The Champagne shortage

Getty Images 505095412
If you’re planning to celebrate with Champagne, planning ahead is a must.

By Mary Malik

Since the pandemic began, we’ve been forced to manage without a lot of things. Seeing family and friends, visiting our favorite restaurants and traveling all come to mind. But Champagne? Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse.

“With New Year’s Eve being the most popular event to be celebrated with Champagne, second place goes to Valentine’s Day,” says Jim Sperk of the Northern Ohio Wine Guild. “This past New Year’s Eve saw shortages of Champagne and even less available for Valentine’s Day. One reason was many people consuming wines at home rather than in restaurants or bars during the pandemic. A record 315 million bottles of Champagne were sold in 2021.”

Jim says the pandemic also caused a reduction in the workforce, resulting in shortages of bottles and transportation delays.

“And the shortage will continue,” says Jim. “Torrential rain and frost in the Champagne region of France over the past few years means supply will not meet demand for perhaps three more years.”

If you’d like to secure Champagne for a special event, Jim advises you plan well in advance or select sparkling wines from other areas. California, New York, Hungary, and even England offer sparkling wines based on the same three grapes used in Champagne.

“Other bubbly wines like Prosecco, Asti and Cava are more readily available,” says Jim. “If you can’t find Champagne for your celebration, there are plenty of other bubbly and delicious options when you’re ready to raise a glass.”

For information on the Northern Ohio Wine Guild, contact Jim Sperk at