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Champagne sales swell after three-year lull

Published:  26 October, 2012

Sales of premium Champagne are hitting record highs again after a three-year lull, according to key industry figures.

Sales of premium Champagne are hitting record highs again after a three-year lull, according to key industry figures.

The London on-trade is ordering vast quantities of top brands, while the trend is also being replicated globally as Liv-ex and Bordeaux Index also posting record increases.

Richard Brierley of luxury drinks specialist Vanquish Wine told Harpers: "There is definitely more Champagne going out of the office into central London than there has been in the past three years. It's almost to the point where one can't keep up with the demand."

He said the capital's top nightspots were regularly putting in a rush of last minute orders for "cases and cases of Dom Perignon, Cristal and Krug". He added that they were also looking for more expensive rosé variants, magnums and larger formats.

Vanquish's private buyers are still going for Dom Perignon 2002 and large quantities of 2003, "especially in the last few weeks".

People are beginning to "enjoy the good stuff again", said Brierley, adding that drinking a bottle of Dom Perignon at home - for £110 - could "seem like a bargain". "It's a definite luxury, but a really affordable way to have a good time," Brierley added.

Liv-ex's Jack Hibberd said: "Champagne's share of trade on Liv-ex has doubled year-on-year. It is now at its highest level since 2008.

"In both value and volume terms Taittinger Comtes has seen the heaviest trade in the year to date, accounting for almost a third of trades."

Meanwhile fine wine merchant Bordeaux Index has already beaten its Champagne sales target for the year, reaching £5 million worth of sales two months ahead of schedule.

"Our previous best in Champagne was just under £4m in 2008," said Bordeaux Index founder Gary Boom. "Even through the boom years of 2010-2011 we were only selling around £2.5m per year, so this represents a major shift in focus for our clients."

He said some of the older vintages represented great opportunities for investment, especially given the "relative decline of interest in Bordeaux".

"The market tends to consume the current available vintage, particularly through bars, nightclubs and restaurants. This means that great vintages of the most prestigious Champagnes have genuine investment potential.

If you are experiencing similar growth with Champagne, contact us, or join the Tweet-up with Francoise Peretti, head of the Champagne Bureau, live on Twitter now using @Harperswine and the Champagne Bureau's @Champagne_UK, as well as hashtags #Champagneday and #Champagneday12.