Bubbly breakdown: LVMH warns of a looming shortage in champagne supply

Bubbly breakdown: LVMH warns of a looming shortage in champagne supply

Buckets of bubbly: a thing of the past? (Image: e_calamar) 

LVMH, the luxury goods powerhouse known for its fancy handbags (Louis Vuitton) and highfalutin hooch (Moët Hennessy), has declared that the champers supply is running short. Grape harvests were restricted by the Comité interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (yes, there’s a committee for this) last year due to a fear of oversupply and falling prices. But with a modest bump in the economy (and bankers feeling free to sip Cristal in the champagne room again), there’s been a spike in demand.

As Decanter.com reports:

Announcing 19% growth in wine and spirit revenues to €3.26bn during 2010, LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault said prestige cuvees including Dom Perignon and Krug had been the star performers.

‘We found ourselves in a situation where supply and availability becomes short,’ Arnault told analysts in a conference call. ‘You may remember that back in 2009 all the papers said that it was a Champagne crisis.

‘[Moet Hennessy president] Monsieur [Christophe] Navarre would come and see me and say “we have all this inventory – what should we do with all the bottles?”.

‘Some other companies were dumping their stock; we decided to buy more. But we didn’t buy enough and now with the recovery and resumption of the market, we found ourselves short.’

It’s still unknown what effect this might have on champagne availability here at home, but we’re not worried. If worse comes to worst, the LCBO still stocks plenty of Baby Duck for seven bucks.

For a roundup of champagne alternatives, check out David Lawrason’s column on bubbly from the January issue of Toronto Life »

LVMH: Champagne in short supply [Decanter.com]