Sunshine Coast residents bought more Champagne than any other suburb in Australia in the last 12 months, knocking Mosman off the top position on Australia’s Top 10 Champagne suburbs list, according to new sales data from wine retailer Cellarmasters.
“Sunshine Coast is one of the most beautiful places in Australia, and its residents like to appreciate and celebrate their stunning setting with Champagne – and who can blame them?” said Christine Ricketts (above), Cellar Director at Cellarmasters.
In both 2017 and 2018, Mosman topped the Champagne pops, but this year, the swanky suburb dropped to fifth spot. Seaside suburb Brighton in Melbourne came in second, whereas Sydney’s Upper North Shore suburb St Ives (famous for having some of the city’s best private schools) nabbed the third spot.
For the last three years, Rebecca Grisman has been hosting a Champagne Club in the Sunshine Coast, educating locals about Champagne in a variety of fine dining venues in the region.
“Five years ago, you couldn’t buy many Champagne houses by the glass at the Sunshine Coast. Now, several restaurants offer vintage Champagne by the glass!” she said.
“Sunshine Coast is a holiday destination, and Champagne has a celebratory feel. Combine that with our chef-hatted restaurants and bars with ocean views, and suddenly it makes perfect sense that this is the best place in Australia to enjoy a glass of French bubbles,” she added.
In particular the suburb of Buderim in the Sunshine Coast has proven its love of French fizz, and according to Sunshine Coast-based lawyer and wine writer Travis Schultz, there are a couple of explanations to Champagne’s popularity in the area.
“To some extent it is probably related to demographics – the population comprises a higher than average number of professionals according to census data. But I suspect that the real reason is that the township is located on the picturesque Sunshine Coast where the climate lends itself to enjoying a pre-dinner aperitif alfresco style, or just as an afternoon tipple. The locals would say that they are refined, cultured and despite their proclivity towards enjoying the finer things in life, also very down to earth,” he explained.
Mosman resident Joe Menezes (above), one of Australia’s most popular wine influencers with over 130K following his Instagram account @onceuponawine, was surprised by the news that Mosman had plummeted five places on the Top 10 Champagne loving suburbs list.
“I am crying tears of Champagne upon the news that Mosman has dropped to the fifth position and I may have to pop a bottle of Champagne to console myself,” he said.
“As I’m fairly certain that the average alcohol consumption for the area should have remained roughly the same, I can only hope that Mosmanites are now consuming and supporting more local bubbly brands, which would be a sparkling wine silver lining as Australia produces some seriously epic & underrated méthode traditionnelle sparkling wines!” he added.
According to Cellarmasters’ sales data, Champagne sales soar between October and January, coinciding with the racing season, summer holidays and Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Although often enjoyed on its own or with delicate foods like oysters, Ricketts said you shouldn’t shy away from enjoying Champagne with other cuisines.
“Most people are surprised to hear that Champagne is the world’s most food-friendly wine thanks to its high level of acidity and varying levels of richness. You can match the right Champagne with almost anything – from French fries or steak to a scrumptious cheese platter. So if ever in doubt, always go for the bubbles!” she said.
Although Prosecco has been stealing the sparkling spotlight from Champagne in the last few years, Christine said you can’t beat Champagne when it comes to celebrating in style.
“Even the cheapest bottle of Champagne has taken at least 15 months in the making, so it requires time, knowledge and finesse to create a bottle of Champagne,” she explained.
The Champagne region in France has been producing wine for centuries, and the geographical limits were established in 1927, which means only sparkling wine from this region can be called Champagne. There are also strict rules and regulations with the ‘Methode Champenoise’ (the method of making Champagne) regarding vineyard practices, vinification and maturation, so not just anyone can make it – even if an estate is in the Champagne region.
NSW the top state for Champagne sipping
When it comes to the top 10 Champagne suburbs, NSW has six, Victoria has three and Queensland has one.
The suburb of Newtown in NSW has even made the list for the first time, at No.9.
Previously better known for its bohemian vibe, the suburb has gone upmarket in recent years.
The median price for a three-bedroom home is $1.375m and realestate.com.au notes: “While Newtown is still popular with artists, rising home values mean you’re just as likely to find an accountant living here as an actor.”
It’s also home to an increasingly number of stylish bars, including Cittavino (above).
Australia’s top 10 Champagne suburbs are:
- Buderim (QLD)
- Brighton (VIC)
- St Ives (NSW)
- Castle Hill (NSW)
- Mosman (NSW)
- Surry Hills (NSW)
- Williamstown (VIC)
- Richmond (VIC)
- Newtown (NSW)
- Baulkham Hills (NSW)