Blog: English Wine Week in the UK
Chris Mercer | 1 June 2011
So, half of 2,000 people surveyed by cottages4you has never tasted English wine. It's not really a great surprise, is it? There's still not a great deal of it and it's still relatively expensive for a punt on a Friday night.
Let's take this a bit further, though. How much does it matter if half of the population has never tasted English wine?
At the recent London International Wine Fair, I spoke briefly with Julia Trustram Eve, of trade body English Wine Producers. While catching up, we talked about English wineries' challenge to put together a more cohesive marketing strategy. It is perfectly true that the fledgling industry needs to raise awareness.
And yet, it must do so with the right kind of consumers. Before you accuse me of trying to obstruct 'the great unwashed' from sampling the fruits of England's pastures, I readily admit that there are probably budding English wine consumers out there who have yet to be 'harvested'. Ahem.
What I'm saying is, English wine simply doesn't have the volumes to be a homegrown Blossom Hill. Even if it were possible, I'd argue that there would be no point in trying.
English wine prices are at the high end of the UK market - probably a little prohibitive at times - but I'd rather be playing up there than languishing in the quagmire of discounts and duty further down the ladder.
Prices will likely drop a little as English wine becomes more widely available, more competitive and operations become more commercial. High-end supermarket Waitrose has planted its own vineyard, for example.
However, while raising awareness is important, English wine should treasure its premium image as it hunts for new drinkers. It's not how many people to target, it's who to target.
This weekend, Bacardi is hosting a three-day music event on the private island of Palomino just off the coast of Puerto Rico....
Warmest thanks to all of you who filled in our annual readers' survey this month. The results are very important for us to learn from and look to improve our service to you....
Today's news that German spirits firm Mast-Jägermeister has joined UK responsible drinking organisation The Portman Group may raise eyebrows in some quarters....
Whisk(e)y companies spend a lot of money and effort ageing their products for that premium taste....
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