Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Champagne Prices Going Through The Roof – Or Are They?

I spotted that Decanter has reported that prices of prestige cuvees from top Champagne houses are continuing to rise at an unstoppable rate, despite the current economic downturn. Apparently there has been an increase in value of 27% over the past 12 months. The price hike is said to be down to increased consumption and dwindling stocks as demand for top Champagnes such as Krug, Dom Perignon and Cristal is expanding beyond traditional markets.

The Champagne region has recently agreed to expand its borders to cope with the surge in demand. Forty communes are to receive champagne growing status, chosen because they can prove that they grew grapes in the past and because their geography, and geology, compare closely with the 317 existing champagne villages. If the grape supply doesn't expand, the French champagne houses say, the rising price for French bubbly could produce a consumer backlash affecting the industry for years to come.

However for those in “the know” Champagne doesn't have to break the bank. Nick buys our Champagnes from Philippe Seconde whose vineyards are one of the 17 premier cru vineyards that make top quality Champagnes. When you think that there are some 300 Champagne Houses and over 15,000 vignerons (vine growing producers) in Champagne it is quite an achievement to be one of the top 17. You will also be pleased to know that Philippe is not raising his prices to the percentages the larger brands of champagnes are advocating!

The problem is that people are blinded by brands. Philippe's Champagne is as good as – if not better – than his close neighbours Moet & Chandon and Taittinger. However people tend to opt for the more expensive brand names as everyone knows them. If people are too brand conscious they miss out on potentially better quality wines and champagnes on the market. If you know your subject you can find some superb champagnes and that's where Nick comes in – he makes it his business to discover lesser known wines and champagnes that the UK has not had the advantage of buying.

So if you were feeling disheartened as your favourite tipple looks as if it is going to price itself out of your reach check out the online wine shop and discover some fantastic champagne today!

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