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Wine experts say holiday champagne recession is over

By Leslie Gevirtz NEW YORK (Reuters) - After years of resorting to less costly sparkling beverages, many wine experts said they will be popping champagne corks this New Year's Eve, which could be an indication of better economic times ahead. A 2012 study by Karl Storchmann, an economics professor at New York University and managing editor of the Journal of Wine Economics, showed sales of French champagne are a fairly accurate indicator of Americans' future income.

Champagne widows stamped grand legacy on wine, broke boundaries in male-dominated world

REIMS, France - For Champagne to become the tipple it is today — popped at weddings, quaffed in casinos, sprayed by racing drivers and smashed against ships — a few men had to die. Not just any old men. Young ones married to clever young women.

French rail commuters get English skills back on track

"Welcome aboard, ready for the lesson?" the teacher asks three passengers sitting down to their English class in one of the carriages of the 7:43 am commuter train to Paris. It is not your usual classroom inside this train making the 45-minute trip from the city of Reims, in the heart of France's champagne country. But the French state railways company SNCF thinks it has found a good solution for time-squeezed commuters who need to brush up on the language of Shakespeare.

French champagne makers cross fingers, harvest set to rise 56 percent

PARIS (Reuters) - Barring bad weather in the next two months, France's champagne production is forecast to jump by 56 percent this year, a bright spot in an otherwise rough period for wine growers. The rise would largely be a rebound from last year's exceptionally poor harvest, but still a 16 percent increase compared to the average output of the past five years, according to figures released this month by the agriculture ministry.

China to ban non-French 'champagne' copycats

China has agreed to limit the "champagne" label to only wines produced in the French region bearing that name, with a trade group welcoming the move as a boost for the beverage in a fast-growing market. Sales of the wine are accelerating in the world's second largest economy, from 50,000 bottles in 2001 to one million in 2010 to two million last year, making it the fifth-largest market outside the European Union.

Finnish brewery to recreate shipwrecked beer

A Finnish microbrewery will replicate beer discovered in a nearly 200-year-old shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea in 2010, it said Thursday. Stallhagen plans to begin selling the ale next year, describing it as "one of the oldest existing beers in the world." "There is ever-increasing demand for speciality beer on the international market and we are convinced that our product is going to interest beer enthusiasts around the world," Stallhagen's managing director Jan Wennstroem said in a statement.

Champagne sales lose fizz in 2012

Sales of champagne fell by 4.4 percent in volume terms last year, but increased exports helped compensate for sagging European consumption and kept revenue flat at 4.37 billion euros ($5.86 billion), a trade association said Tuesday. The slide in annual sales to 308.8 million bottles in 2012 was primarily due to the sharp 13.3 percent fall in European sales and a 8.8 percent fall in France in December, the Champagne Wine Professionals Committee (CIVC) said Tuesday.
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