PARIS – Partygoers worldwide have at least one good reason to forget the economic pain, job fears and mortgage woes of 2009: unusually cheap Champagne for New Year’s.
Champagne houses and retailers have had a tough year, forcing some to make aggressive price cuts. But the discounting is causing divisions among vintners, and analysts warn the move could threaten the bubbly’s premium reputation.
In supermarket chains such as Carrefour SA and Auchan, French shoppers were snapping up real Champagne for less than C10 ($14) a bottle, as even high-end producers such as Laurent Perrier compete with cheaper bubbly such as Italian prosecco and Spanish cava.
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