As English wine week draws to a close it has emerged that UK consumers know and drink very little when it comes to wine produced in their own country.
A recent survey, commissioned by Yahoo! Answers and conducted earlier this month, found that although there are 350 vineyards in England, and over £10bn is spent annually on wine, the average consumer is ignorant when it comes to English wine.
According to the survey, 40% of respondents had never tasted English wine and just under 20% were unaware that wine was produced on British shores.
Only 1% of those asked said they regularly enjoyed a glass of English wine, with Londoners and Scots being the least likely people to drink it.
Matt Skinner, sommelier at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant, agrees that there is a lack of knowledge on the part of the consumer.
‘This just shows how little people in the UK know about wine made here,’ he told decanter.com.
Skinner, who is currently participating in an online forum on Yahoo! Answers to raise awareness of English wine during English wine week, also says that UK wines have problems competing on the shelves.
‘English wines are small [in volume] and they are swamped on the high street,’ he said.
Skinner said he understands the consumer’s scepticism.
‘When I was first approached to try English wine I too was sceptical but, after my first glass, I was amazed,’ he said.
English wine week runs from 26 May to 1 June.
Written by Oliver Styles