Dance the Casanova

Neil Pendock December 30, 2013 0

18th century Englishmen hated Giacomo Casanova, a Venetian adventurer who would romance the bloomers off their lady folk. SA MCC makers must feel the same thing about Charles de Casanove Champagne. It’s the day before New Year’s Eve and Checkers, largest retailer in Africa, is advertising eponymous French Champagne for under R200 a bottle on Twitter.

Followed by ♥ Cape Town, Inixion and Hermanus Toyota.
Checkers ‏@CheckersSA 7h
Celebrate in style! Try our exclusive authentic French Champagne for under R200. #AddSomethingNew View:http://ow.ly/qeYRB

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No matter that this is the same stuff they were advertising for under R180 less than six months ago. R200 is still lethal competition for many an ego-driven Methode Cap Classique cuvee. Especially for those who drink labels i.e. the majority of the SA market. Mark Norrish and Ultraliquors take it one step further by offering French fizz for R150 a bottle.

On Boxing Day, Business Day reported the bubble has burst for French Champagne. “Industry estimates gathered by Reuters news agency showed that sales by volume would drop between 3% and 4% this year after a 4.4% fall in 2012, leaving total revenues flat at best.” Clearly prices are under pressure as the 300 million bottle barrier is about to be busted on the way down. Which makes you wonder why other French bubbly brands are so expensive on SA shelves. Or is Checkers wine buyer Stephanus Eksteen (above, in the lime green of a cheeky grown Champagne) just a better negotiator?

The only bright spots for Champagne sales are Japan, Australia (up 11%) and Africa with Checkers rapid expansion into the continent no doubt having something to do with it. The challenge for SA MCC remains to tie-in a local retailer rather than the usual raft of dodgy bankstas and credit cards looking to sponsor bubbly festivals. Speaking of which, we really missed Luke Krone’s annual Summer Elegance Festival in Tulbagh this year. The best of the local fizz festivals, it took CoC (Celebration of Champagne) to the Next Level.

An end of season Checkers Summer Elegance Festival at Zoo Lake sounds like a good idea.

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