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Pineapple Wine

Here is wine made from pineapples, rather than grape wine with pineapple flavor. The above wine is produced and bottled by Florida Orange Groves of St. Petersburg, Florida. A second example is made in Thailand and imported by Radee Wine of Sacramento, California.

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fruit wine, sparkling wine


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Champortini

On many labels, it can be difficult to draw the line. For example, it is tough to say whether this PimpnHo label (also by Weibel) goes too far.

But then again, it is fairly clear that Champortini went quite a bit too far.

It suggests Champagne but does not qualify to be labeled as Champagne. It suggests Port but does not qualify as Port. It sounds a lot like martini, but has none of the traditional martini ingredients. This puts the brand out in some rough waters, without the safe harbor of an approval before the crucial 2006 grandfather date set forth here.

Any one of these issues might have been enough to sink this brand, but putting all these issues together, it would be a great surprise if the brand did not sink. It apparently lasted from April 27, 2007 (the date of the first approval) until a little after February 20, 2008 (the date of the third and final approval, as above). There is no trace of this brand’s survival at the Champortini website shown on the label.

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sparkling wine


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Mommy’s Little Helper

helper

Mommy is having a Midlife Crisis. Mommy’s Time Out is here to help, thank goodness.

More than forty years ago, the Rolling Stones astutely identified this trend in “Mother’s Little Helper“:

She goes running for the shelter
of a mother’s little helper
And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day
“Things are different today”
I hear every mother say.

The song tells the tale of a “little yellow pill” that helps mom through her busy day. Along comes Oskar Blues Brewery with Mama’s Little Yella Pils beer. It’s not exactly what Keith Richards and Mick Jagger had in mind (Valium or Quaaludes, according to this).

Even Santa needs some help from time to time.

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malt beverage, sparkling wine, wine


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Goes Well with Strippers

Click for Strip Tease COLA

Plenty of labels with teasing, pimps and strippers. I will go out on a limb and commend the photo on the left. It’s about as “tasteful” and arty as a “strip tease” label should be, in our opinion. And, she’s not so skinny as the woman to her right. I am not so sure I’d go out on the same limb for the imagery on the right, but it’s undoubtedly a fine choice if you’re in the market for an almond flavored grape wine (and much classier than this one). Strip Tease is Argentina sparkling red wine. VIP Almond Sparkle is made by Weibel in California.

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sparkling wine, wine, wine specialty


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Champagne Battle Spills into Time Magazine

We never thought we’d see a TTB controversy make it into a big ad in the national media — let alone a full page ad in Time Magazine. The yellow ad is on page 69 of the December 29, 2008 “Person of the Year” double issue and it covers the entire page.

The French Office of Champagne is not at all pleased that some non-French wines qualify to be called Champagne, under US law. The ad says “Masquerading as Champagne … isn’t fair. … A legal loophole allows” some names to be misused.

In 2006, after many years of negotiations between the US and the European Union, and agreement, TTB set forth the current US rule in TTB Industry Circular 2006-1:

the U.S. made a commitment to seek to change the legal status of [terms like Champagne] to restrict their use solely to wines originating in the applicable EU member state, with certain exceptions. Because the IRC specifically defines semi-generic names, this law must be changed in order to restrict the usage of the names to wines originating in the EU. Assuming the law is so changed, the Agreement contains an exception to this rule. We refer to this exception as the “grandfather” provision. Under the “grandfather” provision, any person or his or her successor in interest may continue to use a semi-generic name or Retsina on a label of a wine not originating in the EU, provided the semi-generic name or Retsina is only used on labels for wine bearing the same brand name, or the brand name and the fanciful name, if any, that appear on a COLA that was issued prior to March 10, 2006.

E. & J. Gallo appears to have been very deft in navigating this elaborate path, to preserving the term Champagne on its top-selling brands such as Barefoot (above), Tott’s, Andre, and Ballatore. Box 19 of the Barefoot COLA shows that TTB grandfathered this brand.

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sparkling wine


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