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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Culinary no-no #311

Culinary no-no's



In the Disney foodie movie “Ratatoullie,” the only female chef in Gusteau's restaurant is Colette.

Ratatouille - COLETTE (Voiced by Janeane Garofalo)

The strong-willed character offered this humorous line:

“I hate to be rude but, we’re French.”

The snooty French have long had a reputation of being snobby. They egotistically believe they’re solely responsible for excellent cuisine and wine.

(The 2009 inaugural luncheon)

The choice to serve this at President Obama’s inaugural luncheon next week has some people’s snail shells unraveling.

Korbel Natural, 750ml

The French hate when ugly Americans, or anyone else for that matter, refer to sparkling wine or other bottled bubbly as “champagne.”

The US Champagne Bureau describes itself on its website:

"The Champagne Bureau located in Washington, DC, is the U.S. representative of the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), the trade association that represents all the grape growers and houses of Champagne, France. The Bureau works to educate US consumers about the uniqueness of the wines of Champagne and expand their understanding of the importance location plays in the creation of all wines. We are intently focused on ensuring Champagne is properly protected in the United States, as it is in most of the rest of the world."

Note the label on the above Korbel bottle. Sam Heitner is with the Champagne Bureau. You can just imagine his nose scraping the ceiling when he says, "Champagne only comes from Champagne, France."

Heitner is correct and is demanding inaugural officials cease calling the Korbel libation “champagne.”

MSN Money points out US law provides a technicality that “dictates that the word can be applied only to sparkling wines produced before 2006, as long as their point of origin is clearly spelled out on the label.”

Writing for MSN Money, Jason Notte offers biting and rather humorous sarcasm at this international rhubarb:

“Just to illustrate how the Champagne Bureau spends its time when not sniffing at tourists who mispronounce coq au vin or chasing a female cat that's accidentally had white paint spilled down its back, the industry group scolded the inaugural committee for recklessly throwing around the word ‘champagne’ on its luncheon menu…For now, France itself is sitting out this bubbly battle, as it is far too preoccupied with its transition back to a socialist government and the tax-driven departure of actor Gerard Depardieu to notice.”

To be fair to France, they've assumed the role of Sweden, sitting it out on the sidelines while the lobbyists for their bubbly wage battle. But c’mon. You know that across the pond they regard Korbel as mouthwash, so much swill.

Granted, I’m no expert. But I’ve sampled real champagne, oui, oui, and Korbel’s California Champagne. Here’s guessing that if you conducted a blind taste test, a lot of sippers would swear the stuff on the tables at the inaugural luncheon came from the land of bouillabaisse.

Few of us have the wallets to pop for authentic champagne on a regular basis. But there are plenty who will drop big bucks for outrageously pricey potables. That must be some pretty smooth Scotch that Lyle Shellenberg purchased last week. 




I doubt I’ll ever experience any liquor with a price tag of five digits. And that’s ok. Don’t need to. Reminds me of a story that involves my wife, Jennifer. We were on vacation in Orlando.


Following dinner one night we decided on a nightcap in the hotel's Velvet Bar.



Jennifer clearly, succinctly ordered some Remy Martin, just the standard variety. Our very young cocktail waitress didn’t inquire any further and then disappeared for some time. Our drinks eventually came as did our bill that had my jaw on the swanky Velvet Bar floor.

Jennifer’s Remy Martin wasn’t Remy Martin. It was Louis XIII Remy Martin with high class sticker shock of around $125.00.

I calmly and very nicely told our waitress we had not ordered Louis XIII. She said I never specified. “Then shouldn’t you have asked?” I replied.

The same explanation was given to a manager who intervened and I was not charged the Louis XIII price. Even though I implored the manager not to punish our waitress, my bet was she was let go at closing time.

As for Jennifer’s Louis XIII? I just had to know.

“Tasted just like regular Remy,” she said.


Why no one should go hungry.

Is she serious?

ELVIS food lives on.

Speaking of Jennifer, check out her Culinary yes-yes blog.

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