Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Champagne is from France.

John Kay explains why you can buy American champagne and port:
Woodrow Wilson's failure to persuade the US Senate to join the League of Nations had effects on the champagne market that outlasted the League itself. Keynes made coruscating criticism of the treaty of Versailles in The Economic Consequences of the Peace. He did not refer, however, to the treaty's petty, vindictive attack on German wine growers that rewrote international agreements on wine labelling. America's failure to ratify the treaty meant failure to recognise the legal status of French champagne. In 1921 it was illegal to sell champagne in the US under any label so this did not matter much, but today the growers advertise extensively to persuade readers of The New Yorker and Vanity Fair that only the French product is the real thing.
John Kay, "From price bubbles to flat sales: the story of champagne," Financial Times 13 (Dec. 19, 2006).

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