Weak pound fuels English sparkling wine boom

Sales of English sparkling wine are up by 50% at Fuller’s pubs after the group replaced its house Champagne with a homegrown fizz at its 500 UK sites.

The Guardian reports that the fall in the price of the pound has made English sparkling wine the same price as or cheaper than its continental rivals.

The pound’s 13% dip against the euro since the EU referendum has evened out the price differences between English wines and Champagne.

Following a successful trial last year, sales of English fizz are up by 50% at Fuller’s pubs around the UK, which list five different English sparkling wines at around £40 a bottle, while its cheapest Champagne costs £50.

“This is an absolute game changer. We are showcasing English wine in a way we have never done before. Our customers get the superb taste and quality and value for money,” Fuller’s head of wine, Neil Bruce, told The Guardian.

Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that Tesco is predicting English sparkling wine to be the “surprise” addition to a record number of dinner tables this Christmas.

The retail giant has seen around a third of its regular Champagne customers switch to English fizz over the past year.

“The incredible success of Prosecco over the last few years has opened the cellar door for other quality sparkling wines and this year early sales suggest English fizz will make it on to the Christmas table for the first time,” Tesco’s Champagne and sparkling wine buyer Rob Dixon, told The Guardian.

While the growing thirst for homegrown fizz is welcome news, Prosecco continues to enjoy the lion’s share of sales. The Italian sparkler is the best-selling fizz at Tesco, where it easily outstrips Champagne and English sparkling sales.

Demand for Prosecco is up 20% at Tesco, fuelled by growth in larger formats like magnums and Jeroboams, which work well at parties and larger gatherings. At Waitrose Champagne is outselling English sparkling by 10 bottles to one.

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