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France Is Drowning In Champagne As Britain Loses Taste For Bubbly

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/france-is-drowning-in-champagne-as-britain-loses-taste-for-bubbly-9021078.html

Sales of champagne – especially in Britain, its biggest export market – have slumped for the second year in succession.

The continuing economic crisis in Europe and competition from other fizzy wines, especially Italian prosecco, have deflated champagne sales for the last 12 months. Just over 300,000,000 bottles were sold last year, representing a 4.2 per cent reduction on an already flat 2012 and leaving producers with a swelling surplus which is pushing down prices of cheaper champagne labels in British shops.

If the trend continues into 2014, France’s Champagne region may begin to regret its decision to allow the planting, or replanting, of vineyards in 40 new villages in the north-east of the country from 2015. The decision was taken in 2008 when sales were popping.

In 2007 sales set a new a record of 338,700,000 bottles. There were fears that future production would not be able to satisfy the growth in worldwide demand, especially in emerging countries like China, India and Brazil.

That was just before the financial crash of 2008 which has cut demand for the world’s favourite celebratory drink by more than 10 per cent. “As soon as you reduce purchasing power, you reduce Champagne sales,” says Pascal Férat, president of the champagne wine producers’ union.

“Champagne is not something you can give away. When people are down in the dumps, they don’t feel like drinking champagne.” That may not be the whole story, however. There has been a growing trend in Europe – even in France and especially in Britain – away from champagne and towards other sparkling white wines.

I beg to differ I think if it's free people will drink it.

Any suggestions for the French on how to solve this...

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Prosecco tastes better and is generally cheaper. Its not rocket science.

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Prosecco tastes better and is generally cheaper. Its not rocket science.

Still don't feel like celebrating...

Last month there was supposed to be a global wine shortage (exposed as a lie on R4 More or Less).

Apparently vineyards are selling for less than the cost of planting them.

If the champers is any good it will keep. The problem arises from the banksters lending policies preventing companies from just holding inventory until the market picks up. Banks will only lend against last month's receipts leading to an impossible situation for anyone making or growing seasonal goods like Christmas pudding or nice wine.

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There was a report three years ago like this saying the price of champagne would collapse....still waiting.

Supermarkets selling cheap stuff for sub £13.

Do you honestly expect the good stuff to fall in price? Plenty of demand for that I bet.

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I make my own fizz from what ever white wine I get from the home brew shop.

The current batch is Sauvignon Blanc, and it's quite good actually :)

Cost to me was €60 (expensive kit) for 422 litres of sparkling Sauvignon Blanc which I made up in clear 500ml crown cap beer bottles.

Got a €25/21ltr or rose fermenting at the moment, might give that some fizz I think!

Thing is here in Ireland the tax alone on sparkling wine is about €5.50!

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I make my own fizz from what ever white wine I get from the home brew shop.

The current batch is Sauvignon Blanc, and it's quite good actually :)

Cost to me was €60 (expensive kit) for 422 litres of sparkling Sauvignon Blanc which I made up in clear 500ml crown cap beer bottles.

Got a €25/21ltr or rose fermenting at the moment, might give that some fizz I think!

Thing is here in Ireland the tax alone on sparkling wine is about €5.50!

Couple of weeks ago Heston Blum was on TV making fizz with Blue Nun and a soda stream. The punters preferred it to champagne.

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Couple of weeks ago Heston Blum was on TV making fizz with Blue Nun and a soda stream. The punters preferred it to champagne.

I thought about the uding a soda stream, but i'm to tight to buy one, so I rigged up something with a mig welding CO2 bottle which worked quite well.

I just use a mixture of sugar and yeast and let it bottle ferment these days. You get some sediment at the bottle, but it stays there if you chill the bottle.

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I think not. I'd rather take Pol Roger, Bollinger or Taitinger any day of the week.

wot year smartypants?

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What was it the late Hitchens said about life's three most overrated things? Lobster, backdoor sex and champagne? I definitely concur with the champagne part.

He gets my vote with all of those.

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I love fizzy, although don't drink nearly enough of it.

The price of Champagne has risen quite dramatically in recent years. £30 now for a better than entry level bottle. This used to be had for £20 not so long ago.

The fact that decent Prosecco can be had for well under half of this makes it an easy decision much of the time. Prosecco has a purity which can be excellent. Champagne is great too though, Pol Roger is a favourite from what I've tasted so far(non vintage in the main).

Plenty of other French fizzies are worth a look imo, French supermarket sourced Cremant from Loire/Alsace can be pretty reliably good and occassionally excellent, again for a fraction of the price of champers. They are not so common here though, and are often a bit pricey, maybe novelty value.

It used to be the case that you either bought Cava or Asti or Champagne, which the latter being a tenner a bottle more, but drinkable. Now things are much different.

It's a shame champers is pricing itself out of most people's habits, but it has allowed other drinks to get a look in. Sainsbury's "Taste the Difference" Prosecco is very nice, and sometimes on offer for under a tenner. A good buy imo.

Maybe champers is about to become cheaper again, so much the better.

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If its fizzy and you love it clap your hands

If its fizzy and you love it clap your hands

If its fizzy and you love it

and you really want to show it

clap your hands

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Only a name that has an extra price attached to it......blind tasting unbranded and you will find something much better for less snob value....

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Only a name that has an extra price attached to it......blind tasting unbranded and you will find something much better for less snob value....

Yes, the Kiwis, Ozzies and Spanish make fizzy that is IMO better and cheaper.

Fizzy Chardonnay just isn't that complex a taste so there isn't the same difficulty of replicating or beating the complexities of (say) red Burgundy or high quality red Bordeaux.

However as the taste of all wine appears to be a secondary issue for many, the Froggies still seem to have the marketing wrapped up pretty well.

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Never did like champagne. Though I didn't have the nerve to refuse it until relatively recently. And if I ever get to taste posh hundred-quid-a-bottle champagne, who knows?

The French make some gorgeous wines, but also more than their fair share of bad wines. I buy relatively little french wine because the risk of getting something foul is higher than many other countries, both old world (eg Spain, Italy) and new (eg Chile, NZ).

But they're gradually improving. The beaujolais downstairs is all it should be! Maybe champagne has lessons to learn from other wines facing up to competition?

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Supermarkets selling cheap stuff for sub £13.

Do you honestly expect the good stuff to fall in price? Plenty of demand for that I bet.

As long as its cheap its good.

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I think not. I'd rather take Pol Roger, Bollinger or Taitinger any day of the week.

Mmmmm Bollinger :D

Few months ago Costco were doing cases of NV Special Cuvée for £130!

At that price you'd be crazy not to. Limited to 6 cases per customer tho.

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i had a bottle of champagne that cost 150 bucks. Didn't really like it, and couldn't have explained the difference between that and any other kind i had had.

Whiskey is something that you seem to get your moneys worth with. Champagne not so much.

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I work in the food business and the truth is you can give the British anything to eat and drink, and so long as it isn't actually off most people seem to think it's fantastic. The whole place is on taste-bypass it seems, with people more focused on the interior design of restaurants or the look of the food/bottle than what it tastes like - don't think the French will solve that one. Champagne generally much better than alternatives yet people just don't know what they're eating or drinking, so I'd advise the French to focus on Asian market!

With food as with drink - anybody who has any taste in meat would avoid supermarket meat like the plague. They don't - they even want colours (bright white and red) which any chef worth their salt knows to avoid, and they don't appear to worry that the meat is laden with moisture either. So sad.

Actually, I might even be wrong on the first point, thinking about it. A restaurant I am familiar with was serving up off custard the other day - it smelt and tasted like vomit. I tried one mouthful and went to the toilet to spit it out. Nobody else noticed - these were middle class Home Counties diners paying good money for a set menu.

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As long as its cheap its good.

'A bottle of Aldi bubbly which costs just £12.99 has beaten some of the world's most renowned champagnes in a blind taste test.The cut-price supermarket drink was voted by experts as better than other bottles, some of which were ten times more expensive.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2328599/First-10-gin-Aldis-12-99-champagne-trumps-rivals-costing-times-taste-tests.html#ixzz2oKSBLzs8

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