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December 28, 2011 09:50 PM

Champagne Sales Sparkle

Sioux Falls, SD


With New Year's Eve just around the corner, it's time to break out the bubbly. 
In a sign of better economic times, Champagne sales are soaring.

When it comes to the economy, you can look at the glass as half empty.  But if you're measuring it by champagne, the glass is half full. Champagne sales are sparkling this holiday season.

"It's nice to see that more and more people are considering that for their holidays. We've seen an increase in buying prior to Christmas, which is always nice to see. Our big time frame is the eight days prior to New Year's Eve. If you're going to have sparkling, you're going to have it on New Year's Eve," Heather Taylor Boysen, owner of Good Spirits Fine Wine & Liquor, said.

In fact, shipments of Champagne were up 22 percent in the first half of this year compared to last, with nearly 8 million bottles coming into the U.S.

"I'm seeing a little more consumer confidence, which as a retailer is always nice to see. You can breathe a sigh of relief and say, 'Maybe we are over the hump,'" Taylor Boysen said. 

People are willing to spend a little more, between $30 and $50 a bottle.

"It's still that $15-$20 mark, still ideal. But we are seeing consumers familiar with products and understand what they are willing to spend a few more dollars to get that special bottle for this year," Taylor Boysen said.

Of course, Champagne can run much more, like a $279 bottle of Cristal. But even so, Boysen says she'll sell about 20 of them this year.

"I think people are not afraid to spend some money on themselves and that's a good thing to see. If you're going to celebrate the holidays, it's all about family and being together and maybe people are saying, 'I deserve a treat this year,'" Taylor Boysen said.

The wine industry is trying to encourage sparkling wines and Champagnes for drinking when it's not just a special occasion, hoping to boost sales even more.
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