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English sparkling wine to name ship

Champagne will be shunned for English sparkling wine next year when Britain’s biggest cruise ship is officially named.

Wine expert Olly Smith with Wiston Estate Winery founder Pippa Goring and Christopher Edgington of P&O.

A nebuchadnezzar of Wiston Estate Brut NV will be smashed against the side of P&O’s Britannia – the biggest ship ever to be built for the UK market, in March.

Olly Smith, P&O Cruise’s official wine expert, said: “I selected Wiston Estate to launch Britannia thanks to its impeccable quality and for its poise between modernity and tradition. Wiston stands for passion and pride as a technically masterful English sparkling wine producer since 2006 with heritage as a farming estate stretching back to 1743. But the main reason is because its bubbly is irresistibly delicious!”

Four nebuchadnezzars, the equivalent of 21 bottles, of Wiston Estate Brut NV have been specially commissioned for the naming ceremony of Britannia and subsequent events.

Rebecca Palmer, buyer for Corney & Barrow, Wiston Estate’s UK agent and distributor, added: “P&O Cruises’ decision to choose Wiston for such an important ceremony is incredibly exciting not just in recognising Wiston’s excellence, but also in championing the potential of the entire English sparkling wine scene.”

Earlier this year the Queen named the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth with a bottle of single malt Scotch whisky from the Bowmore distillery on the island of Islay because the ship had been built and launched in Scotland.

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