British wines have had their level of self-regard officially raised from ‘quite good actually’ to ‘best in the world’ by the country’s generic body.
The Society for the Production of English Wine (SPEW) made the decision following the country’s dominant performance in a competition where it was the only entrant.
SPEW admits that the move to ‘best anywhere’ status is a bold one but said it felt bound to act following the country’s incredible results in this year’s Wine GB Awards.
Of the 1200 wines submitted to this year’s competition, almost 800 were classified as ‘drinkable’ by the judges – a record.
‘British wines have really arrived,’ said Madeline Angevine, CEO of SPEW. ‘If only 1/3 of the entries make you gag, then that puts us at least on a par with France and Italy, and some way ahead of Spain.’
Previous classifications have included ‘better than you’d think’ and ‘OK if you’re not too fussy’.
Of the record 650 medals given out, half went to sparkling wines owned by hedge-fund managers and half to still wines made by optimists.
But chairman of judges, Roger Vested-Interest, said there were some exciting new categories as well.
‘It’s great to see people experimenting with orange wine and natural and organic wines,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘And I’m particularly excited to see the appearance of the ‘grey rot’ and ‘made with less than 12 hours of sunshine’ categories.
‘They really could be a point of difference for the UK going forward.’
You boys took one helluva beating
SPEW said that the performance by the UK’s wineries had blown other countries out of the water.
‘There wasn’t a single medal for any other producing country,’ said Angevine. ‘Champagne… prosecco… cava… Burgundy… they just couldn’t live with our boys, who dominated the competition from start to finish.
‘It’s time that the rest of the world faced facts: no-one else can make British wine like the UK.’
However, some competitors were scathing of the claims being made by SPEW.
‘Of course all the winning wines were from the UK,’ said Vincenzo Rulbrecqa of the Italian Wine Board. ‘What do you expect? It’s a UK wine competition!
‘Just like in a big tasting of prosecco all of the winning wines would be Italian.
‘Even those that come from Romania.’