So they thought our mothers were hamsters and our fathers smelled of elderberries, did they? Well, for years the French conned the world about their overpriced acidic antifreeze-pimped drink, but California proved them wrong a few years back in blind taste tests, and now it seems that the English are finally catching on too.
Back in 2007 we spent £1 billion on champagne in the UK. That figure is expected to fall to less than £700m this year, while sales of prosecco, cava and other sparkling wines are up 55%. Why?
The perceived snobbery of champagne is fading – just like the idea that a casino is classy and not full of fat Chinese guys in track suits. Nobody but an idiot now equates champagne with unattainable luxury – if it was, why is it trotted out at every middle-management knees-up, hen night and marketing awards ceremony?
The other night we drank Chapel Down Sparkling Rose, a genuinely stunning summer tipple from the first English winery to achieve a gold medal at the prestigious International Wine Challenge. It has a subtle softness that makes it a far less harsh quaff than even a good French champagne, and now they’re doing the same with beers.
So it’s back to ripping off the Russkies for you, snail-scarfing Neo-Nazi Appeasement-Boys, and long may Queen Elizabeth’s finest breweries serve the nation! (Sorry, I seem to have been overcome with Olympics/Jubilee national fervour for a moment).