English sparkling wines spearheaded bumper wine sales over the Jubilee weekend in the UK, initial figures show.
Most retailers saw shoppers rush to stock up on wine for the four-day weekend to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, despite a miserable weather forecast. Amid the buying spree, English sparkling wine was a standout performer.
‘It’s been the biggest week ever for English fizz with sales 50 times the normal rate,’ said Marks & Spencer‘s trading manager for beers, wines and spirits, Andrew Bird. ‘We have sold 50,000 bottles of our exclusive sparkling wines from Ridgeview and Chapel Down wineries,’ he said.
Rival retailer Waitrose said that English sparkling wine sales grew twice as fast its sparkling wine range as a whole. Over the Jubilee period, Waitrose sales of English wine rose by over 350% and English sparkling wine sales increased five-fold, a company spokesperson said.
More generally, Bird added that M&S sold one third more sparkling wine and Champagne in the week leading up to the Jubilee than at Christmas, traditionally the biggest selling season for fizz.
A spokesperson for Tesco told Decanter.com that the supermarket giant sold 750,000 bottles of Champagne and sparkling wine over the four-day weekend.
At the other end of the retailing scale, Julia Stafford reported a sell-out crowd for her English wines festival at London’s Borough Market. Howling winds and downpours didn’t stop revellers sinking an estimated 350 bottles of English wine at the event, as they awaited the Queen’s Pageant on the river Thames.
‘We were inundated with people,’ said Stafford, who runs the one-year-old Wine Pantry, an exclusively English wines retailer. ‘We can’t wait for the Olympics now, this was just a warm-up,’ she told Decanter.com.
Written by Chris Mercer