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Jul 11, 2013 01:11 PM

The Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla) calls for a New Name for English Sparkling Wine

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  1. Champagne, sekt, and prosecco are already taken. And Cook's and Cold Duck have already carved out their marketing niche.

    And what comes to your mind when you hear the word Hampshire?

    How about Brit Bubbles?

    4 Replies

      If you'e talking Hampshire. How about toff-eco?

        1. re: kaleokahu

          I think you may be confusing Hampshire which is a county
          in southern England with Hampstead which is in north London and location of Hampstead Heath.

      1. Oh, my!

        She just isn't Princess Diana, is she?

        1 Reply
        1. I have had a few, and while NOT Champagne, they were surprisingly good, at least to me.

          Will they replace almost any Champagne? I highly doubt it, but still, quite good as sparklers.

          Have not had any, in several years, so they might well be even better?


          10 Replies
          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Speaking of bubbly, I had a wonderful visit at Iron Horse yesterday. Great Britain probably won't be competitive with their fabulous wines. Loved the Wedding Cuvée (I used to sell) and the Thomas Road Pinot Noir. A vineyard at the top of its game.

            1. re: collioure

              Joy Sterling (of the old Sterling Winery, prior to Coke-a-cola days), does some very good sparklers, plus a few still Chards and PN's. I really like her Brut Rosé. Also, she is a charming young lady.

              Glad that you liked her wines.


              1. re: Bill Hunt

                We knew her from 30 years ago. Their wines were all not so good then, but now they really have it together. She's the boss now with her brother and they're training his daughter.

                Look at their Wine Enthusiast ratings. Two of every three wines at 90 and above.

                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  Umm...err...uh, excuse me, but we're confusing California history.

                  Peter Newton was an Englishman and the owner of Sterling International, a paper company in the UK. He founded Sterling Vineyards in 1973. Sterling Vineyards was sold to Coca-Cola, and he went on establish Newton Winery after the "non-compete" clause expired. (Coke later got out of the wine business, and Sterling is now owned by Diageo.)

                  Barry Sterling, an attorney who practiced in the military's JAG Corps, before returning to practice law as a civilian in his native Los Angeles and -- later -- in France, founded Iron Horse Vineyards in 1979 with his wife Audrey. Their daughter, Joy Sterling, who used to be with ABC News (at one point, the Deputy Bureau Chief of their Los Angeles office) now runs the winery as CEO.

                  The Sterlings and the Newtons are not related.

                  1. re: zin1953

                    Yes, and then there is Joy Sterling, who is a lovely person, and a great interview.


                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      Hunt, Joy would LOVE that you referred to her as a "young lady" ;)

                      I love their Wedding Cuvee.. also the unoaked chardonnay.

                      1. re: ChefJune

                        I don't believe it!

                        Those are two of the wines I swooned over, esp the unoaked Chard since it is harder to consistently make well. Oak can cover a lot of flaws.

                        1. re: ChefJune


                          Considering my age, she will ALWAYS be a "young lady" to me, and a delightful one, at that!

                          Please do not tell her (she has a marketing background, after all), but I think that I would drink her wines, just because of her nature... [Grin]

                          I have several friends, who fly out in private jets, just to taste with her. I think that some would love it, almost as much, if she was serving Yellow Tail.


                          1. re: maria lorraine

                            Besides being gracious as heck, loads of fun, and pretty serious about her wines, she is kicks, and not much more needs to be said. My hat's always off to Miss Joy.


                  1. re: kagemusha49

                    Trying again with Wessex Fizz. The winemaking is pretty much all in the old Saxon kingdom of Wessex.

                  2. I thank various gods on a somewhat regular basis that I am no longer involved with the brand level marketing of wines. I sort of went backwards compared to many in the wine industry, working in distribution and for wineries before becoming a Somme. I guess I am still "marketing" some wines in so much as I sell them and talk about them and tell stories about wineries I like,...but working on "brand strategy" I found to be well, excruciating.

                    Most painful were times when your wine was part of some association/consortium/cabal that tried to "elevate" the entirety of a region through--almost without exception on this planet--massively idiotic and underfunded campaigns that not even the most patient consumer cared to pay attention to. And this must be the singular terror that rips through the hearts and minds of British sparkling wine producers right now. What will they call it?

                    Bubble and Yeast
                    Wrotham's Revenge
                    Brut de Bruts
                    Royal Piss

                    Is there anyone on earth that is going to tricked into thinking sparkling wine from England is any better becuase its got its own name!? I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it--the best versions are superior to many Cava's and Proseco's IMO--and in fact think a name decided by a bunch of marketing honks on the 18th floor of some building in London has a higher chance of making the product seem LESS appealing.

                    Let's use the renaming of Tokaj as exhibit a. Actually, let's not even get into becuase it's boring marketing stuff and who cares if "jakot" is a good idea or not. Point being, get too many marketing types involved and, having been one of them I can confidently say, it's not going to turn out well.

                    Make good wine and we'll buy it.

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: ellaystingray

                      Good points .. but you refer to Cava by which you mean the traditional method sparkling wines of Spain, in particular Catalonia and Prosecco. In other words, the very 'brands' that describe classes of wines that Camilla was proposing.

                      Cava is a recent name to describe those wines invented when they could no longer use the 'C' word. Prosecco similarly is now the name restricted to cuve close sparkling wines from a deliniated region of northern Italy.

                      'Sparkling wine' can mean any wine from anywhere made by any method, whereas Cava, Prosecco and indeed Champagne means something specific*, so Camilla makes sense.

                      But she's not the first and its a subject long discussed, and contenders have been 'Merret' -- used by Ridgeview but no-one else and 'Britagne' also used by one winery.

                      I though Merret was good, sounding like Merit and named after the first person who documented how to make sparkling wine by secondary fermentation. He was, of course, English.

                      * except in the US :)

                      1. re: Gussie Finknottle


                        Not every decision by regional "wine advocacy groups" turns out poorly, just usually.

                        Cava and Prosecco worked to the extent that the naming didn't get in the WAY of the wines being succesful, overall. I would argue that Cava and Prosecco are not benefitting from excellent naming, but excellent pricing. While this benefits the region as a whole I also feel it is at the detriment of the higher end producers. The NAME, gave credibility to lower end producers who took over the segment and "brand" Cava and Proseco suffer from this in my opinion--how hard is it now to sell a >$20 Cava or Prosecco? Morever, Champagne has certainly helped them along by becoming so price disparate with the majority of these two markets as to not really be in the same competitive set. However, American Sparkling or English Sparkling has no such price constraints, more or less.

                        English Sparkling Wine works great (we'll call our American)I think. Merret...I don't know. It sort of sounds like an elongated furry animal you'd make a coat out of before PETA existed. I am making fun here, but my take is, creating too much differentiation, thereby narrowly defining yourself, can lead to as many problems as benefits and sometimes, unintended consequences. And that's when you get a name that is "brand" neutral.

                        1. re: ellaystingray

                          Yes. For most purposes, "English Sparkling Wine" works well, and tells the story.


                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                            "English Sparkling Wine" is also the simplest.

                            Is there a need for a new name, or an invented name?

                            Unless there's a name that's better than the simplest name, it won't have sticking power.

                            Spain has cava ("from the caves"), Italy has Prosecco and Asti (both place names), Germany has sekt (from secco, for "dry). All those are direct expressions of the country and language.

                            So far, there's not a UK place name that works and would not also limit future production areas. So the name has to be a non-place name, referring to the liquid itself.

                            I don't see the possibility of anything better than "sparkling wine, (both in US and UK English), unless it's a name that rises independently from popular usage in the UK only.

                            1. re: maria lorraine

                              Is there need for a new name?

                              Yes, because I think the intention is that the new name will controlled. Just as Cava is Spanish Sparkling Wine but not all Spanish Sparkling Wine is Cava, and Prosecco is Italian Sparkling Wine but not all Italian Sparkling Wine is Prosecco, I think the new name is required for a quality specification, e.g. sparkling wine made in the traditional method from vinifera grapes.

                              At the moment any wine made from any grapes grown in England with bubbles created by any method fits the description English Sparkling Wine. You can't have quality definition without a name for it. Of course, maybe the word Quality at the beginning will do, but that adds another 2 syllables to the 5 syllable English Sparkling Wine.

                              BTW, Prosecco didn't come from a place name, but the grape.

                              1. re: Gussie Finknottle

                                BTW, the name of the grape (now known as "glera") and of the wine came from a place name.


                                1. re: DeppityDawg

                                  There is a place called Prosecco in Trieste - a long way from the center of Prosecco productio. - which has now been co-opted into the Prosecco DOc on very spurious grounds in order for Italy to hijack the name of the grape for commercial reasons under the vague pretence of a geographical appellation.

                                  You have to hand it to them - they ballsed up Friuli but they were on the ball with Prosecco.

                                  1. re: Gussie Finknottle

                                    Prosecco is actually several different Croatian and Italian wines made from several different grapes. The region where these wines are produced is called Prosek or Prosecco, an obvious reference to the dry/secco quality of the wine. Only this year, did some differentiation occur, with the Prosecco DOC limiting the name to a specific grape and place. The name is sort of a chicken/egg situation, and not sorted out as best as it might be:

                                    When production of English Sparkling Wine becomes so great as to warrant production quality mandates, a name will emerge. Even if it is a term like English Traditional Sparkling Wine. But to force a new name now seems premature, when market demand/viability of the product is uncertain. At least to me.

                      2. re: ellaystingray

                        God, new blood. Right or wrong, please stay?

                            1. re: Ed Dibble

                              Good name but for a couple of things:

                              what if the wine is not Brut?

                              Brit is borderline because we are talking about 'English' wine not 'British' wine. British wine is a legally defined name for 'wines' made from imported must or dried grapes. 'English' wine is reserved for wines made from grapes grown in England.