Ah, “trademark violations.” Or whatever they go by in other countries. Here, you get a court date. In the international wine world, you get a cease and desist order. Or something like that, in the Cristalino Cava vs. Cristal battle, which has been taking place in the champagne world since 2006.

So what happened? Cristal claimed trademark infringement and dilution over the similarly named Cristalino (read the full trial brief here). An entertaining boxing match-up, as Cristal costs several hundred dollars even at its best bargain moment, while Cristalino is (was?) a mere $10 or so.

Such is the typical American story — only this one involves a French (Cristal) vs. Spain (Cristalino) face-off. The affordable guy lost.

Which simply means that Cristalino is now known as “Jaume Serra Cristalino” for all those late night toasts' sake. And you know, that rosé actually isn't half bad (but the extra-dry, $7 locally, is better).

For less than $10 a pop, we say, by all means, buy two bottles, three, even. Use them to make a Cava cocktail. Just be sure to clarify to your guests that this is a “Jaume Serra” cocktail, not just any old Cava. We'd hate for 2011 to begin with another court date.

LA Weekly