Can English Sparkling Wines Take on Champagne?

Can English Sparkling Wines Take on Champagne?

Can English Sparkling Wines Take on Champagne?

It is likely that you are aware of the regions where the greatest wines are produced, whether you are a professional sommelier or a self-taught wine expert trying to establish an amazing collection. In addition to the leading wine-producing nations of France, Spain, and the United States, Italy also ranks well in terms of exports of wine.

Because a substantial portion of the world’s wine is produced in these regions, it’s easy to forget that a slew of other nations, like England, are also engaged in the process of making bottles of delectable wine.

England has not traditionally been a wine-producing nation, but in recent years, the country has started to step up its wine game in order to keep up with its wine-producing neighbors, France and Spain, in terms of quality and quantity.

As of 2021, there will be more than 400 economically active vineyards in England, according to the Vineyards of England website.

They are mostly concentrated in the southern area of the nation on the territory with soil that is comparable to that of the Champagne wine region in France. Because the soils in England and France are so similar, the English vignerons are able to produce sparkling wines that taste a lot like champagne. ‌

Our investigation into England’s approach to the art of winemaking will include a look at the parallels and contrasts that exist between English sparkling wine and French champagne, as well as guidance on whether or not you should add a bottle of this bubbly to your burgeoning wine collection.

An Introduction to the History of English Wine-Making

Despite the fact that they are relatively recent entrants into the wine-producing sector, the English have been drinking wine for many centuries.

It is widely believed that Rome was responsible for bringing the first vines to England before the Middle Ages, but it wasn’t until 1066 that the notion of commercially viable winemaking became a reality in the kingdom. During that time period, it was discovered that there were more than 40 vineyards. ‌

Although wine production increased throughout the Middle Ages, vineyards were forced to close due to a deteriorating environment over the same period.

Although winemaking in the nation did not completely die out, attempts to bottle it was restricted to small-scale trials on private estates rather than large-scale production.

In the nineteenth century, people continued to experiment on their own property, and it wasn’t until the second part of the twentieth century that commercial grape farming became a viable option. ‌

Ray Barrington Brock would go on to become a pioneer in the area of English winemaking in 1946 when he embarked on a quest to identify the grape varietals that would thrive in the British environment.

Only a few growers followed his example and ideas, incorporating his discoveries into their own operations and discovering that he was onto something. ‌

From that point on, the production of English wine only proceeded to expand. The English Vineyards Association was created in 1968 and had around 83 members in its first year of operation.

There will be over 400 vineyards in England and the United Kingdom by the mid-1990s, with the number predicted to grow even more in the twenty-first century. ‌

Introduce yourself to English Sparkling Wine.

Can English Sparkling Wines Take on Champagne?

How To Keep Your Champagne Bubbly And Fresh

Wine Pairing With Spicy Food: Professional Advice

Color In Red Wine: What It Means And What It Doesn’t

Selling Your Wine Collection Through The Online

How Long Should Wine Be Aged?

The Ultimate Wine Tasting Guide

How To Keep Expensive Wine In Good Condition

5 Points To Consider For A Successful Wine Tasting

In fact, English sparkling wine is likely to be the most popular of all the wines that have been successfully produced in England since the mid-20th century, owing to the location and soil type of the vines.

These bottles are mostly produced in the southern regions of the UK, namely in the counties of Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset, and Cornwall. These places are great for growing champagne-like grapes because they have mineral-rich soil and a favorable height for growing them. ‌

Unfortunately, even if they have beautiful growing circumstances, vignerons still have to contend with England’s constantly fluctuating weather conditions.

For example, the cold and rainy summer of 2012 made wine production difficult, and region producers struggled to produce a sufficient amount of wine to be commercially successful. ‌

Those conditions were radically different six years later in 2018 when a long, hot summer resulted in wine producers having more bottles of sparkling wine than they could possibly fit in their cellars. Because the weather in England is so variable, each vintage has a wide range of flavors and characteristics. ‌

Champagne vs. English Sparkling Wine: Which Is Better?

Roughly 10.8 million bottles of sparkling wine were produced in England and Wales in 2019, accounting for an incredible 69 percent of total output, or approximately 10.8 million bottles. Those figures are sufficient evidence that consumers prefer English sparkling wines.

However, the issue remains as to whether or not these sparkling bottles can compete with Champagne. ‌

Before you can make a decision on which is superior, you need to learn a little more about the two options. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier are the grape varietals used to make both English sparkling wine and Champagne, and both wines are created in the same manner. ‌

Beginning with fermentation in a tank and then adding sugar syrups and yeasts to the mix, winemakers in both England and France progress to a bottle-fermented secondary fermentation until disgorgement, the addition of dosage, and a final maturing time are all completed.

They even have a flavor that is comparable to one another, with a clear palate and a strong acidity. ‌

Among the most significant differences between the two are the fact that Champagne production has been around for hundreds of years longer than that of English sparkling wine;

and that, despite the fact that they taste similar, English sparkling wines are known for having a crisp, apple-like crunchiness that makes them stand out from other sparkling wines.

In the end, the victor of the wine war is totally up to your personal tastes, but either beverage is suitable for raising a toast, ringing in the new year, or serving as a refreshing refreshment at your next gathering.

What Is Bordeaux Wine And What Does It Taste Like?

5 Wines You Must Have In Your Collection

How To Pick The Right Wine Cooler For You

The 5 Wine Storage Do’s And Don’ts

The Importance Of Wine Serving Temperatures

When interested in conducting a home tasting experiment, locate an established retailer of English sparkling wines, order a bottle of your favorite Champagne or sparkling wine, pour yourself a glass of each, decide which one best suits your taste buds, and repeat the process.