Drinking wine is a great way to relax and enjoy yourself. But what many people don’t know is that there is a big difference between English sparkling wine and champagne.
Today, we'll look at the differences between the two, and the rise of English sparkling wines.
The History of English Sparkling Wine
English sparkling wine has a long and storied history, dating back to the time of the Romans. However, it wasn't until the late 16th century that English winemakers began to experiment with the production of carbonated wines. The first recorded instance of English sparkling wine was in 1662, when scientists Christopher Merret and Sir George Downing presented a paper on the subject to the Royal Society, documenting the addition of sugars to produce sparkling wine.
Did you know that many of the techniques used in the production of Champagne were developed by English winemakers?
For centuries, English sparkling wine was largely forgotten about and French Champagne was the main player in the sparkling wine market. That's until English wine began to make a comeback in the 1970s when Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier vines were planted in southern England. These varieties are now the grape of choice for many English sparkling wine producers.
Today, English sparkling wine is rising quickly in popularity - a far cry from its humble beginnings.
How English Wine Production Has Grown In Recent Years
The English wine industry is growing in popularity, with many people choosing English sparkling wine over Champagne. There are many reasons for this, including the quality of English sparkling wine, the variety available, and the lower price point.
Over 100 wineries are producing English sparkling wines in the UK today, including the well-known wineries: Nyetimber, Ridgeview, Bolney, Gusbourne and Chapel Down. Chapel Down itself, saw a rise in sales of their English sparkling wine, rising by 39% in 2021 alone.
English sparkling wine has gone from being a regional curiosity to a world-renowned product. In recent years, English sparkling wine has won numerous awards, including several prestigious international competitions. Langham Wine Estate was awarded the International Wine & Spirit Competition Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year in 2020, and it's no small feat. The award is determined by a panel of expert judges who evaluate sparkling wine producers from all over the world, including champagne producers.
Differences between English Sparkling wine and Champagne: The Taste
English wines are made from grapes grown in England's temperate climate, which results in unique flavours that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Although the southern soils are nearly the same as the soil in France, it is much cooler here in the UK, resulting in a higher acidity in grapes and giving our sparkling wines a more unique flavour.
When it comes to the ingredients, English sparkling wine is typically made with a blend of different grape varieties, while Champagne is made predominantly from Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. In addition, English sparkling wine is often aged for a shorter period than Champagne, resulting in a fresher, fruitier flavour.
Can We Beat The Prestige Of Champagne?
Champagne is a type of sparkling wine that is only produced in the Champagne region of France - it cannot be replicated elsewhere. For centuries, champagne has enjoyed a reputation as the drink of royalty and the elite. But can English sparkling wine compete with the prestige of champagne?
There is no denying that champagne has a certain je ne sais quoi that other wines simply cannot match. Perhaps it is the centuries of tradition and heritage that add to its allure. Whatever the reason, champagne continues to reign supreme as the most esteemed sparkling wine.
However, English sparkling wine is beginning to close the gap. Thanks to skilled winemakers and ideal growing conditions, English sparkling wine has emerged as a serious contender in the world of fine wine. While it may never achieve the same level of prestige as champagne, it is certainly making its mark on the world stage. So next time you pop open a delicious bottle of bubbly, don't be afraid to give English sparkling wine a try. Who knows? You may just be surprised by how much it has to offer.
If You're Looking For An Affordable Alternative To Champagne, Why Not Give English Sparkling Wine A Try?
At the English Vine, we have a range of English sparkling wines, white wine, red wine, and rosé. So whatever your taste, we've got you covered. Who knows, you may become a new fan of English sparkling wine yourself.
Want To Try Some English Sparkling Wines?
We've got you covered. Head over to our English Sparkling Wine Collection in our store today and grab yourself a bottle today. Or why not try the English Sparkling Wine Case we have if you want to try a few bottles at the same time.