Wine experts say holiday champagne recession is over
By Leslie Gevirtz
NEW YORK (Reuters) - After years of resorting to less costly sparkling beverages, many wine experts said they will be popping champagne corks this New Year's Eve, which could be an indication of better economic times ahead.
A 2012 study by Karl Storchmann, an economics professor at New York University and managing editor of the Journal of Wine Economics, showed sales of French champagne are a fairly accurate indicator of Americans' future income.
"If you consider (sales of) champagne to be an economic indicator as some do, it ... has been growing significantly up since the 2008 recession, and we expect that growth to continue in 2013," said Sam Heitner, director of the trade association Champagne Bureau USA.
Lee Sanning, an economics professor at Whitman College and, like Storchmann, a member of the American Association of Wine Economists, agrees.
"Sales of luxury goods, including that of champagne, make good leading indicators," he said.
Richard Juhlin, whose book "A Scent of Champagne" boasts tasting notes and ratings for 8,000 champagnes, will be swilling some of the world's top of the line bottles this holiday season.
"We will have a five-course champagne dinner," Juhlin said.
While his choices have not been set in stone, Juhlin said he plans to serve Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2005, which sells for about $350 a bottle, as an aperitif, followed by a similarly priced 1988 Dom Ruinart to accompany the caviar. Continued...