Hambledon Classic Cuvee
New Zealand may have thrashed England on the cricket pitch earlier but a couple of days ago the two countries went head to head with a strong team of sparkling wines each in Wellington and London, as eleven ‘players’ plus a twelfth man from each displayed a more even set of results.
Hosted by New Zealand Winegrowers, Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, the ‘Battle of the Bubbles’ was played out in Wellington, with Team Captains Oz Clarke for England and Master of Wine Jane Skilton for New Zealand participating in a blind tasting of the two countries’ wines. The wines were tasted in pairs.
The results were a comfortable dead heat between the two – six wines from both sides each winning their round. An English wine, Wyfold Brut 2010 from Oxfordshire, owned by Barbara Laithwaite, was crowned ‘Player of the Match’.
Over in London a ‘friendly’ match between the same two teams was played out, hosted at New Zealand House. The event captured the attention of a good mix of wine writers, sommeliers and industry professionals, who tasted all the wines blind and were asked to vote for their best team and top wine (‘Player of the Match’). This time the overall win went to England, with the ‘Player of the Match’ another English wine: Hambledon Classic Cuvée NV from Hampshire – a pertinent winner, given its historical cricketing connections.
Commenting on the results, Chris Stroud, Marketing Manager (Europe) of New Zealand Winegrowers said: “It was a hard fought match and a great result for both teams. There were some high quality wines on both sides showing that these two cool climate countries on opposite sides of the globe are capable of producing world-class bubbles.”
Julia Trustram Eve, Marketing Director of English Wine Producers, added: “England can hold its head up high after this particular encounter with New Zealand. I’m really proud that in both tastings, the ‘Player of the Match’ was an English sparkling wine – congratulations to Wyfold and Hambledon!”