BOZEMAN — The sluggish economy is taking some of the fizz out of sales of champagne and sparkling wines preferred by New Year’s revelers. Some wine and liquor merchants in Montana are reporting slower sales and less interest in the high-priced beverages that have sold well in previous years.
Doug Badenoch, owner of the Wine Gallery in Bozeman, said his regular customers who once grabbed $30 bottles are now picking bottles at half that price.
Gene Betz, owner of Vintage Sellers in Great Falls, said distributors are also lowering prices to lure customers, especially on the higher-priced bottles. For example, Betz said a bottle of Cristal, the champagne favored by young music stars, is now selling for $199 a bottle, down from a previous price of $275.
Merchants say shoppers are clearly looking for better value this year.