Champagne shortage ahead of New Year’s Eve due to supply chain issues

Wine industry experts are warning that holiday revelers may be hard-pressed to find their favorite brands of bubbly this New Years’ Eve due to supply chain issues affecting the global market.

The shortage is due to a “perfect storm” of logistical disruptions, including shipments backlogged at U.S. ports and a lack of delivery drivers all while trying to meet massive holiday demand, according to Alison Napjus, senior editor of Wine Spectator.

“It’s not even just that basic transportation issue. We’re also looking at things like shortages of the cage that goes on top of your bottle, labels, boxes to put wine in,” Napjus said on Fox Business’s “Mornings with Maria.”

“So you put that all together with the huge increase in demand we’ve seen for champagne this year [and] for other sparkling wines and of course, the holiday season, and it could be tough to find some of your favorite labels this year.”

A report from Wine Enthusiast Magazine predicted that the impact of the champagne shortage may last for years. 

According to the outlet, Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) – the French region’s trade organization –  reported that demand for Champagne dropped 18% by volume in 2020. In response, the CICV capped production limits for the year at 25 percent less than its 2019 limits.

“The initial decisions made by importers to slow—or even more drastically, to stop—importing wines is really a larger issue than the supply chain,” Thatcher Baker-Briggs, a retailer, importer and owner of Thatcher’s Wine Consulting, told the magazine.

A report predicted that the champagne shortage issue may continue to be felt for years.
EPA/Remko de Waal

However, towards the end of 2020 at the holiday season and into 2021, demand increased once again. Champagne’s harvest was marred with horrible weather issues throughout 2021, including out-of-season heat waves, frost, and torrential summer rains, according to Wine Enthusiast.

Demand for wine increased since the beginning of the pandemic as Americans opted to drink a glass of wine at home instead of going out to a bar or restaurant, putting additional strain on the industry.

Dr. Kaan Kurtural, a viticulture specialist with the University of California Davis, told Fox News in October that there is a bottle shortage also affecting the industry.