Will English fizz feature at the royal wedding?

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Wedding bells: Might Prince Harry toast his new bride Meghan Markle with English sparkling wine on Saturday (19 May)?
Wedding bells: Might Prince Harry toast his new bride Meghan Markle with English sparkling wine on Saturday (19 May)?
Information about the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this weekend (19 May) has been readily available, but news of what sparkling wine will be served is still under wraps.

Buckingham Palace staff revealed that bowl food made up from ‘classic dishes’ created from seasonable British produce will be served to guests during the lunchtime reception.

The Wine & Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) has claimed it is inconceivable that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle won’t follow in the footsteps of Prince William and Kate Middleton and serve an English sparkling wine to toast their nuptials.

To help the happy couple make their choice, the WSTA sent them a hamper of English sparkling wine at the end of last year.

Wine producers from across the country teamed up with the WSTA to select the ‘crown jewels’ of the English sparkling wine collection for Prince Harry and Meghan to sample.

Twelve of the bottles were from vines planted in vineyards in Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Kent and were delivered to Kensington Palace in the hope it would persuade them that home-grown sparkling wine was the right choice for the wedding toast.

Possible contenders

The selection included a Hambledon Première Cuvee and Digby Fine English 2010 vintage Brut. Ridgeview Wine Estate also sent its Bloomsbury, which was served at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Ridgeview are also involved in the production of the Great Windsor Park sparkling wine, which is grown on the Queen’s estate at Windsor Castle.

The WSTA said Meghan Markle might be tempted by a bottle of Nyetimber, which is made in West Sussex, as it reflects the title which is tipped to be bestowed to her – the Duchess of Sussex.

Harry’s brother Prince William and sister-in-law Kate’s chose to serve Chapel Down sparkling rosé at their wedding in 2011. Cornwall’s royal warrant holder Camel Valley is also in the running.

With an outside chance is Rathfinny’s Sussex Sparkling. Princess Anne recently visited the wine estate to open its new winery and cellar, but the range of sparkling wine isn’t officially released to the public until June.

According to the WSTA, Chapel Down is currently riding high as the favourite at odds of 1/1, followed by Camel Valley at 3/1 and Nyetimber at 3/1.

Excellent opportunity

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “We were delighted to be able to offer a selection of top quality English sparkling wines for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to sample ahead of their wedding day.

“The royal wedding is an excellent opportunity to showcase English wine to the world and demonstrate what we do best in Britain.

“Our English winemakers are extremely proud of the quality of the sparkling wine currently being made in the UK.

“Which wines have been chosen for the wedding remains a closely-guarded secret and we like to think this is because it was one of the hardest decisions to make, as there are so many excellent English sparkling wines to choose from.

“We look forward to finding out which wines the happy couple choose to serve to toast their big day.”

Related topics: Wine

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