French Champagne makers win court case against German supermarket’s sorbet

French Champagne makers win court case against German supermarket's sorbet
France's Champagne makers are vociferous in defence on their product. Photo: Fred Dufour/AFP
A dessert cannot be called Champagne flavoured if it doesn't taste like the sparkling wine, a German court said in a ruling in favour of French vintners published Thursday.

After a years-long legal battle that went all the way to the European Court of Justice, German supermarket chain Aldi Sued lost before Munich’s superior regional court in its bid to defend its champagne sorbet product.

The tribunal accepted the French plaintiffs’ argument that the frozen dessert did not taste like Champagne but more like pear “followed by sugar, citric acid and a touch of alcohol”.

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It agreed that the sorbet, which is no longer on the market, “did not exhibit the taste conjured by Champagne being the main ingredient”.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) had ruled in 2017 against France’s committee of Champagne producers (CIVC) seeking a ban on Aldi stores selling the product, which contains only 12 percent sparkling wine.

The ECJ had been asked to decide on the narrow question of whether the designation violated the EU’s “Protected Designation of Origin” status given to the likes of Italian Parma ham, Spanish rioja wine and Greek feta cheese.

It said Aldi’s champagne sorbet did not violate that rule protecting the iconic French sparkling wine but it left the final decision on the Aldi product’s truth in advertising to the German court.

The ruling is now final.


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