Where to Find Affordable English Fizz
Add sparkle to September with a bottle of British bubbly! In celebration of British Food and Drink Fortnight, wine enthusiast (Level 3 WSET) and blogger Emily, tells us about quality English fizz, what to look for and where to find it.
In recent years, English winemakers have deservedly won some of the world’s biggest accolades for their sparkling wines, which are made using the same grapes and winemaking methods as Champagne.
The English wine scene is still young, but with increasingly warmer springs and summers enabling grapes to fully ripen, and parts of the country having similar chalky soils to Champagne, we’re producing top quality fizz. But we can also expect pay Champagne prices, certainly upwards of £25 a bottle. The good news is there are plenty of ways to enjoy English wine affordably if fizz is your poison, and support our homegrown vineyards. Here are some top tips:
Look for English sparkling wines that are not made using the traditional Champagne method, which is labour intensive and therefore more pricey. Chapel Down in Kent makes a sparkling wine from the bacchus grape for around £16 and Flint Vineyard in Norfolk makes a sparkling ‘Charmat’ rosé for £22. Both are made in the same way as Prosecco, using the simpler ‘tank method’, making them instantly more affordable sparkling options.
Otherwise hunt down a ‘pet nat’. Short for ‘petillant naturel’, this is a slightly sparkling natural wine that undergoes a single fermentation it the bottle (unlike Champagne method wine which is twice fermented). Organic vineyard Davenport makes a delicious one for £21.
You can get affordable traditional method sparkling wine if you look in supermarkets. For example, Hush Heath in Kent is a premium wine producer that makes a Tesco Finest sparkling wine priced at £19 – a steal for fizz produced this way.
Or jump on the latest trend: wine in a can! The Uncommon makes bubbly rosé and white wine, as well as spritzers that are carbonated as they’re canned and perfect for picnics. Each can contains the equivalent of a third of a bottle of wine and costs £6, but you do have to buy them in multipacks (so team up with friends).
Read Emily’s reviews and discover more about England’s wine scene @sussexwinetaster
Note: Prices are correct at the time of publication