Blog: Olly WehringShampanskoye - when east heads west

Olly Wehring | 8 March 2007

Honestly, it’s a miracle that I’ve managed to get any sleep this week. If it’s not sake tastings, it’s launches of soft drinks reports. All in a day’s/night’s work, I guess.

Yesterday evening was no exception to the whirlwind of fun that is my life – to Pushkin House in London’s Bloomsbury Square for the UK launch of Sparkling 1917, a sparkling wine – or Sovetskoye Shampanskoye as it’s locally known – made in Belarus with wine from Moldova.

Being as well-travelled as I am, I’ve spent a fair bit of time in Eastern Europe, in particular in Russia, where Sovetskoye Shampanskoye got its name. This Soviet Champagne has fallen from grace somewhat across the former Soviet states, quite possibly because those that drink fizz over there can now afford the real McCoy from the Champenoise.

Which makes the UK launch of Sparkling 1917, which retails at around GBP10 (US$19.30) a bottle, all the more intriguing. In as price-obsessed a market as the UK, what’s not to say that these guys have a sleeping giant on their hands.

Target #1, though, is getting people to try the stuff (my one-word review? More-ish). The best of British to you gents, or should that be the best of Belarussian?

Click here for more details on Sparkling 1917


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