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Fizz goes out of the Champagne market? - Off in the distance
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The Bellinghman
Date: 2010-03-16 11:36
Subject: Fizz goes out of the Champagne market?
Security: Public
UK consumers drank the same amount of the drink as the US, Germany and Belgium combined, the figures showed. (BBC)

Well, yes. I'm not quite sure why they chose Belgium in that grouping, but if the UK drinks much more Champagne than the US does, that's probably because you can get home grown fizzy stuff in the US (that sometimes calls itself champagne, too), so why import the real stuff? And Germany also has some rather nice froth. If a country wishes to drink fizz, and doesn't grow any appreciable amount, then it'll have to import it. And it's going to import it from nearby countries by preference. Which, for the UK, means France. And by the time you've got to drinking French fizz, you will probably be close to getting Champagne itself.

Belgium, yes, they will have to import, too. But they're a sixth of the British population, so it's to be expected they import less. I wonder how the per-capita figures compare.
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Sarcasticia Nitpickerson
User: tisiphone
Date: 2010-03-16 11:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There's a huge cost difference in proper Champagne between the US and the UK, I think. I admit to having only glancing knowledge of mid-range Champagne pricing, but I'm reasonably sure a £20 bottle there will run you $50 here. We also just don't have the selection of mid-range fizz here.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-03-16 11:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Shipping heavy glass bottles across the Atlantic will never be cheap, compared to internal distribution, and that's part of the difference. In addition, the cheaper Champagnes will probably end up in the UK - why ship them all the way to the US if you can sell them locally? You'll probably only want to send the premium stuff that far.

(Oz, though - well, everything's a long way.)

And yes, the mid-range fizz market here is partially Champagne's territory, even though there are often better wines for the same price.
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User: silly_swordsman
Date: 2010-03-16 11:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There's planty of German and Italian fizz at Tesco, and non-Champagne French fizz, too. But I guess they're singling Champagne out because of the brand cachet.

In the US, I think they're actually allowed to call their Californian fizz Champagne, after they sold wine stock back to France in the early 20th century.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-03-16 12:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There's not as much German and Italian fizz as there could be though. Some, yes. But you'll probably find as much Oz stuff.

And yes, Champagne is a cachet brand. That some US winemakers may call their product that is like Cypriot Sherries - winemakers will often name a wine according to its style, even when that style is named after a very specific place. It takes pressure from the producers of a place to get their name protected, and not all legislatures are as quick to move as others. (In the case of Cyprus, the producers had the EU lean on them, and Cyprus would rather not have that happen.)
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Laura Anne Gilman: citron presse
User: suricattus
Date: 2010-03-16 12:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:citron presse
Well, over here you can get a range of American sparklings (some very good, some not so good), plus Spanish Cava and Italian Prosecco (my favorite), so the choices are pretty wide, in addition to the French offerings. Everyone develops their preferences.

I'm unusual in having a few bottles to-hand at all times, though -- most Americans restrict sparkling wines to celebrations.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-03-16 12:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm not sure how much US fizz we get over here - I think that when it gets to the New World, it's the Aussies that dominate, though Lindauer from NZ makes a strong showing too. I think we get a bit stuffy about Prosecco, possibly for historical reasons, because yes, it is quite nice.

(Maybe not as nice as our favourite Champagnes, mind you.)

We tend to have a number of bottles of different Champagnes in the rack, of varying qualities, as well as some other nations' offerings (some sparkling Weißherbst we bought in Baden, for example). We don't drink fizz as often as the still wines, but come summer, it'll be out.

Back in 2000, when Mumm released its new 1995 vintage, we went to the British launch where we also tasted and really liked the 1990 vintage. Shortly afterwards, I noticed that Tesco was selling off the 1990 at half price, since it was now superseded.

I cleared out three branches.
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Jonathan Lewis-Jones
User: j_lj
Date: 2010-03-16 13:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I quite like Lindauer, we used to drink it a lot during 2004-2005 when the price for a bottle in our local pub was cheaper than in the supermarket.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-03-16 13:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It is rather wonderful when that sort of thing happens.
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Sarcasticia Nitpickerson
User: tisiphone
Date: 2010-03-16 13:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We also get South American vinho verde, which I actually prefer to the Portuguese.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-03-16 13:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ooo, sounds interesting. Again, that's a wine type that has a bit of a naff reputation here, possibly fairly, possibly unfairly.

Which country does that come from? (It being yet another protected name, I'd have to guess what it'd be called if you could get it here.)
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Sarcasticia Nitpickerson
User: tisiphone
Date: 2010-03-16 13:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've seen varieties from Brazil and Argentina.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-03-16 13:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I was guessing Argentina as the highest likelihood. Brazil makes sense, being the great Portuguese colony, but I wasn't sure how much of a wine export industry they have.
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Sarcasticia Nitpickerson
User: tisiphone
Date: 2010-03-16 13:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We get a fair amount of Brazilian wines here, mostly lighter reds from the southern mountains I think, but Argentina is also a great producer, so is Chile (they just don't do bubbly much). In recent years, there's been some entry of Uruguayan wines, which range from really exceptional (especially for the price) to absolute dreck. South American wines are, IMO, similar to what you get from Spain and Hungary.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-03-16 13:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
From South America, we mostly get Chilean wines, and they're pretty consistently good value. Argentina is, I guess, in second place as far as getting their wines over here is concerned.
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Sarcasticia Nitpickerson
User: tisiphone
Date: 2010-03-16 13:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Agreed re: the value - Chilean wines are one of my first picks for a decent cooking or table wine.
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Laura Anne Gilman: wine.  dude.
User: suricattus
Date: 2010-03-16 14:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:wine. dude.
Same here -- I am very fond of South American wines, especially (surprisingly) the whites. I'm hearing terrible thing about the post-quake industry, though. :-(
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-03-16 14:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh I do hope they pull through.

As for white wines, I now rather wish you'd had a chance to taste the Alsatian Riesling I ordered at the Jaipur. No oak, if that happens to be what you dislike about whites.
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