July 30, 2007
Mouse Roars, Rat Retreats

What wine goes with "Ratatouille"? None, according to a weekend edition of the Los Angeles Times, which I'm just catching up with after several days in Indiana. According to the report, officials of Walt Disney Co. and Costco Wholesale Corp. have scuttled plans to release a "Ratatouille" wine that would feature on the label the film's star, Remy, a rat that aspires to be a Parisian chef.

They took the action after authorities of the California trade-group Wine Institute pointed out that the use of a cartoon character on a label appeared to violate the group's code of advertising standards. The code, in effect since 1949, frowns on using cartoon characters and other promotional methods that could be seen as encouraging underage drinking.

That the "Ratatouille" wine was to be a 2004 chardonnay from France's Burgundy region rather than a California wine was "immaterial" to the Wine Institute's position, said organization spokeswoman Nancy Light.

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