Bankers drink City dry

  • Thursday 2 February 2006

They’re known for their parties in the City of London, especially at bonus time, but this is the first time the capital’s financial district has run out of fizz.

Champagne house Dom Pérignon says stocks of jeroboams are so depleted in the UK that they face extinction. ‘We are almost out,’ a Dom Pérignon spokesman said.

This massive drop in supply is reportedly due to city workers spending their famously lavish January bonuses on vast dinners and drinking sessions.

Average City bonuses are said to be around £23,000 this year, with the more aggressive investors in line for seven-figure payouts.

‘We saw a similar pattern like this occurring this time last year,’ said a spokesman for Dom Pérignon. ‘It seems that when bonuses are announced the city likes to celebrate with as big a bottle of Champagne as possible.’

Although there are just enough methuselahs, containing the equivalent of eight bottles, to go around, the jeroboams are in very short supply.

The average jeroboam from a top champagne house costs over £3,000 in many London bars and nightclubs.

Dom Perignon is a favourite brand but all the top Champagnes are flying off the bar top. At Corney & Barrow, which runs 12 wine bars in the City, sales of champagne magnums are up 40%. A spokesman said, ‘Sales are definitely on the increase this year and the main seller is the magnum of Veuve Clicquot at £95.’

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