Some £709 million-worth of sparkling wine was sold via the off-trade there in the 12 months to last January and £348 million-worth was sold via the on-trade in bars and restaurants – totalling £1,057,000,000.
According to the WSTA, sparkling wine has demonstrated growth of 270% since 2011.
But what’s particularly interesting is the huge growth in volume sales in the UK’s on-trade, up by 44% last year.
While off-trade sales figures tend to indicate Champagne being bought more as a gift, sales of Champagne and sparkling wines are by their nature very much of the on-trade moment and it’s expected that these are likely to see an uplift in Champagne sales this year.
The sparkling wine category takes in Prosecco and Cava as well as sparkling wine from other countries and even England’s own sparkling wines which are now beginning to make their presence felt outside the country.
However WSTA figures also show that Champagne sales (monitored separately) are responsible for 42% of the total Champagne/sparkling wine category by value despite taking up only 17% of sales by volume, so if the UK is anything to judge by, the Irish on-trade has two good reasons to take Champagnes and sparkling wines more seriously – the growth in demand and the exceptional margins.
Irish sparkling wine sales
While Champagne undoubtedly tops the premium and gift end of the sparkling wines spectrum, sparkling wines themselves are proving increasingly popular.
Sparklers account for one in every 50 bottles of wine sold here now. Nielsen Ireland figures for off-trade sales of sparkling wine point to a growth of 16% in volumes to 321,000 nine-litre cases with a corresponding growth in value of 17% to €38 million MAT to October this year.
Sales of (non-Champagne) sparkling wines overall here in Ireland showed a pretty strong 20% growth in volume to 145,250 nine-litre cases in 2015 from 121,000 cases in 2014 according to IWSR figures and its Global Sparkling Wine Insights found Prosecco sales catching up with Cava.
Irish Champagne sales
Champagnes too have had a good year with sales also showing volume growth of a more modest 3.7%, from 53,500 cases to 55,500 cases in 2015 according to IWSR figures, perhaps reflecting a return of consumer confidence.
Figures from Nielsen indicate that off-trade sales of Champagne were up 3.8% to 27,500 nine-litre cases MAT to last October while Champagne values slipped slightly to around €9.97 million from around €10 million the previous year (down 0.6%).
Undoubtedly, Champagne has its own niche within the overall sparkling wines category but it’s a niche that suffers an excessively high excise duty, being taxed at double that of a bottle of still wine.
This plays its part in keeping Ireland at 30th place (down one from the previous year) in terms of sales in the Comité Interprofessioinnel du vin de Champagne’s annual report.
At 2.8 million cases, the UK represents the top Champagne importing country in the world for the French trade association which protects the interests of independent Champagne vignerons (growers) and Champagne Houses (négociants/producteurs).
The House of Laurent-Perrier
The House of Laurent-Perrier was founded in 1812 and by 1945 the House was being run by the Nonancourts.
Bernard de Nonancourt created the Laurent-Perrier style.
To do this, he revived and took over the traditional ways of Champagne but also launched new approaches at both technical and blending level.
He created a range of unique wines with their own history and personality.
Laurent-Perrier is now celebrated for its style and the consistency of its quality, cuvée after cuvée.
Today the signature Laurent-Perrier style of freshness, lightness and elegance is enjoyed around the world in more than 160 countries.
Laurent-Perrier selects the grapes used to make its Brut with special care. They are harvested manually and only the best of the press-juices are selected – the perfect Champagne for aperitif and starters.
Fresh, pure and elegant, Laurent-Perrier Brut was instrumental in converting the world to Champagne as an aperitif.
Prior to 1968, making non-vintage rosé Champagne was virtually unthinkable. This daring wine combines real structure with freshness and a soft, vinous character.
The Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier bottle, with its generous, curvaceous lines, is unique – an invitation to self-indulgence.
Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier can be savoured on its own and also with many bold food and wine pairings.
Tender and ethereal, its bouquet of freshly-picked berry fruits easily surprises, constituting a very pleasant appetiser.
Moët & Chandon – to sharing Milestone Moments with panache
This Christmas Moët & Chandon upheld the annual traditional end-of-year celebrations in its signature style with the Maison presenting a limited-edition collection, Bursting Bubbles, an end-of-year effervescence in a bottle.
Bubbles symbolise Moët & Chandon’s sense of celebration, savoir-faire and pioneering spirit. Bursting Bubbles features boundless bubbles that showcased the vibrancy and energy of the season and which captured the festive end-of-year ambience to brighten every table.
The collection includes an elegant Moët & Chandon Bursting Bubbles Gift Box, Bursting Bubbles Gift Bag and a Bursting Bubbles Gift Box Rose.
The Gift Bag comes with a translucent window showcasing the design of the Moët & Chandon Bursting Bubbles bottle inside. Complete with a black lace handle, the Gift Bag is embossed with gold on both sides for an added touch of luxury.
A limited edition, the Moët Impérial Bursting Bubbles bottle highlights in gold hot stamping the Moët & Chandon’s logo at the heart of its design. A new limited edition has joined the collection, the Rosé Impérial gift box.
Moët & Chandon is synonymous with celebration and the Bursting Bubbles limited edition collection is a treasured gift to be shared with all.
Follow the conversation on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MoetandChandonIRE and on Twitter @MoetIreland.
Mumm – France’s leading Champagne brand
Descended from a family of barons and knights dating back to the 12th Century and vineyard owners since 1791, The Mumm family founded the Champagne house of the same name in 1827.
The man who would give his initials to this Champagne House was the wine-maker Georges Hermann Mumm who was driven by a single motto: “only the best”.
In 1876, in tribute to the wine, the bottle received the famous red silk ribbon, a symbol of the highest of French honours. With over eight million bottles sold, GH Mumm is the leading Champagne brand in France and the third best-selling Champagne in the world.
Wine lovers of today continue to worship GH Mumm Cordon Rouge as the crafting of this Champagne is a long and complex process of which every step is fundamental to the Cuvée’s quality and perfection.
GH Mumm Cordon Rouge offers a beautifully classic gift box adorned with the famous red silk ribbon design, showcasing the prestigious character of GH Mumm Champagne, the ultimate in French Champagnes.