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The rise of champagne and toasts

French champagne shipments to the U.S. rose 31% (2019-2022), fueling concerns of a shortage in the coming years. But why do we toast with champagne?
The rise of champagne and toasts
Posted at 3:07 PM, Dec 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-10 17:08:46-05

When it’s time to toast, Leo knows best. I mean, the man knows how to raise a glass. But most people aren’t sipping quite as often as Leonardo DiCaprio is on screen.

According to champagne-maker Veuve Clicquot, Americans were having just one-third of a glass of champagne each year as of 2016—that's official champagne—from the French region that makes it.

While when we do drink it, it’s likely for a toast, it seems like more Americans are on board with it as its demand is on the rise. 

Between 2019 and 2022, shipments from France to the U.S. increased by 31%, and the demand has been so high that some producers say it could lead to a shortage in the next couple of years. 

But why do we toast with champagne?

According to the Oxford Companion to Wine, the Romans planted vineyards in the Champagne region of France as early as the 5th century.

The region initially produced a flat wine, but storage conditions created a bubbly product that caught on outside of France.

It became popular in high-class circles and with royalty. Because of that, it became a symbol of luxury and celebration.

Today, it’s still associated with the powerful and successful and is a go-to for toasts.

True champagne comes from the north-east region of France and is made using a traditional method. In fact, the European Union doesn’t allow winemakers outside the region to label similar products as champagne.

Because of that, authentic champagne can break the bank. Retailing for an average of $44 per bottle, according to the Guild of Sommeliers.

So if you opt for the champagne toast look with some less expensive bubbly wine, cheers to you!

SEE MORE: 'Tis the season for wine and celebration: Here are some simple tips


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