The company claims to have been the first to come up with the idea of millennium champagne. "We were in a brainstorming session, inventing all these outlandish ways of celebrating the year 2000," recalls director Jean-Claude Rouzaud, "and the answer was staring us in the face all along. We would simply produce 2,000 bottles of vintage champagne engraved with the words `Year 2000', and sell the limited series for $2,000 [pounds 1,200] a bottle."
A tidy sum for a spot of bubbly, but then this millennium champagne does come in Methuselahs - eight times the size of a normal bottle. More than half the bottles have already been reserved and the company expects to sell the rest before the end of this year. Would a champagne by any other name smell as sweet?