The age of austerity Champagne

As we are all aware, back in 2008 the UK economy dived gleefully off the edge of a cliff with the enthusiasm of a hedge fund manager shopping for a new yacht.

Despite the claims of some politicians, on the ground, smack bang in the middle of reality, times are still pretty hard. Here in the north of England, if this is what economic recovery looks like then I’d hate to be around for the next crash.

There are food banks, sparse high streets, poorly maintained roads, and Prosecco being quaffed at every celebration.


Gone are the days when a family celebration, a significant birthday, or successfully reaching 5pm on a Friday without suffering a breakdown would be marked with the popping of Champagne.

We’ve been reduced to Prosecco.

Not only that, we kid ourselves it’s something special.

We wrap our British tongues around it and pronounce it with an exaggerated flourish. Pro-SECC-oh. We scan the supermarket shelves, adopting the furrowed brow of someone who can tell the difference between one bottle and the next.

(We can’t.)

We’re distracted by the fizz, the bubbles, and the satisfying pop of the cork, and are ambivalent about the contents of the bottle. All the excitement comes early, and we’re left with a glass of underwhelming alcoholic grape juice to politely dispose of.

(Hint: there’s a reason why it’s so flippin’ cheap)

Is this a consequence of our collective short attention span, and our willingness to be seduced by style over substance?

Or is it because we’re all skint?

Drink this austerity Champagne if you like – after all, money is tight – but as you do, try not to simultaneously dwell on the global financial meltdown.

That’s my mistake, and it definitely spoils the effect of the bubbles.




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