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UK consumers ignorant about English wine

English wine is winning medals and our vineyards are growing by leaps and bounds, yet it seems UK consumers still haven’t got much of a clue about the wine we are producing in this country.

A recent survey, commissioned by Yahoo! Answers, found that 40 per cent of respondents had never tasted English wine and a fifth were completely unaware that wine was produced on these shores at all. To add insult to injury, 10 per cent also believed that there isn’t enough expertise in England for wine production.

Only one per cent said they regularly enjoyed a glass of English wine even though a quarter of those polled said they would prefer to support British goods if they could.

And with such a lack of knowledge about English wine generally, it’s not surprising that 78 per cent of those asked hadn’t heard of Reichensteiner - a popular grape variety for making white wine here. In fact, nearly one in five thought it was a beer, while others thought it was a German footballer or a breed of dog!

So maybe it was a brave move on Devon’s part to pit its wines against those of New Zealand in a blind-tasting competition as part of the recent English Wine Week. The judging was by experienced tasters as well as members of the public. And the result? New Zealand easily came out top.