If Champagne is your favorite way to toast to a fabulous evening—or exponentially improve a mediocre one—you may find you have little left to celebrate: Champagne makers are warning a shortage is on its way. And nothing may ever be the same again.
France’s Champagne vineyards saw an unseasonably late spring frost, among other destructive weather conditions: We’re talking a biblical slew of plagues like hail, grey rot and mildew. And this season’s grape yields are suffering. Big time.
The yields expected will average around 2,500 to 3,000 kg/ hectare, well below the 10,700 kg/ hectares decided on in July by France's Champagne-industry organization, as Olivier Horiot, a grower and vigneron at Les Riceys, told Decanter. Winemaker Eric Rodez explained to Decanter that Champagne growers haven't seen a season like this since 1956. To make up for the difference, vineyards are expected to heavily rely on their reserves.
The coming shortage of Champagne is terrible for endless reasons: Namely, our happiness. But also our ability to co-exist with humanity, and we wonder: What about that study that said three glasses of Champagne a day is good for brain function and memory, and can maybe reduce the risk of dementia or Alzheimer's? We love that study. Does that mean there's not enough Champagne for that?! Silver lining: With no Champagne, our memory will go, and we might not be able to remember how terribly badly we miss it.
As Scotch is also seeing a looming shortage, sounds like it’s time to shake up our drinking repertoire and enjoy everything awesome that's left. Sparkling reds are a beautiful ruby-colored alternative to the white sparkling wines. And for everyone who can’t live without the Instagram of a Champagne-filled glass, try sparkling wines from non-Champagne regions, such as Franciacorta, Italy’s answer to Champagne, or Spanish Cava.
Until then, cheers. Make it count.
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