Our wine man’s view on a boozy day in the Commons
It was a boozy day yesterday (March 14) as the House of Commons debated a 10-minute rule bill aimed at encouraging the Diplomatic Service to purchase wine and sparkling wines produced in the United Kingdom to be served at overseas functions and events.
Commenting on the Diplomatic Service (United Kingdom Wines and Sparkling Wines): Ten Minute Rule Motion, University of Northampton Marketing Lecturer, Simon Wragg, who holds a Diploma from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, commented: “There are over 500 vineyards in England and Wales, a number which continues to rise. Land under vine has increased over the past decade to 5,000 acres in the United Kingdom, with the UK wine industry now worth over £100 million and with over five million bottles produced each year.
“Wine producers have already told the Government they expect to increase exports tenfold by 2020, to 2.5m bottles. Sparkling wine in particular continues to win plaudits globally with its continuing high quality recognised by numerous awards at international blind-tasting competitions. The UK is definitely beating Champagne at its own game nowadays.”
In a separate development, yesterday also saw a bottle of gin being returned to the UK consumer’s inflation basket by the Office of National Statistics after an absence of 13 years. Simon commented: “This move reflects the growth in artisan, craft distilleries in the UK, and recognises the invention, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit among UK drinks producers.”