Wimbledon 2017 : Strawberries and Champagne ! A very British affair !

It’s that time again in a little corner of SW London . That every year the peace and tranquility of Southfields is shattered by the sound of thousands of feet marching up to the tennis in Wimbledon Village

Wimbledon has the honour of being the largest single annual sporting catering operation in Europe and the average quantities supplied by Championships’ caterers include a 40-year-old relationship with

It is during the 2 weeks that 29,000 bottles of Lanson are drunk. A mighty feat in any producers handbook. To complement the amount thats drunk,  28,000 kg (140,000 servings) of English strawberries are consumed.

strawberries-wide

This is the time to celebrate , to worship the “god of tanning” of which turns us Brits from  pasty white into

Lobster red !!!

We can only do this, it seems by drinking lots of champagne in the hot weather and loads of strawberries to boot.

Strawberries and  raspberries will always be the fruits of summer for the UK  but what about drink.

The historical bit……….

Champagne was originally produced in England, where the technology for bottling and corking drinks containing carbon dioxide was developed in the latter part of the 1500s,  In 1662, scientist Christopher Merret reported to the Royal Society of London that adding sugar “promoted effervescence,” lending champagne its signature sparkle.

However, determining the right amount of sugar required careful experimental processes to avoid bottle explosions. 100 years later and champagne was perfected. The original, sweet version became trendy in Paris among the wealthy, whilst the English preferred dry champagne and the English wine-making method became popular throughout the wine-making world.

The tradition of drinking champagne started in the Royal courts of Europe prior to 1789, where champagne was viewed as a status symbol and became very popular in the late nineteenth century. Today, it’s often used to commemorate joyous occasions, from launching ships to throwing champagne glasses on the floor at Russian weddings and Wimbledon.

 I can think of no better way to celebrate a relaxing time with friends or a trip to wimbledon tennis  than a nice chilled bottle of the following :

Billecart Salmon Cuvee Nicholas Francois 2002 champagne £120 The Whiskey Exchange

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or Bollinger Grande Annee 2002 Bollinger G.A. 2002 Millesima £130

This champagne are restrained refined and  elegant and one of the best years for vintage in the last 15 years.

Lanson Brut (Wimbledon’s preferred champagne) on the other hand is composed of 35% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir, and 15% Pinot Meunier, aged for three years.

The wine is fresh and fruity, with fresh apple notes and a grassy, mineral characteristics coming on later. Refreshing and well-balanced although I found it a little one dimensional. Ok if you want an unassuming champagne and 1/2 the price.  There is a champagne for everyone out there .and even sparkling wine’s from the UK  Although far to mention on here in this short piece , I will however highlight a few which i think is worth of a mention

some great producers  include

Camel valley Camel valley rose  £26.95

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Really individual English style in the best possible way. Delicate salmon pink colour, lovely floral and strawberry aromas, pure refreshing palate.

 

Bolney

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A simple, light and refreshing English sparkling wine. Very easy to drink with a charming elderflower creaminess. £23.99 Bolney bubbly

not to mention Wales

 Jabajak vineyard

Welsh Blush Sparkling 2014

A delicate sparkling rosé produced from our hand-picked Seyval and Phoenix grapes. Blushed with Rondo giving fabulous hints of strawberry on the nose leading to summer berries on the palate with a crisp dry finish. £35.00 Welsh sparkling

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As a footnote to the piece , there is so much talent and so many producers, now is the time for the government to support UK producers and UK brand in wine and champion the fabulous products we have on offer.  Champagne will be forever a celebration but there is nothing wrong in having sparkling wines as an alternative to it.  We have a slight restriction in that the size of the vineyards and yield of the grapes might be a little on the small side. Local grapes mean distinctive characteristics, so gentle interaction from the winemaker is needed to appeal to the palate of the consumer. But what ever the case champagne or sparkling wine should be drunk in times of happiness, in times of tears,in times of victory and in times of despair. It is a wine for enjoying.

A point worth thinking about ….

Do we as consumers pay champagne prices for champagne

or

Pay champagne prices for UK sparkling wine as the price of loyalty/patriotism or look to alternative markets !

Email me your favourite champagnes + photos   at  thegrapewizrd@gmail.com or merely just your comments

and sign up at thegrapewizard.com

Sorry its a short one this week !!!!

 

Music pairing

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