Bubbly goes flat as warehouse try to off-load left-over millennium champagne

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The champagne bubble appears to have burst, with prices tumbling as suppliers try to offload stocks which have been sitting in warehouses since...

The champagne bubble appears to have burst, with prices tumbling as suppliers try to offload stocks which have been sitting in warehouses since before the millennium.

Over-production by the champagne industry meant that around 40 million bottles were left unsold when January 1, 2000 dawned, according to figures released by the producers' trade association, the Comite Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC).

The millennium celebrations only resulted in a two per cent increase in sales to the consumer, rather than the 15 per cent CIVC members were expecting. As a result, exports to Britain have fallen by 48 per cent this year, with wholesalers offering big discounts to try and move unsold stocks.

Daniel Lorson, communications director of the CIVC, said: "We now know the millennium was vastly overhyped. The bubble has burst."

The discounts on offer are good news for pubs in the short term, saving licensees money during this year's celebrations. But Lorson warns that some producers will go out of business if the champagne glut continues.

Related topics: Wine

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