Wednesday, October 11, 2006


... at the Nyetimber vineyard the English pickers get stools to sit on! You certainly wouldn't see that occurring in any of the vines in this region.

Seeing this photo today, I was reminded that we were given a bottle of this prize winning, English sparkling wine as an engagement gift from a couple of friends in England. Nyetimber retails at a very high price (over £25/€36) and there has been much talk about how they beat the quality of a large Champagne house in blind tastings. Well, they probably do rival some producers, as not every champagne house produces the highest quality. (And, at that price I should hope that it is a quality product.)

We put the gift aside and opened it one afternoon when we had Frog Mother, Father, Aunt and Uncle around for Sunday lunch. Everyone had a good taste and agreed it went down very well. However, once the mouthful was finished, there was something missing. It took us a while to put our finger on what that was. Finally, we realised that what this was was a lack of a certain taste, that infamous terroir that the French talk about, a familar note wasn't to be found in the English wine.

Of course, this was no blind tasting and the panel were a little biased (and somewhat keen to move to the table for lunch). However, if I showed Father Frog a photo of the English pickers, sat on stools, any credibility this wine had mustered would disappear in a flash!

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