Musician Steve Aoki sprays champagne on the audience at the Tomorrowland music festival in Boom, Belgium on July 27, 2014. British sparkling wine producers won a number of awards at The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships. – AFP
They outperform traditional producers Australia, Italy and Spain.
Results of an inaugural sparkling wine competition have been announced out of Britain, where a trio of bubbly experts handed out gold and silver medals to producers around the world.
While it may come as no surprise that French bubbly from Champagne dominated The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships with 35 gold medals, British wine producers also proved to be formidable players in the industry, taking 11 gold awards to beat Australia, Italy and Spain.
For the inaugural competition, organised by leading British champagne expert Tom Stevenson, 650 entries were submitted and 185 wines took home gold and silver medals.
Interestingly, Stevenson deliberately decided against adding a bronze and commendable category to keep the bar high.
The reasoning? In many wine competitions, on average 30% of wines entered receive a bronze medal, diminishing the value of the award.
Gold and silver medals, meanwhile, represent between 10% and 15%, he said, which ensures that standards are kept high.
In addition to Stevenson, an author of several books on champagne and the chair of the Champagne panel for the Decanter World Wine Awards, the trio of judges included Essi Avellan, editor of Fine Champagne magazine and the first Finn to receive a Master of Wine, and Tony Jordan, a lecturer in oenology at Charles Sturt University in Australia.
Wines were tasted blind in groups of origin, grape variety, style and vintage and scored independently before the group made a decision together.
Meanwhile, trade publication The Drinks Business recently came out with a ranking of the most popular champagne brands around the world based on volume sales in 2013, and found that tipplers are most partial to Moet & Chandon, which topped the list, followed by Veuve Clicquot and Nicolas Feuillatte.
For the full listing of medal winners, check out http://bit.ly/1pvB4gk. – AFP Relaxnews