Recession Red, Table Wine

Three out of three West Coast vintners agree it’s a recession. Of these, The Ross Valley Winery (of San Anselmo, CA) was first, with TTB approval on May 6, 2008. Concannon Vineyard (of Livermore, CA) was second, with approval on June 3, 2008. TTB approved the label for Woods Lake Winery (of Woodinville, WA) on October 2, 2008.

This tends to show the common, simultaneous rush to grab onto a promising new trend. It also raises the question of how US trademark law would or should handle several wineries embracing one brand name at about the same time.

Update:  Comment from a veteran trademark lawyer.

In this case, the three West coast wineries probably should have conducted trademark searches for RECESSION RED. Had they done so, they would have found that a Sea Cliff, New York company, Books & Tomatoes, Inc., filed a trademark application in March 2008 to register the mark RECESSION RED for wine. This application may cause these other wineries some difficulty. More…

How Long Until Cuban Rum?

If the US Government is warming up to North Korea, how much longer can it be until Cuban Rum is back? TTB has started to allow a small number of products from North Korea, and the news a few days ago is that this is part of a broader US-North Korea cooperation. Does anyone find the D in DPR a tad misleading? A good trend or bad?

We’ll go way out on a limb and foolishly boldly predict that Cuban Rum will be back in the US (legally) within two years, after an almost 50-year absence. The story is documented in this new book:  “Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause.”

Crystal Head Vodka

We thought it would be good to have a tag for unusual containers, and this would rather appear to fit the bill. This is Dan Aykroyd’s new vodka. Many thanks to Rob Masters, Distiller at Colorado Pure Distilling, for alerting us to this. The Intoxicologist and Dan explain.

Chardonnay with Eggs and a Bit of Fish Protein

If the above sounds grotesque, you may need to get used to it. Egg whites, fish protein and milk are commonly used in alcohol beverages. New allergen rules may require much more frequent disclosure, on many more labels in the near future. TTB’s qualification says “The disclosure of allergens used in this product is voluntary, pending final rulemaking (See Notice No. 62, 71 FR 42329).”

Not Port Wine from Portugal

It appears that this winery was not allowed to call their 17.1% alc./vol. dessert wine a Port Wine, because it’s made and bottled in Florida rather than Portugal. But rather than give up and call it something boring, they found a witty but fairly subtle and lawyerly way to get their point across.

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