There’s no feeling like it. That sinking sensation in your gut. You keep telling yourself it’s not happening; it’s something that happens to other people, not you. You check all the usual places but there’s nothing. No Blanc de Noirs. No Prestige Cuvee. No Extra Brut. So what do you do when you suddenly discover you have no Champagne in the house?
You call London’s Champagne Emergency Helpline and speak to Mr Champagne, Nick Baker of The Finest Bubble, who will answer your distress signal with a call-out for just £8.50 and deliver your fizz within two hours.
His rapid response deploys its scramblers from Islington to make sure you get your Clos Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires Blanc de Blancs 2006, Dom Perignon Luminous Label 2008 or new release Bollinger PNVZ15.
A graduate of Shropshire’s Harper Adams University, Baker worked for Grants of St James’s, Fetzer vineyards and Kendall Jackson in California, launching wineries in Italy, Chile and Australia. A successful photography e-commerce business allowed him to set up – with just 14 champagnes – his same-day metropolitan shampoo delivery service. He now offers a portfolio packed with all the grand marques and the finest fruits of the champenois, with more than 600 Champagnes, many from smaller producers.
“We’re moving away from formal occasions like birthdays,” he says. “People are sending Champagne for nice reasons like ‘ enjoy the weekend’ and ‘thank you’. “People are being increasingly inventive in ways to raise a toast together. Where previously Champagne sales tended to be for gifts or corporate congratulatory occasions, lately we’ve seen some really unusual requests coming in.
“ Last weekend we delivered 26 bottles of Champagne to different addresses for a virtual wedding. Champagne bottles are proving popular at Friday night HouseParty app gatherings. There have been a lot more orders for magnums and jeroboams, with parents sending their distanced, isolating children bubbly gifts, and vice versa.
“We’ve seen some really heartfelt messages, The one that touched the team most was ‘Thank you for taking care of my dogs while I am in hospital.’ We’ve had special messages for teachers offering on-line lessons, personal trainers keeping people on their toes and home chefs cooking up meals for elderly neighbours.”
The Finest Bubble also handles many English sparkling wines, which has seen a dramatic surge in popularity in recent years. The Finest Bubble says 70 per cent of orders now come from private customers.
So there’s no point in getting in a tizz if you are without your fizz – just call London’s Champers helpline. But think twice about placing an order for the £2,676, 15 litre Nebuchadnezzar of Louis Roderer Brut Premier NV – you don’t want to give your courier a hernia.
• To reach the Champagne helpline call 0207 359 1608 or visit their website here.