Franco-American relations are being strained by plans to serve California "champagne" at an inauguration banquet honoring reelected President Barack Obama.
The menu's dessert listing calls for "Korbel Natural, Special Inaugural Cuvee Champagne, California."
The Champagne Bureau, a Washington lobby for the French Champagne industry, is frothing like a newly opened magnum of Chateau de Rothschild.
Real Champagne, the bureau insists, can only come from the region of Champagne, France, and bubbly from anywhere else should only claim to be "sparkling wine," no matter how good it tastes.
Sam Heitner, the bureau's director, is writing a letter of protest to the luncheon's host, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, and its chairman, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), according to the Hill, a publication that covers Congress. The international brouhaha was first reported by the French news service Agence France-Presse.