Does English sparkling wine lack a memorable meaningful generic name? Who is going to ask for a ‘bottle of English sparkling wine’? The quality is undoubtedly there, witnessed in competition, but, it’s simply too long a name, and it lacks character and identity. There is nowhere to hide when some large percentage of the population thinks of a wine to celebrate – it’s Champagne almost every time.
The English just can’t agree on a name? But then look at the Australian fortified industry, thay have just renamed, with all player agreement, the old Sherry, Port and Tokay wine labeling. The Aussies might well say why can’t the Poms just get flippin’ well organised.
But quality Cava (Spain) producers want to distance themselves from the bog standard Cavas by labeling with Spanish sparkling wine.
Is this a European convergence of madness? There are Cavas and Cavas, and like many wines, it is the producer that is important. Cava is produced in the same way as Champagne, and calling it Spanish sparkling wine is, in my opinion, traveling in the wrong direction. There should be more marketing emphasis on the quality levels of Cava wines.
And then are not the English missing a trick? Challenging the Champenois in wine competitions has been successful, but with consumers it is the name rather than international awards that sell wines – so Champagne remains top dog.
Perhaps les Anglais might be better off generating a wider initial following by competing with Prosecco, made with the lower cost tank or Charmat method, which is making great strides in the UK as a Champagne alternative.
But then we remain short of a name, here are some suggestions:
- ESP (English SParkling wine), sort of rolls off the tongue and perhaps memorable as extra sensory perception.