Bottoms up! Do soaring sales of champagne mean we're finally out of the economic doldrums
Industry figures reveal sales of champagne are hitting record highs after three-year lullRichard Brierley of Vanquish Wine says demand is 'almost to the point where we can't keep up'Says customers are ordering 110 bottles of Dom Perignon 2003 by the case-load
12:51 GMT, 5 November 2012
The hemline index has long been said to be an indicator of the health of an economy – if skirts are getting longer, we're in dire straits.
But there's a new fiscal gauge on the block: the champagne index.
Sales of the fizzy stuff have been soaring, so could this be a sign that we're seeing the green shoots of recovery, as George Osborne has all but promised
It's back! Do surging sales of champagne mean that we're finally out of recession
According to key industry figures, sales of premium champagne are hitting record highs after a three-year lull.
Richard Brierley, of Vanquish Wine, says demand has gone through the roof 'almost to the point where we can't keep up', and that his clients are ordering 110 bottles of Dom Perignon 2003 by the case-load.
He added: 'Our team are seeing extraordinary demand for the best brands of champagne, including Krug, Dom Perignon and Louis Roederer's Cristal.
'I think a glass or bottle of champagne is an affordable luxury that people are willing to have as a treat.'
Excess: champagne, Cristal in particular, has become synonymous with celebrities like Kanye West and Kim Kardashian (left) and footballers such as Robin van Persie (right)
All of these brands, Cristal in particular, have become synonymous with celebrity excess over the last decade and are regularly name-checked in hip hop songs by musicians such as Kanye West.
But despite the boost in sales, wine expert Jancis Robinson remains cautious.
She says: 'I would have thought champagne sales are simply bouncing back a bit from the recent “all is doom and gloom and we mustn't be seen to be splashing out” strictures.'
Whether this turns out to be more than a short-term bubble remains to be seen…