Albion for English fizz

(by peter and Jonica Fox)

Back in August we launched a competition to find a name for English sparkling wine.

The idea stemmed from the hoo-ha in the media about the proposals for the terms ‘Britagne’ and ‘Merret’ to be adopted as generic terms for English fizz in an attempt to rival the power of the name ‘champagne’.

We invited readers to suggest a name – or come up with the best reason not to have one at all.

The competition was generously sponsored by our guest blogger Jonica Fox, who writes regular instalments for us entitled Diary of an English Vineyard. The prize was a bottle of her debut vintage, a rosé English sparkling wine named Cuvée No 1.

We were delighted with not only the number but also the inspired nature of many entries, with some truly original and imaginative thinking taking place – as well as a bit of fun, and rightly so. Our thanks to all who took part.

Below Jonica names not just one but two worthy winners. Congratulations to them – and happy drinking.

Who knows, they may even find their name up in lights at some stage in the future…

Announcing the winners

(by Jonica)

At the height of the summer we asked you to suggest a good name for English Sparkling Wine, something that could stand beside ‘champagne’ as an evocative descriptor of the very best English bubbly.

We were after something uniquely English that would just trip off the tongue.

We tested entries by asking each other, ‘would you treat your favourite person a lovely glass of…’?

We had a great response, for which many thanks to everyone who took part.

We had some very clever ideas, from Luke’s MV (from Micans  Vinum: elegant Latin for ‘sparkling wine’) to Jacquie’s  expressive Verve , bursting with joie-de-vivre and a sly nod to Veuve Cliquot.

Peter , Susie and I have been so impressed by the good ideas put forward that is has been a genuinely tough call to pick a winner.

So tough in fact that instead of just one winner, we’ve decided to award a second bottle of Rosé English Sparkling Wine from our first 2009 vintage, the delicious Cuvée No 1.

Firstly, congratulations to Dominic from Surrey for Albion, our star winner. What could be more English! Peter was particularly taken with the fact that the origin of this Old English word is thought to derive from the whiteness of the cliffs of Dover, which bedrock is the key to quality in many a fine English fizz – hence a very apt term in this context.

Congratulations also to John from Sussex for Celebritain… A great idea especially with the Olympics on the horizon.

Albion and Celebritain just outgunned Stephen, who wrote the best defence of ‘no name needed’. It’s worth noting that many well argued responses took this line.

As for the entertaining non-winners, Will and Charlie hit us with BritPop and we also had a BritFizz.  Peter muttered darkly about both being ‘a bit Eurovision’.

The last word?

From Marcus who has been following the tweets – and wrote a witty email about Perfizzious Albion.

Thank you all for joining in.