In these current tough economic times when we are all being told to tighten our belts as the credit crunch bites, it seems that many Britons are drowning their financial worries in champagne! I must admit that I enjoy the occasional glass of champagne myself, particularly the pink variety but I only tend to drink it on special occasions like Christmas. According to supermarket chain Asda, sales of bubbly have soared by 51% this year as customers treat themselves to a taste of the high life! Apparently the highest champagne sales were in Nottingham, Manchester and Liverpool. Legend has it that champagne was introduced to England in the mid 1600’s by a French aristocrat who fled France after a falling out with Louis XIV. Buried in Westminster Abbey, Charles de Saint-Evremond imported one of his favourite wines to England from the Champagne region of France. The wine, “Vin Gris”, became an instant hit. Not sure whether that story is true or not but whatever the origins of champagne’s introduction to this country, it is proving more popular than ever with today’s Britons.
Apparently most people buy champagne as it makes them feel good about themselves. I wouldn’t argue with that. I always feel better after drinking a glass! Many people also find it more alluring than wine, even though there are some good wines out there that are considerably cheaper. It’s also interesting to note that renowned food critic Egon Ronay has declared supermarket own-brand champagnes just as good as the more expensive famous brand name champagnes. It just goes to show you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy a champagne lifestyle!