Meanwhile in Russia: Vladimir Putin Doesn’t Want It to Be Labeled ‘Champagne’ Anymore, Prefers ‘Bubbly Death Juice’

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov / Contributor (Getty Images)

If you know anything about the alcohol world, you likely know a few things that are cold, hard facts. One is that bourbon can only be made in the US. Another is that Scotch is only made in Scotland. Tequila can only be made in Jalisco (and a few other states) in Mexico. The last two undeniable facts deal exclusively with French products. While brandy can be made anywhere in the world, to be called Cognac, the spirit must be made in the region of the same name. This brings us to possibly the biggest fact in the alcohol world. All Champagne must be made in the region of the same name in France. That last bit of trivia apparently never reached the desk of Vladimir Putin because he strongly disagrees.

A few weeks ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a piece of legislation that makes absolutely no sense to the rest of the world, specifically France. That’s because he put his signature on an act that not only says sparkling wine from the renowned French region isn’t Champagne but says that only wine made in Russia can carry that title. Confused yet? So are we.

According to the new rule, all other fizzy wines (including actual Champagne) must only be referred to as sparkling wine. Initially, Moët Hennessy, one of the largest Champagne producers said they wouldn’t send any of their wines to Russia. But realizing the obvious eventual loss of a huge market, they decided to relabel all of their Champagne as “sparkling wine” before sending it to Russia.

Who knows if this is just Putin trolling the rest of the world just because he can or an attempt to give props to Russian-made wine. Either way, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the wine world reacts to this extremely confusing turn of events.