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England and New Zealand's sparkling wines clash ahead of Cricket World Cup

Published:  11 February, 2015

The doyens of the English and New Zealand sparkling wine industry are ratcheting up the competition ahead of the Cricket World Cup with a blind taste off.

This year's sporting event is hosted by Australia and New Zealand, and England and New Zealand are hosting a battle of the bubbles before the countries meet on the pitch.

Each country has selected a team of 11 players, plus a 'twelfth man', to go head to head with each other. The team captains for each side, Oz Clarke for England and Jane Skilton MW for New Zealand, will be out in Wellington and head up a panel of wine writers, commentators and cricketing internationals to select the winners in the competition, which will then be announced at an evening reception.

Clarke said: "Both countries are now world-renowned for the quality of their fizz and to meet head-to-head in this keenly-anticipated match will certainly highlight the fabulous quality of these two nations' wines."

The 'battle' will be replicated in London on February 19 in New Zealand Penthouse where invited guests and media can have their say, vote for the winning team and select a 'man of the match' award.

Chris Stroud, marketing manager (Europe) for New Zealand Winegrowers said: "I think we're in for a great match - the final teams are all in place and are great examples of what both New Zealand and England are now producing within the sparkling wine sector."

Julia Trustram Eve, marketing director of English Wine Producers, added: "This is such a great opportunity to showcase some of the best of New Zealand and England fizz, and against the backdrop of the Cricket World Cup - nothing like a bit of healthy competition either! We're really thrilled that Oz will be captaining our wines out in Wellington."

The New Zealand wines up for tasting will be:

  • Akarua Rosé Brut
  • Daniel Le Brun Blanc de Blancs 2009
  • Deutz Blanc de Blancs 2010
  • Huia Brut 2009
  • Hunter's MiruMiru
  • Lindauer Special Reserve Brut Cuvée
  • Nautilus Cuvée Brut
  • No. 1 Family Estate No. 1 Cuvée Blanc de Blancs
  • Osawa Prestige Collection Méthode Traditionnelle
  • Quartz Reef Méthode Traditionnelle 2009
  • Seresin Moana Blanc 2009
  • Tohu Rewa Blanc de Blancs 2011

While the English wines, selected by Clarke, Stephen Skelton MW, sommelier Mike Harrison and Trustram-Eve are:

  • Ambriel English Reserve NV
  • Bluebell Hindleap Blanc de Blancs 2010
  • Camel Valley White Pinot 2010
  • Coates & Seely Blanc de Blancs NV
  • Hambledon Classic Cuvée NV
  • Henners Brut Reserve 2010
  • Hush Heath Balfour Brut Rosé 2010
  • Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2007
  • Plumpton The Dean Brut NV
  • Sugrue Pierre South Downs 2011
  • Wiston South Downs Blanc de Blancs NV
  • Wyfold Brut 2010