| Influential US wine critic Eric Asimov has predicted a bright future for English sparkling wines in America, even though virtually none are sold there at the moment.|
The New York Times critic recently visited a number of English producers and has written about his experiences in the newspaper and on his blog.
Optimism that England can make world-class sparkling wine "is not at all unfounded", Asimov says.
"English sparkling wines may not yet rival very good Champagnes, but the best versions are already surprisingly good. I was especially taken with the elegant blanc de blancs from Ridgeview Estate in East Sussex and Gusbourne Estate in Kent. Hush Heath Estate's Balfour Brut Rosé is quite good."
In his blog he added: "So far, English sparkling wines are hard to come by in the United States. Nobody imports them yet, although Ridgeview plans to begin sending wines to New York and Washington after the 2011 harvest. My guess is that we'll begin to see English sparkling wines show up over the next five years or so, especially after some well-known figures in the wine world begin production of their own wines."
But Asimov was not impressed by the still wines he sampled. "I did try a few and I can't say I was encouraged," he said. "Of course, conclusions can come only after a far more comprehensive investigation, but those who've tasted more than I have are not much more positive about it."
Written by Graham Holter
Harpers Wine and Spirit Trades Review
29 April 2011