Consumption of sparkling wine and champagne is on the rise around the world, and the fizzy drinks have also grown in popularity in Finland over the past decade.
The country's national alcohol retailer Alko estimated that consumers in Finland will have sipped about 5.4 million litres of champagne and sparkling wines this year, quite a bit more than the 4.2 million litres that went bottoms up in 2010, nearly a decade ago.
Sommelier and wine expert Heidi Mäkinen said that sparkling wines are being increasingly paired with food and that they're enjoyed beyond traditional festivities and celebrations.
"Sparkling wine suits quite many dishes, precisely because of their bubbles. This concept has been noticed by consumers in Finland too, which explains why consumption of bubbly has increased beyond holidays and parties," Mäkinen explained.
Tips from a master
Earlier this year, the Finnish sommelier was named a "Master of Wine" by the London-based Institute of Masters of Wine. There are currently just 389 official wine masters around the world, according to the institute (siirryt toiseen palveluun).
Mäkinen said sparkling wines should be consumed cold from wider wine glasses than old fashioned champagne flutes. She said the wider glass gives the wine more room to breathe.
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As for food pairings, Mäkinen said sparkling wine goes well with air-cured ham, cheeses and seafood, saying they're all good options for a bubble-based New Year's party. As a rough guideline she said the saltier the food, the drier the wine should be.
She also noted that indulging in sparkling wine doesn't necessarily have to break the bank, saying that there are plenty of good, affordable brands available nowadays.
Sparkling wine sales bubble by 1m litres
Alko's records showed that since 2010 sparkling wine and champagne sales steadily increased until 2017, the year Finland celebrated 100 years of independence.
While sales have slightly dipped since that landmark year, people in Finland are still drinking well over one million litres more of the bubbling beverages than they were a decade ago.
Sales of the significantly pricier variety of sparkling wines, French champagne, have also increased by around 27 percent compared to the beginning of the decade, according to Alko. Meanwhile, sales of sparkling wines, including the Italian variety prosecco, increased by about 29 precent over the past 10 years.
However, sparkling wines and champagne aren't the only drinks being consumed more these days. According to Alko's business director Kari Pennanen, sales of booze-free wines have also increased by 12 percent this year.
"People want to eat and drink healthier [these days], Pennanen said.