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English sparkling wine has its own glass and it’s not what you’d think

Producers in Hampshire, Kent, and Sussex were conclusive in their decision during tastings hosted by Riedel

Do you prefer drinking your fizz from a flute, coupe or perhaps tulip-shaped glass?

Winemakers from Hampshire, Kent and Sussex recently had their say on which glass shape showcases English sparkling wine the best and all three regions were unanimous in their decision.

Maximilian Riedel, from Austrian cystal glassware company Riedel, conducted wine glass development workshops with 25 of the foremost wine producers from across the three counties in a bid to find the English Sparkling Wine glass.

The tasting workshops, which took place at Exton Park in Hampshire (in partnership with Vineyards of Hampshire), Squerryes Estate in Kent (in partnership with Wine Garden of England) and Ridgeview Wine Estate in Sussex (in partnership with Sussex Wineries), saw panels of winemakers and expert tasters blind taste from a shortlist of 12 different Riedel glasses, with a large number of different English Sparkling Wines from each region.

The exact same glass – the Riesling shape from Riedel’s Veloce range – was selected as the winning glass at each independent session. The glass is fuller in shape than the usual flute or a saucer.

“I have long admired English Sparkling Wines, since I made my first vineyard visits here almost ten years ago. In that time, I have seen the industry grow and the wine develop to a truly internationally high standard, so that it is amongst the very best sparkling wines in the world,” comments Maximilian Riedel, who is 11th generation glassmaker and CEO of the 300-year old family run company. “I am proud to support English Sparkling Wines with a specific Riedel glass, which shows the fruit, the freshness, and the complexity of these great wines at its very best.”

The glass will now see some slight adaptations, such as a nucleation point to improve the way the glass manages the mousse and the text ‘English Sparkling’ added to the base, before it is launched to the market this spring.

Simon Thorpe MW, CEO of WineGB, adds: “The selection process was fascinating and very robust, and the chosen glass is a wonderful outcome. Certainly, the glass showcased the full quality and complexity of the wines, both on the nose and palate. To have an English Sparkling Wine glass of such quality created especially for our wines is a real marker of the development of the industry and its growing reputation both on the domestic and international marketplace.”