Retailers Expect Sparkling Wines To Shine As The New Year Approaches

From tasting events to social media content, beverage alcohol stores celebrate the holidays with Champagne and bubbly sales.

At McCabes Wine & Spirits in New York City, different Champagne brands (display pictured) are highlighted every Friday in December.
At McCabes Wine & Spirits in New York City, different Champagne brands (display pictured) are highlighted every Friday in December.

Wine and liquor retailers are well stocked with sparkling wines to meet demand from price-conscious consumers. The Champagne supply chain is strong, but the French bubbly faces economic challenges this holiday season. “The rising production costs of Champagne are naturally influencing pricing, but luckily our extensive network and strong partnerships in both New York and France continue to enable us to uncover remarkable value propositions for our clients,” says Tom Zacharia, lead buyer for Champagne and new world wines at Zachys in Port Chester, New York. 

Zachys is spotlighting such Champagnes as Dom Pérignon ($330 to $13,000 a 750-ml.) and Laurent Perrier Grand Siècle ($260 for the recently released No. 26). The store’s marketing efforts focus on tastings and social media posts that offer suggestions for different holiday moments. “We have featured many of the prestigious selections that we are a known destination for in our recent email marketing and advertising,” Zacharia says. “In our upcoming features, we are excited to highlight our discoveries in sparkling wines and Champagnes under $50, along with vintage selections under $100, showcasing exceptional quality at different prices.”

The retailer’s recent in-store Winter Champagne Soirée, attended by more than 100 customers, presented over 30 Champagnes, including Krug ($230 to $1,700 a 750-ml.) and Bollinger ($120 to $4,515). The store also hosted a Champagne dinner in New York City with Maud Rabin, CEO of Rare Champagne ($250 for the 2008 to $740 for the 1988), pairing one of seven expressions dating back to 1988 with each course. “Beyond content and tastings, we like to creatively leverage the elegance of Champagne packaging to create striking in-store displays,” Zacharia says. “This year, our store layout prominently highlights an assortment of ready-to-gift boxed Champagnes at checkout, in our sparkling wine section, and in our Fine Wine Room.”

Zachys’ top-selling Champagnes brands are Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot ($55 to $320 a 750-ml.), Taittinger ($260 to $600), Krug, Pierre Péters ($75 to $135), Laurent Perrier ($60 to $550), and Jacques Selosse ($800 to $1,000). Leading non-Champagne sparkling wines include Leonia Pomino ($45) and Raventós ($20 to $30). “While renowned brands will always draw interest, we’re witnessing an increasing curiosity to explore beyond these familiar names,” Zacharia says. “Clients are more open to trying wines from smaller producers and regions.”

Champagne remains a go-to gift for the holidays and special occasions. “We’re noticing a broader distribution of sales across the year, rather than a heavy concentration solely around major holidays,” Zacharia says. “Currently, things are really heating up, and our focus is on maintaining ample stock to meet our clients’ requests.”

In Denver, Colorado, Argonaut Wine and Liquor is selling sparkling wines at special prices. “Plus, we have cool gift sets with fancy glasses,” says Sheila Carey, the store’s wine buyer. “People are changing how they buy because of the economy. Prices are going up, so some folks are choosing cheaper options. That’s affecting how much sparkling wine we sell. This year, in Colorado, we’re selling a bit less sparkling wine than last year. People are looking for new wines instead of their usual ones.” The store is hosting the Difference Between Sparkles Wine Tasting event on December 30. “It’s like a fun tour of sparkling wines from France, Spain, Italy, and the USA.” 

Zachys in Port Chester, New York (store manager Steven Pinn and wine consultant Michael Thomas pictured) features high-quality Champagnes and sparkling wines at every price point.
Zachys in Port Chester, New York (store manager Steven Pinn and wine consultant Michael Thomas pictured) features high-quality Champagnes and sparkling wines at every price point.

Argonaut’s best-selling Champagnes are Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow ($64 a 750-ml.), Laurent-Perrier Brut ($57), Nicolas Feuillatte ($42), and Pol Roger Brut ($64).  Leading non-Champagne sparkling wines include La Marca Prosecco ($16) and Cristalino Cava ($9). “People love these wines because they taste great and are a good deal,” Carey says. “Unlike during the pandemic, everything’s been smooth sailing with plenty of stock.”

McCabes Wine & Spirits in New York City is hosting a Champagne tasting every Friday in December. “The idea is to have customers come in on Friday—our busiest day—to access Champagnes they may not know or that might be a little out of their budget, but we put it on sale for the day,” says store owner Daniel Mesznik. 

One recent tasting featured Laurent-Perrier Champagnes, including the brand’s La Cuvée Brut ($80 a 750-ml.), Cuvée Rosé ($105), and Grand Siècle ($299). McCabes will host an event for Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve ($75) and Rosé ($99) on December 22, and the store will pour the 2013 Dom Pérignon ($325 a 750-ml.) on December 29. “The idea is to create an experiential environment for our guests,” Mesznik says. 

McCabes’ top-selling Champagnes include Baron-Fuenté Grande Reserve Brut ($45 a 750-ml.) and Robert de Pampignac Brut ($39). Leading non-Champagne sparklers at the store include Natale Verga Prosecco ($13), Jaffelin Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé Brut ($30), Roger Luquet Crémant de Bourgogne ($32), and Fazio Grillo Spumante Brut DOC Sicilia ($20.20). 

Mesznik notes sparkling wine sales are good but down from 2022. “People are more budget-conscious this year,” he says. “The outlook in the run-up to the New Year is there is so much product on the market that we are focused on finding the best Cava, Crémant, and Prosecco for our customers.”

A new law adopted in October allows New York beverage alcohol retailers to open at 10 a.m. Sundays. They previously couldn’t open until noon on Sundays. Mesznik is optimistic this may provide an end-of-the-year boost to sales. “With Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve both on Sundays, this should give us some additional revenue.”