W: Mr. White, what changes have you seen in the champagne market in the last ten to fifteen years? M: Well the biggest change has been the decrease in sales since the great boom years of the 1980s when champagne production and sales reached record levels.
W: Which was the best year? M: Well the record was in 1989 when 249 million bottles of champagne was sold. The highest production level was reached in 1990 with a total of 293 million bottles. Of course since those boom years sales have fallen.
W: Has the market been badly hit by the recession? M: Oh certainly, the economic problems in champagnes’ export markets that’s Europe, the United States, Japan, and of course the domestic market in France, the economic problems have certainly been one reason for the decrease in champagne sales.
W: And the other reasons? M: Another important factor has been price. In the early 90s, champagne was very overpriced, so many people stop buying it. Instead they bought sparkling countries, in particular from Australia and Spain. And then there was another problem for champagne in the early 90s.
W: What was that? M: There was a lot of rather bad champagne on the market. This meant the popularity of good sparkling wines increased even more. People was surprised by their quality and of course they were a lot cheaper than champagne.
W: Do you think the champagne market will recover in the future? M: Oh, I’m sure it will. When the economic situation improves, I believe the market will recover.
Questions 19-21 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
Question 19: What does the man say in 1980s? A. It saw the end of its booming years worldwide B. Its production and sales reached record levels. C. It became popular in some foreign countries D. Its domestic market started to shrink rapidly.
Question 20: Why did sparkling wines become more popular than champagne in the early 90s? A. They cost less. B. They tasted better. C. They were in fashion. D. They were widely advertised.
Question 21: What does the man think of the champagne market in the future? A. It is sure to fluctuate . B. It is bound to revive. C. It will remain basically stable. D. It will see no more monopoly