This upward march is borne out by wine and spirits supplier Enotria & Coe, which reported that its sales of Champagne in the on-trade have been positive, particularly at the higher end. This year, it took on a new grower Champagne brand, Alfred Gratien, in response to demand for something “exclusive” with “provenance and a story”, says Harriet Kininmonth, head of wine buying.
“We have seen some good growth this year, with volumes up by 13% and value up by 21%,” she reports. “Delving into that, certainly the major brands that are performing well – LVMH and Taittinger – and almost all of our vintage and prestige cuvées are in growth, which we see as a positive result of the premium trend and prestige value sales.”
Champagne is a master at playing to its strengths, and is equipped to weather any storm, but the UK on-trade can be a fickle and fad-driven channel, made more turbulent by Brexit and a tiny 2017 harvest. In these choppy waters, Champagne is as vulnerable as any other setting sail for UK shores – but for now at least, everyone is in the same boat.