F. Scott Fitzgerald once said “too much of anything is bad, but too much champagne is just right”. It’s a sentiment we’ll always heartily raise a coupe (or three) to. And now, with the summer celebratory just around the corner, it seems like as good a time as any to ask the experts to give us their predictions for what 2019 has in store for champagne.
From biodiversity to developing sustainable production practises, to a growing popularity amongst younger drinkers — these are the key trends to watch out for this year.
Champagne will continue to attract investors...
According to Master of Wine, Mark Bingley, fine wine investors are starting to follow the top champagnes for their development as mature wines and their investment value potential. “Just look at the excitement over the Cristal 2008 vintage,” he tells us.
Director of Champagne Bollinger UK, Victoria Carfantan, describes a similar advancement. “Prestige cuvées and hand crafted wines are gaining more and more traction with fine wine investors,” she explains, “and the hand-crafted nature of Champagne Bollinger makes it particularly attractive.”
Younger drinkers are shaking things up…
With teetotalism at a record high amongst young people, the alcohol market is experiencing a huge shift in market demands. “There is a significant move amongst younger drinkers to drink less, but drink better,” says Bingley. “Increasingly, they are starting to view champagne as a fine wine, and a food-worthy one — rather than simply a drink to raise a toast with.”
And it isn’t simply that young people are drinking less. According to Bingley, they are also making more conscious decisions about the houses they are buying from. “The new generation of drinkers are looking away from the strong, historically dominant Houses, whose messages have based on lifestyle marketing.
“Instead, they are ready to drink champagne from smaller growers, or houses such as Roederer who show authenticity, quality, sustainability and innovation.”
The spotlight is on sustainability…
In recent years, alcohol producers have started to take a hard look at the sustainability of their practices and processes. After all, as an industry dependent on healthy ecosystems, turning a blind eye to sustainable agriculture simply isn’t an option.
Willem Pinçon, the Senior Brand Manager at Charles Heidsieck tells us that this has been a focus for his company for a long time. “As with all industries, our focus, more so than ever, is on sustainability and the environment,” he says.
Recently, The Comité Champagne has addressed the challenges of climate change, particularly in preparing vineyards for the changing environments. “They have now even expressed desires to have 100% of producers certified sustainable by 2030,” Pinçon tells us.
Our pick of the best...
If all this talk of fizz and the lovely spring sunshine has whet your appetite and inspired you to pop a cork this weekend, then allow us to recommend these bottles for a guarantee on a good time.
Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Blancs
Bollinger La Grande Année 2008
Louis Roederer Brut Premier
Looking for more champagne? We headed to the launch of Bollinger La Grand Année 2008…