Champagne’s biggest names are caught up in a damaging ‘Bling War’ that could lay waste to vast areas of the sparkling wine’s credibility, experts have warned.
The war has seen houses throw vast sums into projects aimed at attracting the attention of stupid rich people with no taste.
Many now fear that a battle many marketing managers thought would be ‘over by Christmas’ could go on for years or even decades.
Race to the top
‘The trouble is that the further up the price pyramid you go, the fewer people there are to fight over, so the products and packaging are just getting more and more ridiculous,’ said marketing guru Ad Spend. ‘It’s a self-defeating race to the top.’
Last month Dom Perignon teamed up with a maker of unpleasant jewellery to create DP Bullgarish. The bottle, featuring a special snake necklace is said to be the first pairing of a champagne and a toxic reptile since Champagne Flummery made a Cuvée Brexit for Nigel Farage.
The UN condemned DP’s actions in the strongest terms, saying it was ‘a brutal rejection of all internationally agreed norms of good taste’.
Jewellers at a premium
One champenois told Fake Booze the Bling War was having a devastating impact on the region’s economy.
‘The price of jewellers has gone through the roof,’ he said. ‘These guys are changing hands for E2,000 a kilo – they’re even more expensive than decent Chardonnay.
‘It’s got to the stage where they are scared to walk down the street in case they get jumped by a chef de cave.’
Champagne’s regional body, the Bureau de Bulles de Champagne (BBC) called the strategy of Mutually Assured Premiumisation ‘very worrying – though not as worrying as the fact that most people nowadays would rather drink prosecco.’
But fizz journalist Otto Lysis said that the Bling War could benefit the region in the long run.
‘Critics have sometimes accused champagne of being more about style than substance,’ he said. ‘But if there’s one good thing to come out of this whole sorry conflict it’s that we can finally lay that myth to rest now.
‘Of course it is.’