Living: Big Boom in Champagne

Prices are up, but so is consumption in the fizz biz

From time immemorial, champagne has been the ambrosia of New Year's and nuptials, ship launchings and seductions. In recent years, all this has changed. Champagne has become a drink for all occasions and is now quaffed in such Jeroboam quantities that the fizz biz poppeth over. The thirst for authentic French bubbly, plus the grievous crop damage to French vines in three of the past four years, has raised prices for the real stuff* and has forced French shippers to ration the choice...

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