Champagne producers have introduced a controversial new initiative that they say will bring ‘fun, theatre, and most importantly money’ back to the region.
From spring 2021, the most famous maisons are offering wealthy guests the chance to be sprayed with larger formats of champagne from their birth or wedding year, by the actual chef de cave.
Rich + thick = kerching
The ‘Pay to Spray’ initiative is the brainchild of the Champagne, Reims and Epernay Tourism Institute (CRETIN).
‘Champagne has always relied for its success on appealing to people with more money than sense,’ said CRETIN’s Hugo First. ‘Here we are going for people with stupendous amounts of money and literally no sense at all.’
The body says there will be no negative impact on the drink’s aristocratic image.
‘We’ve spent most of the last 20 years telling everyone that the world’s greatest aperitif is a perfect match with lamb, so it’s a pretty low bar marketing-wise,’ First told Fake Booze.
‘And let’s face it, chalk soil doesn’t play that well on Tik Tok.’
Showers of Gold
CRETIN has already created a ‘Route des Douches Dorées’ which will allow tourists to put together their own personal ‘spray-way’ itinerary. Most of the big houses have already signed up.
‘We’ve got a merde load of large format fizz lying around in our cellars that nobody is ever going to buy,’ explained Bollinger chef de cave, Ayesha d’ Coco. ‘So this is totally une situation gagnant-gagnant.’
Described by one fan as ‘the ultimate in pointless luxury’ the chance to be drizzled with decades old vintage champagne doesn’t come cheap. Prices start at Euro20,000 for a light magnum misting of Laurent Perrier, up to Eur150,000 for a full-on dousing with a Salmanazar of 80-year-old Krug.
Moët & Chandon’s ‘Prestige Arrosage’ package will see cellarmaster Didier Daguerrotype actually dressing up as Dom Pérignon to spray customers, accompanied by PRs dressed as nuns.
‘As a fun-loving monk, we’re sure that Dom himself would have loved something like this,’ said a spokesman. ‘And a little theatre never hurt anyone.
‘Though admittedly our team’s self-respect might take some time to recover.’
To comply with Covid-secure regulations, consumers will have to bring their own PPE, which could affect the all-important ‘skin-feel’ of the bubbles.
‘But to be honest most of these bottles are completely shot to bits anyway,’ one producer told Fake Booze, ‘so on the plus side the masks should help filter out the actual flavour.’
Bros and hose
‘Everyone’s right behind this initiative,’ said Bollinger’s d’Coco. ‘I mean, seriously… who needs an 18-litre bottle of unliftable champagne? We might as well attach it to a hose pipe and watch the Euros flood in.
‘After all, metaphorically that’s what we’ve all been doing for most of the last 200 years anyway.’
Italian sparkling wine producers are already looking at a more affordable prosecco version of their own, where guests can pay 20 Euros to run through a water sprinkler of frothy piss.