London is getting it’s ‘first’ global sparkling wine bar

Prosecco may still be leading the pack when it comes to sparkling wine, but a new bar coming to London this summer will shine a light on fizz across the globe.

Global sparkler merchant Grays & Feather is set to open a new wine bar concept in Covent Garden in summer 2018, offering imbibers the chance to make their money stretch further by sampling fizz produced anywhere from the UK to Brazil.

Grays & Feather will sell “undiscovered and unusual wines from small, hidden experimental winemakers from across the globe,” according to an emailed statment.

The comprehensive wine list will be complemented by a menu of small plates reflecting the bar’s global outlook, which provides a “shared social experience, just as bubbles should be enjoyed.”

The news comes as, despite Prosecco retaining its dominance over the global sparkling wine market, consumers are showing a growing interest in less common expressions and regions.

Prosecco continues to dominate the market, according to figures from Vinexpo.

Prosecco has taken ground from Champagne to become the most widely-consumed fizz around the world, but a number of UK grocers have reported a boost in sales of Crémant and English sparkling wines in recent months.

Last week the Telegraph reported that Waitrose has seen its Crémant sales increase by 28 per cent on last year, peaking on Valentines Day as shoppers opted for it as an alternative to other bubbly. The upmarket grocer has also seen a 72% rise in Crémant sales compared with the whole of 2016.

Speaking to the drinks business in March, Vinexpo chief executive Guillame Deglise said that sparkling wine from Argentina and New Zealand will become more visible in British supermarkets and the on-trade this year in spite of Prosecco’s overwhelming dominance in the market.

The latest figures from Vinexpo reveal that sparkling wine consumption is on the rise, with total European consumption of sparkling wine due to increase by over 7m cases, and the UK and Italy have been earmarked as the biggest fizz drinkers.

While sparkling wine consumption is predicted to rise across all categories over the next three years, Prosecco is driving the trend, with an expected market share of around 40% globally by 2021.

Meanwhile in the UK, the local sparkling wine market has seen rapid growth in the past 12 months. In February, Marks & Spencer reported a 15% rise in sales of its 17-strong range of English sparkling wines last year and predicts that the trend is set to continue into 2018.

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