Only one of the top sparkling wines sold in grocery stores was a champagne. Guess which one?
With 90,000 cases sold in supermarkets, Veuve Clicquot came in Number 6 in supermarket sales of sparklers in 2020, according to the industry magazine Market Watch. Veuve Clicquot was also the most expensive sparkler in the top ten, selling in supermarkets for an average price of $54 a bottle. Moët & Chandon didn’t make the top ten supermarket sparklers list (it was Number 16). And Perrier Jouët was not in the top 20. Good for you if you knew that André was a trick answer. It’s not a Champagne; it’s made in California by E & J Gallo. It came in 4th in supermarket sales, costing an average of $6. a bottle.
Speaking of France and Champagne, have you seen this?The French government will pay out $1.2 billion in USD in emergency aid to French vintners and farmers whose vineyards and crops were damaged by devastating frosts earlier this month. Overall, about 30% of the potential 2021 grape crop in France was destroyed. According to Beverage Industry Enthusiast magazine, the 2021 destruction comes on top of frosts in 2017 and 2018 from which vines were just beginning to recover. Would the US government do the same for us??
FYI, I buy my sparkling wines and champagnes several ways:
WTSO (Wine Til Sold Out) sells online, offers daily specials, and does not charge for shipping. The wines arrive well packed, never broken, always! I often buy the Aimery brut rose’ sparkling (crémant) on this website.
Trader Joe’s is another great source of sparkling wines. Back when I drank Proseccos, I would buy at TJs. Now, I look for special sparklings, many are Crémants. My price point is usually $10 or less for everyday consumption.
Grocery Outlet has been a pleasant surprise lately. But my strong suggestion is to shop often and carefully. Their stock changes fairly often, so once you find something you like, grab it! I found a nice little sparkler from Healdsburg, innocuously labeled, “451”, which was fairly tasty and very affordable. I went back, put together a case, and shared it with a dear friend.
Total Wines is a place that is both interesting and confounding. Their prices are usually a little higher than Bev Mo, but their selection is very good. I do not buy much here, but I am impressed with their overall selection of wines and spirits, especially pricey single malt Scotch.
Bev Mo does not always have good prices, unless they are doing a close out. And their layout in the store can be somewhat confounding. I like their wide selection, but they, like many wine purveyors, try to sneak some close out or “junk” wines into the mix. Of course, they call some of them “grower” wines. Maybe you will find a bargain, maybe not.
Winery Direct means going to the winery and getting to taste what you buy. I like this concept, as it has been around since the Sixties. But now they tasting fee is quite substantial and may not always be applied to the purchase.
Join a wine club means just that, a periodic (usually quarterly) shipment of wines. Normally, I can specify what I want, but some clubs send a “special” wine to you. Beware the special, since they may be dumping lesser vintages on your doorstep. I belong to the Domaine Carneros club, and have done so for at least ten years now. It also affords preferential treatment at the winery for special seating, special tastings, and further discounts on purchases, with no tasting fee.
Please remember to share what you have found that you like. Do not worry what anyone else thinks or says. I will respect you even if you drink pop wines!