The Ideal Wine Company can report that Ukraine has recently introduced a law which has forced a sparkling wine producer called ‘Soviet Champagne’ to change its name.
Champagne is so luxurious, so prestigious, that its production is protected by law. French industry body Le Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC) demands that producers adhere to a strict set of guidelines in order to win the right to label their product ‘Champagne.’ For example, it must be made in the Champagne region of France, for which the drink is named.
Use of the word ‘Champagne’ is legally regulated in more than 70 countries. This includes those which comprise the European Union, Australia, Chile, Brazil and Canada. Back before the fall of the Berlin Wall, as a communist country the USSR (also known as the ‘Soviet Union’) was an exception to this rule. Sparkling wine producers in the country were perfectly free to label their bottles ‘Champagne.’
At least one certainly did. The ‘Sovetskoye Shampanskoye,’ (Soviet Champagne) brand was founded and first bottled in 1928. The product was typically made from a blend of Chardonnay and Aligoté grapes.
The state made Soviet Champagne throughout the remainder of the Communist era and it became extremely popular with citizens across the Union, because it provided a more cost effective alternative to the real thing. The Soviet Union fell in 1991 but its Champagne survived. Private corporations in Russia, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine bought the rights to Soviet Champagne, and they’ve been making it ever since.
Online alcohol publication The Drinks Business reported that this has now changed in Ukraine. Last May, the country enacted a ‘decommunisation law’ which bans any street, town or product in Ukraine from having names which “glorify communism.” The law also makes it illegal to deny “criminal character of the communist totalitarian regime of 1917-1991 in Ukraine” according to the Guardian.
Soviet Champagne didn’t act immediately. However, now they’ve renamed their company ‘Sovietov’ taking just the smallest of steps away from their Soviet heritage. Commenting on the news, the company said: “We have taken this step to save one of the main traditions of the New Year celebration.” The drink was always a popular choice at Soviet New Year’s celebrations.
Try real Champagne
There’s no substitute for the real thing – for Champagne made in the French region for which the tipple is named, according to CIVC regulations. If you want to sample real Champagne, why don’t you purchase the Dom Perignon Brut 1993 from the Ideal Wine Company right now? It’ll blow you away!