Champagne or English Sparkling Wine?

The holiday season is (or ought to be) filled with champagne breakfasts, toasts to friends and family as well as the obligatory boozy count down to the new year.

The question is, are you patriotic in your selection of festive fizz or are you of the traditional view that sparkling wine ought to be sourced only from one particular region in France?

The truth of the matter (and the point I’m getting to in this blog post) is that English sparkling wine is a BIG idea and the sooner the consumer realises that the better, as a case of award winning Chapel Down will set you back £105 in comparison to the £875 you might expect to pay for the equivalent amount of Louis Roederer.

Arguably, it was only a matter of time before English sparkling wine was recognised as a serious vinious contender. This is reflected in Oz Clark‘s statement from 2 decades ago, If someone wanted to make a Champagne look-alike, one of the most potentially successful sites would be in the counties of Kent and Sussex on the hills and slopes just above the English Channel.

And West Sussex is indeed the location of the Nyetimber vines, star of the Wine Doctor‘s millenium blind tasting, which was recently crowned Champion of Worldwide Sparkling Wines in the 2nd annual Bollicine Del Mondo competition in Italy. This English offering beat 13 Champagnes, including Louis Roederer (Millesimè 2000), the Bollinger-owned Champagne Ayala (Dosage Zero), Pommery (Blancs de Blanc and Brut Apanage), Gosset (Grand Reserve), Joseph Perrier (Brut Cuvée Royale) and Devaux.

So, to the winner of 2010’s Idea Awards I recommend that you expect a patriotic bottle of bubbly. Consider it a lesson in BIG ideas.

2 thoughts on “Champagne or English Sparkling Wine?

  1. Hi,

    I am currently writing my dissertation on English sparkling wine and am trying to find a reference for the Oz Clarke quote, do you happen to have one?

    Many thanks,



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