Champagne investors see big bucks in fizz

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The Independent Online

The British public's thirst for champagne – both to drink and as an investment – has fizzed to record levels, spurred by the Diamond Jubilee and the anticipation of the Olympic Games.

But wine experts warn that the market could be a bubble ready to burst, and advise caution for those new to the field. Skilled investors looking for places other than the moribund housing and stock markets to take a punt have found champagne can bring solid returns. The price of Krug Brut '96 has jumped to £2,200 in the past five years – a rise of nearly 50 per cent.

Buyers are presently stocking up on top-end brands such as Armand de Brignac (better known as "Ace") favoured by celebrities such as Jay-Z and City traders who've had a good day on the trading floor.

Scott Assemakis, the founder of London-based merchant European Fine Wines says: "We're fielding more enquiries than ever before, as investors are increasingly viewing champagne as an attractive asset."

Even previously unheralded English sparkling wines such as Chapel Down and Nyetimber – served at last year's royal wedding – are benefiting from the surge in interest.