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Champagne Sales Fizzle With Economy Down

Ah, 2007. Jobs were plentiful. Bonuses were unapologetically intact. Ponzi schemes racked up huge returns. Champagne flowed. No more -- certainly as far as the Champagne goes, Jeremy Hobson reports. In fact, wine writer and blogger Alice Feiring tells him that demand is so low in the U.S. that some Champagne is going back to France, from whence it came.

Sales are down between 50 and 90% from the peak in '07.

"If you're going to be having a small intimate dinner, I would bet money on it that you would hear that pop, and that pop is going to be Champagne," says Feiring. "If you're going to have 15 people or more, it's going to be some semblance of sparkling wine."

Relatedly, the back cover of the Jan. 4 issue of The New Yorker is an ad from the Champagne Bureau, urging readers to sign an online petition. That effort asks Congress to end what it calls deceptive wine labeling. Tagline: "Champagne only comes from Champagne, France."



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