High-end Champagne shortage could ruin your New Year's Eve

By Parija Kavilanz, CNN Business

    (CNN) -- Enough already! Can we call it a wrap on 2021?

As if this year hasn't been challenging enough, it's leaving us with one more parting shot — a Champagne shortage.

Revelers looking forward to cheering in 2022 with a favorite bubbly should brace for possible disappointment — especially if you want a higher-end variety.

Liquor sellers say brands such as Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot, which can retail for $50 to more than $100 per bottle, are sold out in many markets, forcing shoppers to trade over to a less swanky brand or trade down to other options.

It's happening for three primary reasons: increased demand, diminished grape harvests and a disrupted supply chain that has severely slowed production and distribution of a host of products, from shoes to toys to yes, Champagne.

"These factors did put significant pressure on retailers in the US this season," said Michael Osborn, founder and EVP of Wine.com. "Unfortunately, signature brands like Dom Perignon and Veuve Clicquot are sold out in some markets, but not all."

Meanwhile, demand for Champagne and sparkling wines has surged 120% since 2019, he added.

Osborn said the company anticipated the Champagne supply crunch and made an effort to stock up on popular brands. "This allowed us to have a good supply during the holiday selling season," said Osborn. "At this point, our selection exceeds over 300 choices in sparkling, including nearly 100 options from France's Champagne region."

Alcohol delivery service Saucey, which can get a Champagne order to your door within 30 minutes, also said the bubbly's availability is spotty ahead of New Year's, and higher-end brands have been hard to find since Christmas.

Online liquor seller Drizly, which offers deliveries in fewer than 60 minutes, said Champagne and prosecco are the top-selling sparkling wines on its site ahead of New Year's Eve.

"While we aren't seeing signs that consumers are seeking alternatives just yet on Drizly, there are other styles available should consumers be experiencing supply challenges on a local level," said Liz Paquette, the company's director of brand and head of consumer insights.

Those options include sparkling rosé, Cava and American sparkling wines, she said.

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