In this encouraged age of austerity it’s not surprising that Britain is feeling the pinch after it emerged that sales of sparkling wine will overtake those of Champagne for the first time ever this year.
Sales figures for Champagne
have fallen by a third, while in comparison sales for sparkling wines such Cava
have risen by over 50 per cent in the United Kingdom.
In 2007 and prior to the credit crisis the UK spent a cork popping £1billion on Champagne, yet that figure is expected to fall to by 32 per cent and to less than £700million this year. For the first time ever in Britain, Champagne is trailing its rivals as other sparkling wines are up 55% over the same period, to £720million.
The Daily Telegraph
suggests a quarter of Britons feel Champagne is too expensive given the current climate, while a fifth suggests the drink is now an “unnecessary indulgence”.
Mintel forecast that this is a trend to set to continue, with Champagne sales falling to £609 million by 2017 and sales of sparkling wine rising to £835 million.
Champagne has seemingly suffered from its close association with the decadence of the City and flash bankers, while consumers are patently looking to enjoy luxury in more accessible and affordable ways.
The Daily Telegraph intimate Champagne’s malaise has possibly been compounded by the increase in the number of domestic vineyards now producing superb sparkling wines.
“Champagne has a very special place in the world, but people do buy the labels rather than the wine. Since 2000 English sparkling wines have started to win awards and that has given us coverage. People have started to see that English sparkling wine is as good as Champagne,” Mike Roberts, founder of Ridgeview Wine Estate, a Sussex-based winemaker, told the aforementioned source.