Foreigners keep UK champagne sales up

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The Independent Online

Super-rich oligarchs and wealthy tourists are propping up the champagne market in Britain, which historically has the greatest thirst for bubbly outside France.

The UK's position as the leading export market is at risk from the rising wealth of emerging economies and the fact that British drinkers are quaffing other sparkling wines, such as prosecco. However, the growing number of wealthy foreigners living in London has helped to bolster the £320m of champagne sales in the UK.

On Wednesday, the largest champagne tasting in the world will take place in London, with more than 68 brands being sampled by the industry.

Francoise Peretti, director of the Champagne Bureau UK, said: "London and the UK can retain its position as champagne capital of the world."