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Cheap fizz

I am glad to see that the current moral panic about Britons sliding into a Hogarthian nightmare of drunken idiocy has not put off these guys from selling sparkling wine – or champagne, maybe – for £5 a bottle. I am not sure whether it is going to taste as good as Krug, mind. And of course, with many so-called luxury goods, the business model gets ruined if the prices are cut so massively that the exclusivity is lost, and hence the cachet of buying X or Y in the first place. Would Ferraris, for example, be quite the same if they were as cheap as Fords?

Even so, fair play to the businesses that bring us cheap goods. Globalisation – terrible, isn’t it?

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9 comments to Cheap fizz

  • I am sure it is really champagne, in the sense that it is made in the champagne demarcated area under the appropriate appellation controlee laws. European wine laws are so ferocious (under the demands of French winemakers) that they couldn’t get away with calling it “Champagne” if it were not. In truth, there is no reason whatsoever why it should not be possible to make champagne for this price – champagne is as expensive as it is for reasons of scarcity (of land on which it can be legally made) and canny promotion, not because it is not possible to make a bottle of decent wine for a lower price. I can’t imagine that the other champagne makers and sellers like this much though. AOC wine is subject to inspections and quality control, which I would suspect would give the people who don’t like this ample opportunity to close it down if they really want to.

    I must go and buy a bottle and try it.

  • Julian Taylor

    My initial perception is against it, if only because we traditionally regard Woolworth in the UK as ‘somewhere to buy cheap stuff’. If the same champagne was being sold by Oddbins for a similar price I daresay people would be flocking to buy it by the caseload now.

    I do doubt that it will be in the Krug class though. More likely it will be in the ‘its cheap, its sparkling, it tastes like champagne and it gets you rat-arsed – shut up and drink it’ class of wine.

  • Ham

    I enjoy the implication of the social democrat’s policy of maintaining artificially high prices on certain goods that they disapprove of: poorer people are the ones that need to be mothered. Heh.

  • Whether or not you believe in the Afterlife, or instead if THIS is All There Is, nice things should be for all people, not just nazis, and Capitalism delivers them, more and more, silently, all the time.

    I heard, about 20 years ago, that “Frenchmen make the best lovers”….but “The Japanese make them smaller and cheaper”. if you can get bubbly for £5, great! Also, the Russians have been doing “czampanszki” for decades, and their nuclear missiles concentrate the minds of French copyright lawyers wonderfully.

    I was at a PR party about 23 or 24 years ago (may have been ’83 or ’84, I can’t exactly recall) when a journalist-lady threw red wine over Sir Terrence Conran, while screaming at him the following:

    “YOU (her emphasis) have taken ALL OUR precious things, and YOU have given them to EVERYONE….”

    Then she stomped out. He will, I am sure, coroborate it. It was even in the Evening Standard the next day.

    I am sure that sneerers will sneer about this too. To hell with them. life is already nasty and brutish enough for today’s poorer British people under Stalinism, and cheapo bubbly will bring a little spice into their Gordonianized dull lives, which may compensate for the increasing restrictions on the legal use of tobacco.

  • The Telegraph sent their wine critic to try it and his verdict seems to be that it perhaps isn’t Krug, but it is none the less perfectly good champagne.

  • Steevo

    I’m in the US northwest and we occasionally get our French bubbly from our local importer for about $10.00. But my taste buds have never understood… ten bucks or a hundred?

  • RAB

    Well me, I trust to market forces. I’ll by a bottle and if it’s crap I wont buy anymore. If it’s paletable I will.
    I seem to remember all wine in this country being fairly crap and exensive 30 years ago when it was virtually controlled by France, till the new world started making it and putting their little Gaulic noses out of joint, by making it better and a hell of a lot cheaper.
    Champagne has a hell of a lot of snobbery about it from folk who have money but no palete.ie they are buying a label and exclusivity, not the taste.
    Some of the most expensive I have tasted were no better, in my opinion, than Sainsbury’s own brand.
    Good luck to Woolies! I’ll buy a bag of pick n mix sweeties whilst I am about it!

  • sammy

    Ive tried £5 ‘champagne’. it was disgusting.

  • Enzo Ferrari famously used to estimate how many examples of a particular car he could sell, and then had one fewer than that number, built. Once the production run had sold (often by invitation rather than on the open market), market forces were left to do their own thing to set resale values.

    On the other hand, there are now more Aston Martin DB9s on the road than there are Ford Mondeo ST24s; guess which still has the higher resale value :-).