Does Prosecco-like English Sparkling Wine exist?

English Sparkling Wine Lyme Bay Winery

Well, yes! I’ve been interested in the development of English Sparkling Wine for a few years and thought it would be great to introduce such a fizz into the retail side of my business and support the local UK industry. However, there was just one problem, I didn’t like it and neither did I think my Prosecco-loving customers would either. The overall quality and presence has improved greatly over recent years and continues to do so. I wanted to like it, but just didn’t. I know many people do like it and taste is subjective but for me, it was oh too similar to Champagne ie, generally too dry, too acidic, too yeasty, over complex with a heavy flavour. I much prefer the fruiter and lighter style of Prosecco, particularly Prosecco Superiore as perhaps you do too? It’s not surprising the English fizz I tried I found similar to Champagne as it’s made using the same method, ie the traditional method and typically the same grapes Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
 
 
However, that all changed when I discovered Lyme Bay Winery’s English Sparkling Wine (their Brut Reserve) at a trade tasting a couple of years ago. I was quite shocked that I actually liked it. Not over acidic, not heavy and actually quite Prosecco-like and fruity. A good Prosecco you understand!
 
So since then I’ve had my eye on them and tasted their fizz at subsequent events ...and still loved it. Of course I adore my premium Prosecco as perhaps you do too if you’ve tried it, but it’s always good to try something different. So this year I planned would be the year to finally trial it within my business and see what my Prosecco-loving customers thought of it.
 
Nothing is ever simple though is it? I was alarmed to discover that the grapes used to make the Lyme Bay Brut Reserve fizz I liked had changed this year. I was concerned it might have gone more Champagne-like like all the other English Sparkling Wines I’d tried and I wouldn’t like it. However, much to my delight it was even better than previous vintages!! It’s stunning and those that have tasted it already appear to love it too. It’s fresh, light, dry with a fruity aroma and taste, all presented with elegance. I’d compare it to a Brut Prosecco Superiore. I love it for being a beautiful sparkling wine and also because it’s made in England! All good, apart from there’s not much of it left now until the new vintage next year. I think the message has got out just how good it is.
 
Oh and just one other thing, I discovered that although Lyme Bay Winery are located in Devon they are owned by a company in Leek, Staffordshire not many miles away from Just Perfect Wines HQ. How bizarre is that!
 
Julia Phillips
21/08/18

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