Britain's thirst for Champagne is increasingly voracious and still growing, according to a new report.
The UK is now the second-largest consumer of Champagne in Europe after France, with a 24% market share, according to the latest research from Mintel.
But while France's consumption is dropping, Britain's enthusiasm for the prestige fizz is still going up. The UK is the largest export market for Champagne, and in 2003 alone we drank 26 million litres of the sparkling wine. This represents an increase of 51% since 1998.
"It is often said that the state of the economy can be judged by the performance of the Champagne market," said Michelle Strutton, senior consumer analyst at Mintel. "If this is true, then the UK is clearly booming."
The boom in Champagne sales is accredited to the growing popularity of style-led bars in the capital and other metropolitan areas favoured by affluent young professionals.