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Wine Club Newsletter - January 2023

Updated: May 11




Nicolette Baker, VinePair

Champagne producers have good reason to pop the bubbly this year as demand for the French sparkling wine skyrockets across the globe. Consumers around the world — and especially in the United States — are increasingly reaching for bottles of Champagne this year.


Demand has steadily increased since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, indicating a strong economic bounce back in the Champagne market. This year, exports have been exceptionally high with the United States leading in demand, as The Times reports in a Dec. 26 article.


While data from the past year is still emerging, it’s expected that 57 percent of all Champagne was exported in 2022.


Over 34 million bottles were imported into the United States in 2021, accounting for some €794 million (nearly $848 million USD) in sales. Between 2020 and 2021, U.S. sales volume jumped by nearly 64 percent, according to Comité Champagne. 2022 saw a continued increase in sales — causing some difficulties for producers.


While drastic increases in sales could be considered a “Champagne problem,” it certainly leads to sourcing issues for producers. Michel Drappier of family-owned Drappier Champagne shared with French language news platform BFM Business that worldwide demand had caused a shortage in the Champagne house’s supply.


A mandated 20 percent decrease in production, occurring during Covid-19 slowdowns in 2020, only builds upon these issues. Some producers, including Drappier, have restricted sales to keep up with demand, according to The Times. Restrictions occurring in November 2022 led to an 8.5 percent decrease in sales compared to the same month in the previous year.


While this tactic helps keep pace with worldwide exports, Drappier told BFM Business that bubbly might prove difficult to find well into the new year.


“We limit sales a little bit to make sure we have enough at Christmas, for Jan. 1, and for St. Valentine’s Day,” he says. “It would be terrible if we had a shortage of Champagne to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day.”


Let’s start 2023 with some resolutions, one of the most important being to declutter your life!! Starting with the kitchen is a great way to do that, and here are some helpful tips Lori and I picked up this year and decided to share with you…


Maintaining a kitchen is not a straightforward undertaking. It’s a never-ending keeping-at-bay of messes that threaten to take over if you get even a little lax with your routines. One of the reasons it’s so tricky is that there are so many moving parts.


The pantry has to be stocked and orderly. Cooking tools need to be accessible to keep everything flowing smoothly and to avoid frustration. The fridge needs to be in order so that everyone can see and use food before it goes bad. And all of that doesn’t even touch on the other things that tend to happen in the kitchen.


Routines and habits that break down big responsibilities (like making sure there are enough clean dishes at every meal) into bite-size chores (like running the dishwasher every night and unloading it every morning) make it possible to keep the kitchen humming without too much thought. 


Tying particular tasks that are easy to forget to other chores that you have to do is another way to ensure that you don’t inadvertently create a bottleneck in the heart of the home. For instance, I like to empty the dishwasher while I wait for my coffee to brew and wash any dishes in the sink while I wait for the microwave to beep. 


There’s another very important and easily overlooked chore that can be tied to a task that you’re definitely doing pretty regularly: clearing out your fridge just before taking out the trash. 


Making it a habit to scan the fridge for items that are no longer good — leftovers you forgot to eat, parsley that went bad because you didn’t use it in time, that last bit of heavy whipping cream that’s now expired — means you won’t have to make cleaning out the fridge a whole separate to-do. 


Plus, by looking in your fridge for items that need to be tossed just before you take the garbage out, you make use of that last bit of space in the trash bag.


Additionally, and more importantly, you avoid filling the garbage can in your kitchen with spoiling foods and avoid the unpleasant odors that go along with that!


Adopting this new habit into the way you function in your kitchen makes space in your fridge, keeps it fresh, and cuts down on smells in the kitchen. There’s not a single thing not to love.


Apartment Therapy Shifrah Combiths


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Gary Parker adds:

“Through the course of the week, instead of placing potentially odorous items (fish or meat wrappings, bananas, etc.) in the kitchen trash drawer, I instead place those items in the freezer. This keeps my kitchen smelling as fresh and clean as possible.

On trash pickup day, out they go, and we start all over!                                                                 

...


Cheers!

Gary Parker, Owner

The WineSellar & Brasserie


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