Gordon Ramsay serves English sparkling to the French

Gordon Ramsay has expressed his pride in serving English sparkling wines to diners at his newly opened Le Pressoir d’Argent restaurant in Bordeaux’s five-star Grand Hôtel.


Gordon Ramsay tweeted that France should ‘relax’ about ownership of the word ‘Champagne’ (Photo: Wikipedia)

The celebrity chef will serve a range of wines from Camel Valley, Gusbourne Estate, Ridgeview and Coates & Seely at Le Pressoir, which opened under Ramsay’s management this week.

Following the announcement of the restaurant opening, Ramsay took to Twitter to express his pride in serving English fizz in the home of Champagne, even quipping that he should  “ask France finally to call our Sparkling wine Champagne”, adding suggestively, “Champagne Nightmares”.

Champagne is the most fiercely protected wine appellations of origin in the world. According to Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC) regulations, the word ‘Champagne’ can only be used for sparkling wines from the Champagne region. 

Even the terms méthode champenoise and Champagne method – the method used to make Champagne which involves secondary fermentation in bottle – were forbidden by an EU court decision in 1994. 

In response to one tweeted comment which pointed out the legal ramifications of calling English sparkling wine ‘Champagne’, Ramsay suggested that the authorities ought to take a more relaxed attitude to ownership of the word, joking that he had “agreed to let them use our word Wellington for their Fillet’s [sic] of Beef”.  

Le Pressoir, which takes its name from the extremely rare solid silver lobster press housed in the dining room – opened its doors to the public on September 25. It is Ramsay’s second restaurant in France, along with the Trianon Palace in Versailles.

The restaurant’s wine list has been developed by Ramsay’s team in Bordeaux, led by sommelier and buying director Frederic Rouglan, with input from Gordon Ramsay and his wine buying team in London. The list features more than 500 wines.

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