Blog: Chris MercerEnglish 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.


Starbucks jumps on gin bandwagon

Starbucks has become the latest company to tap into the gin craze, with the launch of Starbucks Reserve Gin Barrel-Aged Cold Brew....


Feeling Blue on Monday? Help is at hand

It may not be scientific, but the third Monday in January has been coined 'Blue Monday' - the most depressing day of the year. Dreamed up in the UK by a psychologist commissioned by a holiday company ...


Bad day on the beer? This'll help

If you work for a brewer and are having a rough week, take a minute to regain some perspective with this, from the good people at US craft beer producer Sierra Nevada Brewing Co....


Brewers Association "bid" to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev strikes a chord

Is this a case of if you can't beat them, buy them?...

Forgot your password?