England’s fantastic festive fizz

English sparkling wine is set to be the surprise fizz on a record number of dinner tables this Christmas, Tesco drinks experts predict.

In the last year the supermarket has seen Champagne customers switching allegiance and now buying English sparkling wine.

Sales data reveals that nearly a third of the retailer’s English sparkling wine customers previously bought Champagne.

In that time demand for English fizz such as Chapel Down’s Brut and Rose and Tesco finest* English Sparkling Wine made by Hush Heath Estate have grown by more than 60 per cent across the UK market according to wine retail specialists CGA.

Tesco Champagne and sparkling wine buyer Rob Dixon said: “The incredible success of Prosecco over the last few years has opened the cellar door for other quality sparkling wines and this year early sales suggest English fizz will make it onto the Christmas table for the first time.

“The quality of English sparkling wine has massively improved over the last few years and there has been a lot of investment in production techniques and especially in the actual growing of the grapes as well as training, knowledge and expertise of English winemakers.

“We launched our first English sparkling wine a year ago and demand has been so strong that we now have four lines.”

In the last decade the number of acres planted with grapevines in England and Wales has grown by 135 per cent, according to the English Wine Producers trade body.

And over the next 12 months UK wine producers will plant a record 1 million vines, increasing production by two million more bottles of wine annually.

Added Tesco’s Rob Dixon:

“The quality of English sparkling wines has also been helped by warmer weather over the last few years and in particular two great Septembers in 2015 and 2016.

“Conditions in parts of Kent and other areas of southern England are said to be similar to the Champagne region of France 80 to 100 years ago.”

While the English variety is soaring in popularity Prosecco continues to be Brits’ favourite fizz with demand up in the last year by 20 per cent and it continues to outsell Champagne.

This year there has also seen strong growth at Tesco for larger format wines with magnums (1.5l or the equivalent of two bottles) of Plaza Prosecco and Tesco finest* DOCG Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore doing well.

Rob Dixon said: “However you do Christmas, you’ll be able to find the perfect bottle of fizz at Tesco.” 

Rob’s own recommendations this Christmas are:

  1. Tesco finest* Blanquette De Limoux
  2. Tesco finest* Cremant De Limoux Rose
  3. Tesco finest* Franciacorta DOCG Brut
  4. Tesco finest* Vintage Cava
  5. Tesco finest* English Sparkling Wine

 ENDS

 

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