Why Is Champagne So Darn Expensive?

why-is-champagne-so-darn-expensiveAs a connoisseur of goods and services, the facts about products means something. You may be one who doesn’t take that much stock in something like a brand or a name. Still, you might be wondering why there is all this reverence for champagne. Why is this bubbly stuff so expensive? What is it about this particular beverage that keeps people coming back and consistently paying so much? It’s a good question and one that deserves closer scrutiny.

Facts: Just because something has a cork or is golden and sparkly, that does not make it “champagne.” In fact most of the time if you are drinking what you think is champagne it might not even be so. The fact is that this elixir comes from a very specific region of France; aptly named the Champagne region. This region of the world is markedly small and the costs of land here is among the most expensive anywhere in the world.

Another thing about this part of France is that it’s among the coolest wine regions in the world. The natural secondary fermentation that produces the bubbles we all know and love are a token of this climate. Still this small land area, unique climate, and cool temperatures make the amount of grapes you can grow here quite small. Supply and demand dictates that this specific type of wine made here is going to cost more simply because there is less of it to sell!

Process: Champagne is made by what’s known as “Methode Champenoise.” First the fermentation takes place in steel barrels. It is then followed by a secondary fermentation once it has been bottled; this process is yeast and sugar focused. Then there are four more processes that take place, aging, riddling, disgorging and dosage. This lengthy strategy for making champagne is obviously going to drive up costs.

Labor: Another component to the high cost of this stuff is the labor that is involved. As if the makers were sticking their noses up at us, many of the most revered champagne houses still use manual labor for these processes. There are some houses or some sections that still use machines but in many of the finest bottles of champagne you will see that hand skilled labor cost passed on to you who’s holding the bottle.

So, when you take into account all of the different factors standing before you, holding this bottle of bubbly it should be no surprise that champagne is so expensive. Maybe the final mythic component to this high cost is that people continue to pay for it. If there were not such a high demand or the bottles just sat on the shelves, then the cost would inexorably come down. But that doesn’t appear likely to happen at any point in the near future because any time there is a real celebration; birthday, wedding, anniversary, engagement, holiday, etc. people will inevitably reach for that bottle of bubbly.

So, until there is no more reason for people to buy it you should just hold your nose at the costs and raise your glass high! Champagne is the nectar of the gods!

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