The sparkling win which topped the competition for alternatives to champagne
English sparkling wine continues to go from strength to strength, beating competition from prosecco and other well-established foreign fizzes in expert taste tests
The Denbies Chalk Valley Sparkling Brut NV, from Surrey, was awarded the highest score by a panel looking at affordable alternatives to champagne.
Judges assembled by the consumer group Which? described the wine, sold exclusively at Morrisons, as a ‘brisk fizz’ with a ‘tropical fruity flavour’. And at £16 a bottle, it means buying British needn’t break the festive budget.
Historically, English wines have been at the premium end of the supermarket drinks aisles, following a series of awards that have seen them beating champagne in blind taste tests. But now British producers, who use the same methods that produce champagne, are increasing their output dramatically, allowing them to offer relatively low prices.
This summer’s heatwave has led to a record grape harvest and a vintage year for English and Welsh wine, with further stellar growth expected.
Earlier this week, Ridgeview, which makes sparkling wine in East Sussex, was named Winemaker of the Year in the International Wine & Spirit Competition for 2018.
And, increasingly, British producers are progressing from award-winning sparkling wines to deliver high quality still reds and whites.
The Denbies Estate, the largest wine producer in the country, is selling another two fizzes this Christmas through Aldi at £14.99 a bottle – White-downs English Sparkling Wine and a Rosé English Sparkling Wine.
The winning Chalk Valley sparkling wine, pictured, achieved a score of 77 per cent in the Which? taste tests.
Second place went to Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Cremant, from France, at £11. In third was the £15 Tesco Finest Franciacorta Brut from Italy, with a score of 75 per cent.
The highest-scoring prosecco was the Asda Extra Special Asolo Brut at just £8, which judges described as ‘fun and frothy’.
Which? magazine editor Harry Rose said: ‘For those looking for a change from prosecco this Christmas, our Best Buy English fizz is an excellent option.
‘The quality and choice on offer this year is good news for lovers of sparkling wine. Whether you’re keen to try something different or you’re a die-hard prosecco fan, our experts have found some great supermarket offerings for you to enjoy.’