Guest blog post by Megan A. Cosgrove and Carissa L. Bouwer. Megan and Carissa are summer associates in the Sacramento office of DLA Piper. They attend University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and will graduate in 2012.
Last weekend, we decided to host a wine and cheese party for a small group of friends. We ran down the list of everything we needed. Small plates? Check. Wine glasses? Check. Napkins? Check. Those little wine glass charms so people can identify their glasses? Check check. Brie? Check. Parmesan? Che…wait…we have a hard white pungent cheese, but I’m not sure that it’s from Parma. Does it need to be? And that pastry…we can’t just assume it’s Cornish. What if it’s not? We’d be liars. All of our closest friends would find out that our Cornish pastries weren’t from the UK and they would never come back for wine, cheese, and delish appetizers again.
Perhaps this isn’t a conversation you’ve had before a party. But let’s be honest, our tastes, and our conversations, have changed quite a bit since our college days. I’m pretty sure I never bothered asking where the beer in that keg came from, but it might be time we ask where our wine, cheese, and other food products come from. And interestingly enough, the birthplace of many foods and beverages we consume are actually revealed in the name. And a lot of imposters are going to have to change.
In 2000, the California Legislature agreed with Napa Valley wine producers that the term “Napa” signified quality in wine. They were concerned that novice wine buyers would be duped into paying more for a lower quality wine if the term “Napa” did not designate that the wine was actually from the well-known grape growing region of California. As a result, the legislature passed Bus. & Prof. Code § 25241, providing that wine made from grapes grown in other regions could not be branded “Napa wines.”