Fizzy McFizzface


For many years now English sparkling wine has been casting around for a catchy name to call itself. Obviously we can't use Champagne, not least because the French tidied that one up in The Treaty of Versailles at the end of the First World War. Not having the luxury of a unifying area, like Champagne, we've resorted to, at times slightly embarassing, marketing speak names. Britagne deserves an honourable mention in this category.

Merret was suggested and used by some. Christopher Merret was the Englishman who presented a paper to The Royal Institution in 1662 on how to make wine sparkling through the addition of sugar to start a secondary fermentation. This was some 6 years before Dom Perignon even joined the Abbey that made him famous. Perignon spent his life trying to prevent his wines from being fizzy!

Recently there's been quite a bit of press about the UK wine trade body, the UKVA, trade-marking "British Fizz". This slightly uninspiring name was apparently being used in a bar in America, where we're all known as Brits. But it does have the advantage of saying what's in the tin and includes Welsh winemakers. The downside is it's connotations of "British Wine" a filthy concoction made from imported grape juice and partly responsible for the terrible reputation English wines once had.

There has been talk of throwing open the naming to the great British public, but we all know where that would lead us! For our part we're just happy calling it English fizz. Cheers.