Toast of the town: DC Champagne sales flowed during celebrations for Biden

blm plaza biden
People gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza react to the presidential race being called in favor of Democratic candidate Joe Biden over President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

There were plenty of memorable images from Saturday’s spontaneous celebrations of Joe Biden’s projected presidential victory, and one of them was of Champagne corks popping across D.C.

Twitter was filled with videos and photos of Champagne spraying throngs of Biden supporters at Black Lives Matter Plaza by the White House, and several D.C. liquor stores reported higher sales over the weekend, especially of Champagne.

Nolan Rodman, co-owner of Rodmans Discount Gourmet and general manager of the company’s D.C. location on Wisconsin Avenue, worked over the weekend and said he saw a clear spike in Champagne sales.

“A lot of people were celebrating and happy, and buying all of the Champagne, and wanted to remember and celebrate the outcome of the election,” he told WTOP, describing the mood as jubilant.

“People were very excited and very proud. And some people were very emotional, and some people were very loud — all in a happy and charismatic way,” Rodman said.

Alex Siegel, the third-generation owner of Ace Beverage Fine Wines and Spirits on New Mexico Avenue Northwest, reported a similar festive vibe on Saturday, when news broke of Biden crossing the 270 electoral vote threshold to capture the White House.

“What I saw was just a pouring in of sales from noon until close of business, and I have to believe that is in response to the election results,” Siegel told WTOP. “I think Washington is really happy and wanted to celebrate and is relieved — and the sales definitely reflected that.”

As for the beverage of choice among revelers, Siegel said that though everyone imbibes in their own way, “Champagne has long been the customary product that people drink during a celebration, so yes, Champagne sales definitely stood out.”

Siegel added that while he wasn’t at Black Lives Matter Plaza, where much of the celebrations took place, he was in Georgetown on Saturday and the mood “was pretty special, pretty awesome … just the general feeling in the air was really good.”

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez witnessed the celebrating at Black Lives Matter Plaza on Saturday, which included lots of colorful signs and outfits, impromptu dancing and, of course, free-flowing Champagne.

D.C. police told WTOP that, overall, events from the weekend were peaceful.

Jared Powell, spokesman for the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, said ABRA does not track liquor sales on particular days. But he reminded all venues in D.C. that sell liquor to be mindful of the city’s Phase Two guidelines, and the activities and hours that are allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anna Gawel

Anna Gawel joined WTOP in 2020 and works in both the radio and digital departments. Anna Gawel has spent much of her career as the managing editor of The Washington Diplomat, which has been the flagship publication of D.C.’s diplomatic community for over 25 years.

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