wines, I am merely indicating that the disambiguator "(wine)" is not necessary for this article, as the sparkling wine called "Champagne" is clearly the primary topic for the Champagne title (which is a fact corroborated in Kauffner's support comment above). I am not saying that it is the primary topic for all sparkling wine. Follow? — FoxCE (talkcontribs) 22:05, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
I do follow, and I haven’t misunderstood your proposal; have you misunderstood my objection? The sparkling wine I referred to is champagne itself; my objection is to champagne (the wine) taking pride of place at Champagne (the title). And I’m not clear why you thought different; I never mentioned any merging of pages. Moonraker12 (talk) 16:29, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
  • (ec) We have just such an interpretation, based on usage and long-term educational value (but not derivation): WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Right, you are not assuming enough good faith if you're assuming the proposal is a marketing maneuver. -- JHunterJ (talk) 22:06, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
In that I’ve suggested that the nominator is acting from a commercial interest, I can see that isn’t the case and I apologize.
However, the point remains. WP articles (as likely as not) turn up in the first ten finds of any internet search; the commercial advantage of having a particular product at the main title seems obvious. WP goes to (and has recently gone to) great pains to avoid advertising; it seems a bit perverse that we are happy to give, for free, (and as a matter of principle!) an endorsement that someone would pay thousands for.
In the current situation on Google we are at least making the distinction between the product and the region, which has an educational benefit. And if we aspire to be an encyclopaedia, maybe we should do what other encycs do; a Britannica search for “champagne”, for example (here) gives:
1) Champagne : historical and cultural region (of France)
2) champagne : classic sparkling wine
which seems the most sensible arrangement. Moonraker12 (talk) 16:50, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
Sadly, this is not possible as the MediaWiki software requires that the first letter of the title be capitalized. Kauffner (talk) 23:03, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. oic. In the last six years, the U.S. and the other English-speaking countries have enacted laws so now only French champagne is legally the real deal. Well, I guess I can't argue with that. Perhaps the Bonapartes can get royalties from Napoleon Brandy, or the Bourbons on Bourbon. Next time I eat a New York pizza, I am going to ask it was imported from New York. Kauffner (talk) 04:40, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Per LtPowers. Looks like common sense to me. Lynch7 17:59, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Capitalization of wine vs region[edit]

The wine is "champagne" and the region is "Champagne", according to Merriam Webster, Oxford, MacMillan Dictionary, and Britannica. Anyone mind if make appropriate changes? Kauffner (talk) 07:28, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Actually the wine (when it is from the Champagne region) is a proper noun because it is a designated and protect named. While technically only the sparkling wine from Champagne should be called Champagne, it is unfortunately misused as a semi-generic term for other sparkling wines which are then called champagne (not capitalized) to distinguish it from Champagne. AgneCheese/Wine 07:33, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Is there any reference work that says such a thing? We should follow what the dictionaries say, not what the wine growers say. Kauffner (talk) 09:12, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Well there are a litany of wine dictionary and books that follow this convention. Somewhere in the talk page archives there is a pretty extensive list. As it is a wine article, we should probably give more weight to how the convention used in the wine world versus unrelated dictionaries. AgneCheese/Wine 16:47, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Also the very first convo on this talk page is when this topic was discussed in 2007, where I mention a few of several sources that follow the standard convention such as "Katherine McNeil in the Wine Bible ISBN 1563054345 as well as these articles from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, CNN, Farlax's dictionary entry on Champagne, Wiley wine guide, Champagne mfg themselves use the capitalized Champagne, as well as Wine Spectator." AgneCheese/Wine 16:57, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Champagne the wine is not a proper noun. this ngram shows that "champagne" is widely used, although it doesn't distinguish definitions. But we can find things like "The Oxford-Hachette French dictionary: French-English, English-French - Page 139" which lowercases champagne the wine vs. Champagne the region. Also National Geographic Traveler France, Chemistry: The Molecular Science: Volume 2 - Page 737, Frommer's France 2007 - Page 353, Cruise Travel - Feb 2008 - Page 36 (uses caps with "Veuve Clicquot Champagne" but lowercase when just "champagne"), The Economist: Volume 389, Issues 8609-8611, Diffordsguide Cocktails 7 - Page 93, etc. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:51, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Notice how none of those are wine-related source? How reliable are generic/off topic sources in reporting what is standard convention in the wine world? As I've demonstrated before, the common usage in the wine world is to treat real Champagne with proper capitalization to distinguish it from the semi-generic usage of champagne for other sparkling wines.
Also notice that none of the generic/off topic sources are legal sources such as the EU Trade Commission (one of many EU links we could cite) which has the name Champagne (note the capitalization) protected for the product (i.e. the wine). It is not the land that is protected but the wine that comes from that land and in the eyes of the law, that wine is its own unique identity that is, indeed, a proper noun. We see this repeatedly when Champagne wine is talk about in a legal context.
So yes, in the eyes of the wine world (and wine reliable sources), as well as in the eyes of the law, Champagne (big C) from the Champagne region is a proper noun. AgneCheese/Wine 03:02, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Merriam-Webster and the other dictionary makers are the authorities on spelling and capitalization. The EU Trade Commission capitalizes the word on their Web site and so what? The lawyers have their own way of doing things. Or do you think that "Parma ham" should be given as "Parma Ham"? This book is a top-selling history of the wine, and it uses lower case. Kauffner (talk) 04:36, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
You don't get the point. There is a REASON why the name Champagne is trademarked and protected by EU law. Again, it is not the land that has that trademarked (and capitalized!) name, it is the wine produced from the land. It is a protected product with a registered trademark. While there is abundant misuse of the term champagne (and yes, even dictionaries like Merriam-Webster are fallible and will sometimes err on the side of slang and vernacular misue), that doesn't mean we should ignore that the product Champagne IS unique and distinctive from other sparkling wines that are called champagne (lower case 'c'). Outside of adding a paragraph of text discussing legal trademarks and semi-generic usage to each and every time Champagne is discussed, it is much easier to just follow the standard convention used in the wine industry of referring to real Champagne with its proper capitalization and leaving "little c" champagne to refer to the semi-generic sparklers that use that name. Why add unnecessary confusion when this convention has worked so well? AgneCheese/Wine 05:31, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
It's not just Merriam Webster. Show me a dictionary that gives the word some other way. The EU can do its thing, whatever that is. Champagne was around long before they were. We have an essay that addresses this issue called WP:Official names. Kauffner (talk) 06:32, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
You can't expect off topic and generic sources to be as accurate as expert and relevant sources. I can show you several wine dictionaries and encyclopedias that follow the standard convention such as the The Wine Bible, Opus Vino, The Encyclopedic Atlas of Wine, The Oxford Companion to Wine, Andre Domine's Wine, etc. But again, the point still remains that we have two SEPARATE wines--Champagne (big C) which is the French wine produced in the Champagne region of France and is registered, protected name and champagne (little c) which are sparkling wines produced outside Champagne they are semi-generically labeled as champagne (often with a regional description). This article is about the French wine so why do we want to mislabel and use the wrong term? AgneCheese/Wine 06:44, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
It is clever to pick "sources" that aren't online. But in Culinaria France, Domine capitalizes the region, lower cases the wine. CNN also lower cases the word, contrary to what is claimed is above. Farlex, the dictionary site linked to above, also gives lower case. So everything I checked turned out to be bogus. This "two separate wines" idea implies that the real champagne is the stuff grown outside France, which I find a bizarre concept. Authors either capitalize the word, or they don't. Prove me wrong. Find someone who compares the taste of Champagne to the taste of champagne. Kauffner (talk) 08:58, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Huh? The "real" Champagne is the one that is a legally protected and registered name---which is the wine produced in France. Again, there is a reason why the name and wine is protected. And yes, despite the protection, there are people who still use slang and semi-generic terms but that is why the wine industry has long adopted the convention of referring to the protected, trademark name of Champagne as a the proper noun it is. Typically a wine expert would not use the semi-generic slang term and instead compare the taste of Champagne to sparkling wine, but we live in a world where slang is often vernacular and therefore when we are forced to deal with the slang usage, it is easy to distinguish the French Champagne from the semi-generic slang champagne sparklers simply at a glance. One is a proper noun, protected name--the other is not. AgneCheese/Wine 16:03, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
And, while I am not a lawyer, I do observe that the Wikipedia article would not appear to be encroaching on the protections afforded the wine products marketed using whatever terms, since Wikipedia is not a wine product. And the protections do not confer "proper noun hood". Not capitalizing it is not slang; capitalizing it is jargon. -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:19, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
When semi-generic usage exist, it is slang. Refering to every sparkling wine as "champagne" instead of as a sparkling wine is slang. AgneCheese/Wine 16:24, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
The article you link doesn't say that. What's the basis for that claim? -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:33, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
"Semi-generic" is a legal term used to refer to a brand of wine produced outside Europe that is entitled to advertise as "champagne", "Chianti", "Claret", or whatever. So the concept is quite different than slang or vernacular. Capitalization does not normally have any relationship to whether a wine is semi-generic or produced in the region that it is named for. Kauffner (talk) 02:56, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I do notice how none of those is a wine-related source. If this were Vinopedia, we would restrict the sources. Since this is English-language Wikipedia, we go with English-language usage, not specialist usage. The "wine world", wherever that is, is welcome to publish its own wiki. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:25, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Um, we do use specialize sources for articles. Do we not use medical journals for medical articles? History books for historical articles, etc? Why in the world would we not use wine sources for wine articles????? AgneCheese/Wine 15:57, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
"Um" is unnecessary there. We use all sources (in English) to determine usage (in English). I'm not trying to exclude specialist sources. -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:19, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Yet when I note, repeatedly, the vast majority of (ENGLISH) wine sources uses the standard convention of Champagne for the protected, registered name and "champagne" or "sparkling wine" for others, you seem to want to ignore this in lieu of generic off topic sources? If we have a majority of medical journals describing a certain enzyme in a particular way, would we ignore all those medical journals and go with Merrim-Webster? AgneCheese/Wine 16:26, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Where you would ignore dictionaries of both English and French, I would not. They are not be used in lieu of wine sources, they are being using in conjunction with wine sources. The searches we're using do not somehow exclude wine sources. -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:33, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Naturally, specialist sources are expected to be more detailed and accurate than generic sources. Dictionaries are, by their nature, generic and non-specialized. So when the vast majority of specialized wine sources follow standard convention, then yes, we probably should note that. Like I said, would we ignore mountains of medical journals because Merriam Webster differs? AgneCheese/Wine 16:35, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
It makes nice rhetoric, but like I said, the only person ignoring any sources is you. Encyclopedias (including this one), by their nature, are non-specialized as well. This isn't a specialized wine encyclopedia. -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:37, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Do we not use medical journals for medical articles? Are we a specialized medical encyclopedia? Do we not use historical books for history articles? Are we a specialized history encyclopedia? This line of arguments makes no sense. And again, this conversation has only been going on for a few days. Give other editors the chance to speak before you push edits through. Please. AgneCheese/Wine 16:44, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
The analogous question is "do we ignore non-medical journals for medical articles?" No, we don't ignore non-specialist sources for articles in other fields either. I agree, that line of argument makes no sense. -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:57, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Again, I ask, if the vast majority of medical journals describe a certain enzyme in a particular way and Merrim-Webster describes in another way, which sources should we use in an article about that enzyme? AgneCheese/Wine 17:04, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Hypothetically, if the vast majority of medical journals use one capitalization variation but general-level authoritative references and the vast majority of all sources (medical-journals + non-medical-journals) use a different capitalization variation, we should use the vast majority of other. But I'm unaware of any enzyme in that situation. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:18, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
It's hypothetical and it can go beyond capitalization to any form of description or naming convention. The point still remains that if specialized sources more often than not follow a certain convention then it is ridiculous to let a generic source "trump all" when, by its very nature, it is generic. You mention often that we are not a "wine-specialized encyclopedia" but we also aren't a dictionary either. We're an encyclopedia and as a encyclopedia we often need to move beyond the generic to the most reliably and accurate sources--which often are specialized sources. AgneCheese/Wine 19:35, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Section Break[edit]

I would encourage JHunterJ and Kauffer to please continue with discussion (or maybe seek a 3rd party opinion) to get more consensus instead of trying to force an edit change to an article that has followed standard convention for most of its existence. This discussion has only been going on a few days and other editors have not had the opportunity to chime in. AgneCheese/Wine 16:30, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Let's try to get a summary going. Again, my hope is to foster discussion rather than try to force edits. A few questions that would be nice to have answered.

1.) If the vast majority of specialized sources follow a standard convention, should we give more weight to generic, non-specialized sources (like dictionaries) that differ?
2.) If we have an item that is a registered, protected name, should we use that register, protected name? Or should we use something different? (i.e. like Coca-Cola is a registered name but should we refer to it as "pop" or "soda" throughout its article?")
3.) Since standard convention is to refer to the protected French wine Champagne as "Champagne" to distinguish it from the semi-generic and slang usage of "champagne" that refer to sparklers made elsewhere, if we change THIS article to only refer to the semi-generic sparklers, how do we make clear to the reader that we are referring to the French wine? Do we add a paragraph of text to the top of the article explaining this "While the legally protected name is Champagne, editors of this article have felt that it is best to refer to the wine throughout this article as the semi-generic label of champagne", etc? AgneCheese/Wine 16:41, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Or a summary: we shouldn't ignore non-wine-specialist sources, since Wikipedia is not a wine-specialist reference. -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:57, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
But when the non-specialist source are incomplete (i.e. they don't distinguish between semi-generic and slang usage) should we not go with the more complete and specialized sources? AgneCheese/Wine 17:02, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I haven't had time to read this whole section (and it would be helpful if the people who want to change the article's name would provide a summary of their points) but my initial thought is that this article is about French Champagne when we have the sparkling wine article to talk about other champagnes that don't come from Champagne. Why do we want to change this article's title to talk about those non-French champagnes? The Bethling(Talk) 17:12, 4 May 2012 (UTC
    They don't think they're changing the article's name. Merrim-Webster just uses the semi-generic slang usage of "champagne" for all sparkling wines so they want to go with that. They don't realize that Champagne and champagne are different wines and/or they think that doesn't matter. But I agree, it will be confusing if this article starts using the semi-generic term. AgneCheese/Wine 17:16, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
    On general, industry, and legal useage, here is what I have found with a quick search. In contrast to news articles already provided as evidence for the no capitalization, there are still other news sources that do capitalize:
    Going a step further, Chablis is a protected product of the region, and it is capitalized to distinguish it from generic products. The following news sources have capitalized it in their articles:
    Considering other products, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau's (TTB) Certificate of Age and Orgin Requirements for Imported Alcohol Beverages references such products as Congnac, Armagnac, Irish Whiskey, Tequila, all capitalized.Encycloshave (talk) 17:47, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
    Summary of points:
    -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:04, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

There is no law against capitalizing semi-generics. Burgundy, Chablis and Moselle are always capitalized, regardless of where they are produced. How is this for a summary:

  1. The dictionary people are the specialists on spelling and capitalization. All the top dictionaries, already linked to above, give this word lower cased. Here are two more: American Heritage and Collins.
  2. No one has established that the "vast majority of specialized sources" do it any particular way.
  3. If the reason to capitalize this subject is its legally protected status, that's covered in the MOS under WP:TRADEMARK.
  4. The claim that capitalization depends a product's country of origin has yet to be supported by any source, specialist or otherwise. Kauffner (talk) 18:25, 4 May 2012 (UTC)


What I find inconsistent is OED's capitalization of Armagnac, Calvados, Sauternes, and Chablis but not cognac, sherry, port or champagne. Armagnac, Calvados, and Sauternes are rarely copied elsewhere, while the rest are often seen in other countries. So why capitalize Chablis? Anywho, we can't do anything about that. At risk of taking this off topic, two implications came to mind: the further question of what to do with other capitalizations.
  1. What do we do with every instance of a grape name? Merriam-Webster does not capitalize, while OED does.
  2. What of all scientific taxonomic names and names of constellations? As "Wikipedia is not a wine-specific reference," neither is it a science-specialist reference.Encycloshave (talk) 19:08, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I have no problem with the pursuit of fixing other stuff that's broken too, if other stuff is broken too. But it seems the Rest of the World is on board with uppercasing Armagnac[2] and lowercasing cognac[3], so maybe the OED is onto something. Chablis too.[4]. Which grape name were you looking at? -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:12, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I looked at several and found inconsistencies at Merriam-Webster, which did not capitalize Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, or Gamay, but did capitalize Sangiovese, Riesling, and Shiraz. It didn't have Nebbiolo, Malbec, Viognier, Tempranillo, or Pinotage. OED capitalized all of those except for Pinotage. Encycloshave (talk) 19:40, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
And I'd expect us to capitalize those based on what looks like common usage at first blush[5]. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:54, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Okay that makes sense[edit]

I always wonder why they called cold duck and Korbel champagne but it makes sense now. I would keep it as it is with the caps for the real stuff and no caps for Korbel and cold duck. Too confusing to call everything champagne without a difference. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 168.156.96.27 (talk) 18:33, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Korbel and Cold Duck are sparkling wines, and Korbel markets a "California Champagne", but neither of those distinctions are relevant to the capitalization of the topic here, since neither of them are it. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:39, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

I find the theory that upper case "Champagne" refers to wine from France, whereas lower case "champagne" is a knockoff, to be most peculiar. Are there any real world examples of this usage? Is there some wine author who elaborates on the differences between the two? Where does this idea come from? Kauffner (talk) 02:31, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Well the idea certainly predates my more than 15 years in the wine industry and if I had to venture my best guess, I would say that it probably originated sometime after WWII when American service members returned home after being exposed to Champagne and various other types of sparkling wine. While sparkling wine has existed in the US for a long time prior (the original Champagne Charlie did much to encourage the popularity of Champagne in the 1850s), the entire culture of wine really evolved in the mid 20th century. It wouldn't be surprising if the use of semi-generics really took off then (it certainly did for Chianti) and the slang usage of calling everything with bubbles "champagne" (regardless of origin) became part of the vernacular. Most wine experts and writers who are worth their lick of salt tend to be quite rigid in properly referring to Champagne as only the French wine from Champagne and using the term sparkling wine (or some other native term like Crement, Cava or Sekt etc) for other sparklers. So you won't really see "wine experts" talking about Champagne vs champagne because they know better. Still, when dealing with the general public, slang terms are bound to come up and be prevalent and every person in the wine trade has come across at least one person in their time using the slang term "champagne" to refer to all bubbles. It is considered "snobbish" to correct them and say "oh no, you meant sparkling wine" so people in the industry learned to just sort of roll with it and let them talk about their "champagne" while continuing the proper usage of the terms Champagne/sparkling wine. As a protected name, the capitalization became an easy way to distinguish between the two since only protected, legal names are proper nouns and there really isn't nothing "protected" by the slang usage of "champagne" for other wines. It became a simple method to try and identify what people are talking (writing) about. AgneCheese/Wine 19:46, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Upper and lower case use is mixed among wine authorities. Jancis Robinson, a Master of Wine (MW), uses lower case in the Oxford Companion to Wine. Hugh Johnson uses lower case in his wine companion. Oz Clarke uses upper case in three books. In The Art and Science of Wine, Hugh Johnson and James Halliday use upper case. Karen MacNeil's The Wine Bible has upper case. And the text books from my Wine & Spirit Education Trust courses also have upper case.
To me, the capitalization is style issue, and not a hard and fast rule among even renowned world experts. I bet they would even disagree just as we are. EU may use upper case, but governments are capricious and do things for not always the best reasons. And I would steer away from adhering to the dictionary as if it came from a burning bush on Mount Sinai. Dictionaries are abstract and out of context. Conservative, liberal, progressive, etc., are lower case in the dictionary. Yet, when we talk about a person who holds certain values, we say they are a Conservative or Liberal. Do we need to? No. If I were to call John Boehner and David Cameron "conservatives" or Barack Obama and Gordon Brown "liberals," nobody will think I am referring to them as political values. That would be silly. Yet we use the upper case for clarity. Likewise, if discussing the bubbly from Champagne, some wine writers choose to use the upper case for clarity.
But none of this really matters, and it should have been obvious to me from the start. When wine experts and competent people in the trade talk about sparkling wines from the region of Champagne, they call it champagne. If it's made anywhere else, they say champagne-style, as Oz Clarke did in his book on Australian wines. Or more often, they say sparkling wine. If from Spain or Italy, they'll say Asti, Prosecco, or Cava. If it's made in the same manner as champagne, they talk about how that specific wine was made using the champagne method, or méthode champenoise. Personally, I'd lean toward MW and the Oxford Comapnion and use lower case.
Cheers! Encycloshave (talk) 12:34, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
The generic vs real champagne point raised above is a bit of a red herring surely. It's not in dispute that in most cases C/champagne is used to refer to wine made in the French region (although unofficial use is also found) and this article is about champagne in that sense; the issue here is simply whether we capitalise when we use the word for the wine. As noted, real-world sources are split, with plenty of sources going for lower case. It also happens to be my and WP's general preference in most borderline cases ... however, given that this and every other WP article about the wine (and as noted, about other wines from specific regions) go for upper case it seems a little pointless to insist on now suddenly changing it. Why make all that work just to change everything to the other side of at best a 50-50 case? N-HH talk/edits 22:26, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

my thoughts[edit]

I really don't think the dictionary argument is compelling. Dictionaries have stuff missing all the time and you can't expect them to know everything that an Encyclopedia is suppose to know. It seems pretty simple-Champagne is one thing and champagne is another. Lets keep the Champagne stuff here and leave the champagne stuff for the sparkling wine article. This is kinda silly thing to fight over. I mean the dictionary people aren't going to cry and have their feelings hurt if we use better sources and it will be far less confusing to the readers if we keep the Champagne stuff separate versus trying to cram all the sparkling wine stuff in one article. Personally I think everyone should just sit back, pop open your favorite bubbly (Champagne or champagne LOL) and just chill. No need to stress. The Bethling(Talk) 06:40, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

So in other words, the real champagne is the stuff from California. What would the EU Trade Commission say? Kauffner (talk) 07:33, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
The fact that you are confused about what Champagne is should be a red flag that we shouldn't add even more confusion to the article with changing everything to reference champagne wines that come from anywhere in the world. The Bethling(Talk) 21:24, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Also, it's not "the dictionary argument". It's "the common usage and dictionaries" argument. Champagne is one kind of thing (a region), champagne is another (wine from that region that adheres to specific rules), and sparkling wine is yet another. The sparkling wine stuff goes in the sparkling wine article, and the champagne (wine) stuff goes in the champagne article. No one's worried about the dictionary people's feelings, and there's nothing to stress over. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:48, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
JJ, when you talk to people, they don't say that "champagne is another (wine from that region that adheres to specific rules)". They say that champagne is what is in their momosa, it's the Korbel or other cheap fizz they pop at New Years. That's the stuff that is in the sparkling wine article and how are you going to differentiate everything if you suddenly change this article to refer to BOTH wines. Oh wait, when you see champagne what we are really talking about here is the real stuff from Champagne (You know, Champagne) but we're just calling it champagne here like the Korbel and Cooks stuff. Stuff like that is silly and like I said, we should probably take these comments as red flags that this article is fine as it is and changing everything will only add confusion to the article. The Bethling(Talk) 21:24, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Bg, it's not just talking to people. It's how reliable sources (books, magazines, dictionaries, and some wine-specific publications) refer to the French stuff. I am not advocating that this article (or any other) use (or misuse) "champagne" to refer to things that cannot legally be marketed at "champagne". I am recognizing that there's no reason for us to treat "champagne" as a proper name when it's referring to the drink instead of the region. -- JHunterJ (talk) 03:20, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Obviously I work with several Champagne houses so my perspective is colored by my experience. But I want to point out that Wikipedia uses the trademarked, legal name of just about every person/place/product that there is an article on so why would this case be any different? It is a shame that the US's allowance of semi-generics has created this problem in the first place. If the name Champagne was protected then it wouldn't matter if it was capitalized or not. If you said Champagne/champagne, everyone would know that you are talking about the authentic wine crafted by the Champenois. Sadly, that isn't the case and when you talk about "champagne" no one knows if you are talking about the real wine or some artificially carbonated pop wine like Cook's. (I mean looking at this page the Champagne/champagne conundrum confuses even encyclopedia writers. You can imagine how much it confuses consumers!). But until the US government fixes this decade long problem, I would advise you Wikipedites to simply treat this article like you treat other articles like iPad, Big Mac, Pontiac Grand AM, etc and just use the proper trademark name that the Champenois have fought so hard to protect. Thank you for reading. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Champagne is from Champagne (talkcontribs) 16:27, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

You make a good point (and thank you, BTW, for being honest and upfront about your WP:COI). If there wasn't the issue of semi-generics, we probably wouldn't be having this long winded discussion. But, I fret, that even when the semi-generics go away there probably will still take at least a generation for the slang usage of referring to everything with bubbles as "champagne" to die out. You also make a good point about how we treat the legal names of other products like the iPad. Thank you for contributing and, BTW, when you leave a comment it is best to sign your name with 4 tilde like ~~~~ AgneCheese/Wine 19:54, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
WP:TRADEMARK says, "Follow standard English text formatting and capitalization rules, even if the trademark owner considers nonstandard formatting 'official'". The trademark is Alien3, but our article title Alien 3. Many companies, such as Lego, use all-caps for their trademarks, but Wiki nonetheless put these names in conventional capitalization. The vast majority of authors use lower case "champagne", as you can see here. As Encycloshave shows above, even some of the top wine references do the same. Are these people all turning up their noses at French Champagne, and demanding only the real California champagne? The "two SEPARATE wines" theory makes no sense. Authors either capitalize this word, or they don't. This has nothing to do with the semi-generic issue. Here is Britannica: "champagne, classic sparkling wine named for the site of its origin and exclusive production, the traditional region of Champagne in northeastern France." Kauffner (talk) 01:23, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Then why isn't our iPad article written as Ipad throughout the article? AgneCheese/Wine 21:07, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Trademarks#Trademarks that begin with a lowercase letter -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:39, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Mr JHunterJ, you are worried that readers maybe confused between the wine and the region but that is actually a good thing! That is why the wine takes the name of its motherland. In wine we call this terroir which is a French term that doesn't really have an English translation but it basically means that the land and the wine are one in the same. Everything about the land, the people, the soil, the climate, the history contributes to the wine and makes it unique-like nothing else in the world! When people grab a bottle of Champagne they SHOULD think about the Champagne region because that is exactly how it is suppose to be much like when someone grabs a bottle of Napa wine they should think about your Napa Valley of California. You should want your readers associating the name of the article with the wine and the region, because they are one and the same, and NOT be confused if the article is about fake wine calling itself "champagne". Confusing the real Champagne for fake champagne produced elsewhere is far more confusing and a disservice to your readers than being reminded of the intimate connection between the Champagne land and the Champagne wine. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Champagne is from Champagne (talkcontribs) 07:30, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Terroir has nothing to do with capitalization. The exposition of the article will help readers make the association. The difference in capitalization will improve the exposition's communicative abilities. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:00, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
When a wine is associated with a topographical region and named after a geographical entity, a capital letter is used: Anjou, Bordeaux, Chablis, ...; this is the usage in the vast majority of English-language reliable sources, and also here in Wikipedia articles. Should ?hampagne be the sole exception to this rule?  --Lambiam 17:48, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
Not at all. Champagne should also follow the vast majority of English-language reliable sources (including OED), and be lowercased. -- JHunterJ (talk) 05:37, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Is it really the vast majority? Slightly depends where you look and how you count. It's probably more common overall - esepcially outside of specialist wine sources - (and as noted above, FWIW, my preference would be for lower case) but I can't see that the change is necessary or worth the slog it would involve. We seem to have consistency now, and a form that is definitely not incorrect as such; unless people are really thorough, we risk losing the first, while not gaining anything in terms of the latter. N-HH talk/edits 10:30, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I’m not clear on what JHunterJ using as an empirical basis for the “vast majority,” but Kauffner has pointed to Google’s ngram. The ngram is flawed in several ways.
Context: Foremost is that, like the dictionaries, it takes the word out of context. We have to spend a great deal of time determining which occurrences meet Wikipedia’s guidelines for reliable sources. Google does provide a link for searching each term against different time periods, but when you follow the link, the results don’t actually filter the specific term. Using “champagne” brings both upper and lower case hits. Further illustrating that the ngram is out of context, champagne is both a surname and a color, which will dilute the pool.
Accuracy: Google Books metadata have mistakes. A shining example is the occurrence of the word internet/Internet before 1960. One, it obviously shows many uses for the word ‘internet’ (also a context issue), but it also puts occurrences of the modern meaning in the wrong year, such as Nebraska laws on Internet service provoiders and VoIP, in 1948.
OCR: Another thing we have to contend with is that Google has scanned a great many books and run them through OCR, which is not always precise.
Not up to date: The ngram is dated. If we look at the dates, the ngram only includes hits up to 2008, thus leaving us to guess the latest trends.
Incomplete: Finally, Google Books is not complete. If we are to say a majority of reliable sources use one case over the other, we should be able to verify the numbers, but not all books that meet WP:V guidelines are fully available. Encycloshave (talk) 13:44, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Champagne is a registered protected name and there is abundant evidence for its common usage[edit]

So we have three things here. One is the fact that Champagne is the registered protected name of the wine that comes from the Champagne region of France.

Secondly, is that Champagne--like many other wines such as Barolo, Bordeaux,Rioja, etc are closely linked with the region they are produced from and that is the REASON why they are named after the wine. We don't speak of a lower-case barolos, bordeaux and riojas yet it is the same situation where the wine is named after the region (and protected by the EU as well). Third, while there are examples of common misuage of lower-case champagne, there is more than enough examples of reliable common use of the standard convention among reliable sources, many of which has already been repeated on this page (The Wall Street Journal and Sacramento Bee). But to merely add to the list, here are the books using the standard convention from just 1 shelf of my wine reference book case. Much more can be added to this laundry list.

I think this list shows more than enough common usage--even if misuse and slang usage is still prevelant--that couple with the facts that the capitalized version of Champagne is the legal, protected trademark name (like iPad) and that it is standard convention to refer to wines named after the regions in the same way as the region (Barolo, Bordeux, etc) are strong enough arguments that we shouldn't reinvent the wheel and should treat this article just like we treat the Barolo and iPad articles. AgneCheese/Wine 22:37, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Just adding a few more to the common usage list AgneCheese/Wine 23:30, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Please, if 1% of a million references use it your way, you would obviously be able to come up with 10,000 references "supporting" your view. No one is saying no reliable source ever capitalizes "champagne". The point is that reliable sources use both capitalizations, the majority of them use the lowercase version, and the Wikipedia guidelines on trademarks say to use the lowercase in instances like this one. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:36, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Again, you miss the point. Your whole contention for wanting this lowercase is that you feel that is the most common usage. But there is an overwhelming abundance of evidence (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, MSNBC, Champagne for Dummies, Wine Encyclopedia, The Wine Bible, etc) that shows that speaking of Champagne with a Capital 'C' is certainly not uncommon. And giving the weight of these reliable sources versus your generic dictionaries (which, BTW, like Collins English Dictionary also note that that capitalization of the wine is common), I would say it is an exceedingly fair argument to say that the capitalization of Champagne is common enough to maintain the status quo of using the legal, protected name. AgneCheese/Wine 16:42, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Also, while your claim of dictionaries being the "majority" of reliable sources (again, compared to Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, MSNBC, Champagne for Dummies, Wine Encyclopedia, The Wine Bible, etc) is a bit tenuous at best (and certainly not substantiated) but you've failed to address the other two important points--namely that this is the norm for how the world treats wines named after regions (should we start lowercasing every reference to barolo, bordeaux, rioja, etc?) and why we should not use the very commonly used legal, registered name? AgneCheese/Wine 17:02, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
So far, the numbers have been subjective. Where are the statistics to back up the "majority" of reliable sources using lower case or upper case? Even with the numbers, it's a quagmire. Last week I found a NY Times food and drink column that referred to "Champagne cocktails" without referencing a specific Champagne. We could debate for weeks on which examples actually qualify as "reliable."
In all honesty, I think the whole matter is beneath Wikipedia. An industry quibbling over the capitalization is really a battle of market share. Use of the word is what is important. Consumers don't care whether it's capitalized. They only care whether they like the taste and whether they can afford it. Still others only care if it's wet. To illustrate how the matter is more about money and politics than fairness, we only have to look at the case of Champagne, Switzerland. The village has been producing still wine, i.e. non-sparkling, table wine, since at least the mid-17th century. As this is a non-sparkling wine, the closure will obviously be a standard cork or perhaps a screwtop. The bottle is likely to be lighter. Nobody is going to mistake this for a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine. Yet, the Champenois, whose annual production is in the millions of bottles, saw fit to prevent the Swiss wine makers to even list the name of the town on their 110,000 bottles per year. The year after Champagne's legal coup, the Swiss village's production dropped by 71%.
Nevertheless, I believe the trademark guideline leans toward upper case. WP:MOSTM advises using "common sense in applying it; it will have occasional exceptions." It further suggests:
When deciding how to format a trademark, editors should choose among styles already in use (not invent new ones) and choose the style that most closely resembles standard English, regardless of the preference of the trademark owner.
Interestingly, "regardless of the preference of the trademark owner" is contradcited later in the guidleline. Looking at the general rules, we see the example, "however: The prime minister indicated that the Cadbury Creme Egg was delicious." Here the word "egg" is capitalized. On the surface, this looks like trademark preference. Going with Kauffner's line of thinking, we would change that to a lower case because of how the dictionary spells egg. But, as I mentioned earlier, a dictionary is abstract and out of context. Here, "egg" is in the context of a product and brand. As per WP:MOSTM, it is capitalized because it is part of the product's name, just the same as Louis Roederer Champagne, Krug, etc.
Wikipedia puts a premium on clarity, so much that it dedicates a class of pages to minimizing ambiguity. Mind you, our discussion is NOT about a disambiguation page, but we must take into account ambiguity within an article. There are several instances in Champagne where sparkling wines produced outside Champagne are mentioned. Applying WP:MOSTM's "common sense," we should strive to maintain the article so that the reader does not have to review a sentence to figure out whether the French stuff is in question or something else. If we go with all lower case for the beverage and reserve upper case for the region, we do a disservice to the reader. Encycloshave (talk) 18:13, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Since the article is about the French stuff and the other stuff is called sparkling wine, it would not help the reader in this case whether the topic of the article was consistently spelled "Champagne" or "champagne". Indeed, it may help the reader to distinguish the little-c beverage from the upper-C geographical region. -- JHunterJ (talk) 03:16, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
Yet what about the 30 million readers who read reliable sources such as The New York Times and their wine articles about Champagne With a Capital 'C'? AgneCheese/Wine 03:29, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
This is from the NYT article: "Champagne — from the eponymous region, as opposed to pretenders who bottle so-called Champagne elsewhere — represents only 10 percent of worldwide production of sparkling wine." In other words, "Champagne" and "so-called Champagne" are capitalized the same way, which would not be true if capitalization was considered a trademark issue. Kauffner (talk) 03:54, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
Excuse me Mr. Kauffner. Here and other places you and others seem to be implying that it is appropriate in an encyclopedia to ever employ the word "champagne" for a sparkling wine made outside Champagne zone. If so, could you please just take a moment to absorb the problem with that? Sincerely, deMURGH talk 10:19, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Some possible compromises[edit]

Something that I am noticing is, and this echoes my earlier point, is that people who deal with wine on a daily basis and know what they are talking about rarely refer to sparkling wines from outside the Champagne AOC as champagne. If they do, it's a slip, it's tongue-in-cheek, they think the whole issue is BS, or they have a vested interest in producing sparkling wine with the word 'champagne' printed on the bottle. The more I read this article, the more I believe that nobody with at least a high school education is going to get confused about which region's bubbly is discussed, as Agne24 and I have been suggesting. In fact, the article almost exclusively discusses the wine from Champagne. If anything, the constantly changing case is already distracting. Likewise, nobody is going to be confused whether Champagne pertains to the region or the wine, as JHunterJ and Kauffner suggest.

Compromise, part I: I suggest dropping the notion of flip-flopping between upper and lower case when referring to the bottled fizz. Before responding to this, highlight all instances of the word champagne and honestly ask yourself whether there is any confusion.

Compromise, part II: Remove the ambiguities. The only major possibilities for confusion are two sections, but not because of provenance. The content in Etiquette and Health benefits might lead the reader to believe the information pertains only to the stuff from the AOC. Unless somebody can prove the health effects are linked only to the AOC wines, it might be better to move this content to an article that deals with the health effects of wine, followed by inserting a link in both Champagne and Sparkling wine. As for etiquette, opening and serving pertain to sparkling wines in general, thus it also belongs in a wider context. Encycloshave (talk) 19:56, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Here is some expansion on my previous suggestions for compromise. I understand the French desire to spell it "Champagne," but I don't believe a capitalization is enough to produce an "intimate connection between the Champagne land and the Champagne wine." That's a heavy burden to ask a single letter. I've made my way down Burgundy's Cote d'Or, and I've hiked the vineyards and explored the castles of the Rhein. Believe me, I understand terroir. And while brilliant prose is encouraged for featured articles, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a Natalie McLean book. The reader is not going to see that capital 'C' and instantly feel the terroir embracing their soul, evoking images of vine blossoms and the feel of chalky soil between their toes. Even further, assuming the reader is going to get confused, I think, underestimates the reader. This article's introduction makes it clear that Champagne wine is the topic. In fact, rest-of-the-world champagne is addressed seldomly; the ambiguous areas are the sections on health benefits and etiquette, which can be moved to an article with a wider context.
If the lower case 'c' is sufficient for Jancis Robinson, who has been writing about wine and interviewing winemakers since I was in preschool (not to mention Hugh Johnson, who has been at it for longer), I believe it is fine for Wikipedia. Robinson notes in The Oxford Companion that in the Champagne article, the capitalized word refers to the region, while non-capitalized refers to the wine. We can easily incorporate something similar in the article's lede and make the necessary adjustments throughout the article.
How does this sound? Is it an agreeable compromise? Encycloshave (talk) 19:48, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm struggling to see the proposed compromise here? --Ian Dalziel (talk) 21:27, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Capitalization of AOC[edit]

I was about to do some copy-edits and noticed AOC was spelled out mostly as 'Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée,' though 'Appellation d'origine contrôlée' appears as well. I did some poking around and found Appellation d'origine contrôlée only capitalizes the first word, as does its French counterpart. After reviewing a few French sites, Legifrance, Confédération Nationale des Appellations d'Origine Contrôlée, and Institut National des Appellations d'Origine, it appears that the French capitalize the first word only. Obviously if it's introducing AOC as an acronym, the standard is capitalize each word, but I figured it only made sense to follow suit. Thoughts? Encycloshave (talk) 20:46, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps a rewrite is in order regarding bubble formation?[edit]

For several years now it has been reported that etchings and imperfections in glassware are incapable of producing nucleation points for champagne bubbles, and that the true nucleation points are dirt. Didn't want to step right in and edit something without a discussion first though.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1013069,00.html

The article cites this study- Uncorked: The Science of Champagne (Princeton University Press; 152 pages) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 162.96.105.84 (talk) 05:18, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Champagne - Sweetness[edit]

I will leave it to others to edit this item, but I would like to point out that as it stands this article perpetuates a common misunderstanding, that "ripeness of the grapes" has something to do with the sweetness of the final product. This is in fact not the case.

Sugar is typically used three times in the Champagne-making process. The first use is at the time of primary fermentation, to permit grapes offering 9-10% alcohol equivalence from their natural sugars at harvest to yield a completely dry wine of 11% following the initial fermentation of their juices. The second, sometime after 1 January of the year following harvest, adds enough sugar (with yeast) to bring the wine to 12% following a further fermentation in the bottle; this process also provides the bubbles but again typically leaves the wine completely dry, or "nature". The third, at least fifteen months (not 1.5 years) after this second addition, when the yeast has fermented all the sugar in the base wine and has died or become dormant, is the "dosage" and is intended to give not simply "sweetness" but also to optimize the expression (nose, mouth and finish) of the wines in the cuvee being dosed. Of course, in the case of a "nature" wine, there will be no dosage, and the wine remains in the zero sugar state following the second step.

I note too that the sweetness rank given in the article lacks the 0 dosage group known as "brut nature", "non dose", or "dosage zero.". These, obviously, have not been given any sugar dosage at the third stage and contain less than 3 grams of sugar per litre.

GianniBGood (talk) 15:30, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Obviously added sugar plays a big role in determining the sweetness of champagne, but the ripeness of the grapes is a factor too surely, as it would be for any other wine? The article currently says both play a role, which is surely right – if you're starting with riper grapes, you need to add less sugar to get the same end point. As for the terminology, is there not a distinction between phrases of the sort you mention, which are used to indicate that no sugar has been added, and the terms used to describe the end-levels of sweetness? Most of the detail in that section is sourced to the NYT article cited. I'll happily accept that the NYT may have it wrong, and/or that this page may misrepresent exactly what that article says. N-HH talk/edits 15:51, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

I'm glad to have such a prompt response, but perhaps I did not phrase my comment carefully enough. There is no remaining sugar, original grape or otherwise, in the base wine fermented to 11% following the first use of sugar, or chaptalisation, for the primary fermentation. And the sugar which is added in the second stage to produce the bubbles is carefully calibrated to be exhausted at 12%. Any 'sweetness' that is in the final product is a result of the sugar dosage that occurs at the time of degorging the product and preparing it for shipping. It has nothing to do with the original grapes, which actually yield, particularly in the first and highest quality pressing, a very acidic juice which is rather unpleasant to the human palate. I am just back from 5 days of tastings in Champagne, and I have confirmed all this repeatedly with the 12 winemakers whose caves I visited and whose base wines and final products I have tasted.

GianniBGood (talk) 19:36, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

No worries (and I have this page marked, such that any changes to it or the talk page get flagged up whenever I log in). I'm half clued up on much of this – eg the role of chaptalisation in some French wines, and the dosage in champagne, as well as on the fact that champagne base wines would be pretty undrinkable – but was just trying to clarify some of the detail and the process as you describe it, and that the point is, in effect, that at the pre-dosage stage it's always a level playing field in terms of sweetness. Are you aware of any verifiable and reputable/authoritative source that explains this in that way, ideally one that can be used and linked to online as a reference? The next problem for WP is that it can't just take for granted what people say on a talk page, however right they may be, especially when it comes to more obscure technical matters. I looked for something a while back when I worked on this section and it was harder than I expected to find anything. N-HH talk/edits 21:29, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Also, this producer site – "The quantity of residual sugar in the bottled wine (the remaining natural sugar from the grapes, and any sugar that is added)" – and this one – "For the 'Terre de Vertus' Non Dosé', it's simple: we add no sugar at all. Generally speaking, there is about 1 gram of residual sugar anyway. We prefer to favour the maturity of the grapes and their natural sugar rather than adding sugar when the bottles are disgorged" – both appear to suggest that the grapes themselves do have an impact on the residual sugar levels; and that there can be some residual sugar, however little, even without any dosage. As I say, I'm genuinely trying to get the correct answer here, and to find verifiable, third-party material than can be used for footnotes in the article. N-HH talk/edits 21:45, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

I am not a wine chemist, and there well may be some minimal residual sugar in some Champagnes before degorging, but the levels are so low as to be undetectable to a taster and are effectively zero from a human standpoint. The winemaker in question, like most others, has a commercial interest in differentiating their wines, and I would take their claim about 'residual sugar' as so much noise.

On the question of verifiable third-party material, I understand that this is the Wikipedia way and would be happy to see someone run down this issue and settle it with such references. I am not going to do it, however! My original note was simply to point out the need to further control this statement in the article. There are some other points which strike me as incorrect, but this fundamental one about the Champagne-making process seems the most important.

79.0.116.36 (talk) 07:07, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Look closely enough at any WP entry and you'll find it riddled with errors, as well as sloppy writing and bias (that's the problem with trying to build something with amateur – even ignorant, yet committed, in some cases – and often very occasional contributors). Anyway I quickly did what I thought I could with the section a while back and am not sure I want to get stuck in any more either. It may need further elaboration and minor correction but I'm not sure there are any egregious errors in it (I hope). There are a few others who keep an eye on this page, some from the wine project who might be more clued up than me, so we'll see if anyone else picks this point up. Hopefully someone will .. (and feel free to flag up any of the other problems here; all of us doing that is the only way errors get sorted) N-HH talk/edits 08:40, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Samuel Butler[edit]

I reverted this addition originally, as my edit summary clearly explained, not only because it was in an odd place, out of chronological context, but because – quite apart from it being oddly phrased (and with a spelling mistake when originally inserted) – the citation/quote was unsourced and its relevance was not explained. Both those two problems remain. Once it was removed, the burden is on the person adding it to sort that out and explain the point on the talk page rather than simply reinserting it, as they have now done. I'm not going to immediately join in the edit war Wran (talk · contribs) has started, but unless those problems are sorted out, it is problematic content and should be removed, or clarified and sourced. N-HH talk/edits 22:24, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Price range and reputation[edit]

The wines of: Bordeaux wine, Burgundy wine, and Champagne have similar price ranges and reputation.

174.22.10.232 (talk) 12:43, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

See threads above regarding capitalization[edit]

Particularly Champagne is a registered protected name and there is abundant evidence for its common usage AgneCheese/Wine 06:43, 10 January 2014 (UTC)