And finally… crystal clear

A London winery is facing legal action from one of France’s best-known champagne houses over its use of the name “Crystal”.

Renegade Urban Winery sells Crystal — named for customer Crystal Lai, who is also pictured on the bottle — on its website for £27 a pop.

However, Louis Roederer, founded in 1776, claims the product infringes on the trademark of its Cristal Champagne brand, The Drinks Business reports.

Cristal, which sells for £300 per bottle, was created in 1876 for Russian tsar Alexander II and was not available commercially until 1945.

Warwick Smith, owner of Renegade Urban Winery, said he was caught off-guard by the legal letter which triggered “the third battle of Champagne”.

“In terms of Cristal, I think they sell 300-400,000 bottles a year, you know, and our maximum production capacity across our entire range is about 70,000 bottles,” he added.

“They said that we have infringed their trademark, even though the spelling’s different. The wine colours are different. Ours is not champagne, theirs is. The grapes are different, the labels different. The spelling and pronunciation is different. It’s bizarre.”

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