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New Year's revelers trade up to French champagne as economy improves
New Year's revelers trade up to French champagne as economy improves

More people are likely to toast this New Year with a glass of French champagne, industry observers say, an optimistic economic sign as consumers look beyond cheaper sparkling wines. Sales of the bubbly beverage from the Champagne region of France have been on the upswing this year. That means brisk business for wine sellers at year's end, when the final three months can account for 40 percent of annual champagne sales. Rising sales of champagne and other luxury items can signal improving consumer attitudes, experts say, and some in the wine business are taking the increase as another indicator of economic recovery. "I'm amazed at how much champagne we sell," especially...

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