Champagne sales pop as people take to celebrating again

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Champagne sales are starting to bubble up again as more people get vaccinated, freeing them up to clink glasses at weddings, bar mitzvahs and other festive occasions.

During the four weeks that ended March 27, champagne sales in the US popped 88.5 percent over last year, according to NielsonIQ.

And on Tuesday, LVMH — owner of Veuve Clicquot, Moet & Chandon and half of Jay-Z’s Armand de Brignac champagne brand — reported a whopping 22 percent rise in its bubbly sales for the first three months of the year. That’s a gain of 15 percent over even its 2019’s first quarter, LVMH said Tuesday.

Last year the French conglomerate, which also owns fashion brands like Christian Dior and Givenchy, reported a 17 percent decline in its champagne sales, including a massive 33 percent drop in the second quarter as its two biggest markets — Europe and the US — implemented widespread lockdown orders to curb the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Bottles of "Armand de Brignac" Champagne
Jay-Z’s Armand de Brignac champagne brand.
AFP via Getty Images

Industry experts say they see sales of the bubbly stuff continuing to sparkle as more people who have been hunkered down at home for the better part of a year return to normal life. In fact, demand for champagne appears to be bouncing back so quickly following a global sales decline of 18 percent in 2020 that some distributors are having trouble securing cases for their customers.

“We’re barely keeping the popular champagnes in stock like Veuve Cliquot and Dom Perignon,” said Harry Kurazyan, general manager of Remedy Liquor, a large champagne seller out of Los Angles, told The Post.

Other labels are equally in short supply, including Moet & Chandon Nectar Imperial Rose. Remedy Liquor recently tried to order 50 cases of the stuff only to receive three, said Kurazyan, who blamed delays at ports as well as the rapid pace of the bounce back.

Over in Manhattan, Astor Wines and Spirits was capped to just 10 cases of highly coveted Dom Perignon by its distributor in January. And it continues to be on a short leash, wine buyer Lorena Ascencios told The Post.

“I could buy as much Dom Perignon as I wanted before,” she said of the pre-pandemic world.

Meanwhile, demand is only expected to grow as “people who have been vaccinated are becoming more social and graduations are around the corner,” Ascencios added.

Contributing to the uptick are the flood of restaurants reopening, including in New York City where indoor dining is up to 50 percent capacity for the first time since March 2020.

“The fact that restaurants in New York and California were essentially shut down for so long and have recently reopened again is creating some of the increased demand,” said Ben Aneff, a partner in Tribeca Wine Merchants in Manhattan, which has also seen champagne sales surge.

Dom Perignon champagne
Distributors are having trouble securing cases of Dom Perignon for their customers.
Stefano Giovannini

Celebratory dining has become a noticeably larger part of Manhattan eatery Pera Mediterranean Brasserie over just the last month, owner Burak Karacam told The Post.

“Our customers on average are ordering sparkling wines 25 percent more than they used to earlier in the year,” Karacam said of his two Mediterranean-style restaurants, which carry the same name.

Some people are popping the bubbly simply to celebrate the end of their long separations.

“I saw my family for the first time in a year over Easter because we had all been vaccinated. And the first thing we did was open a bottle of champagne,” said Aneff.

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