25 Feb 2015

A question about : Mean bloke looking for expensive champagne cheap

For Christmas I wanted to surprise some Parisian French friends with a gift of Champagne. But not the stuff they make in Champagne which is in France and in which they are drowning. No, I wanted to send them some of our superior English Champagne, for an education. Only I had a quick looked at the producer I knew, and the prices are English aargh, no doubt including every ridiculous tax. And then they are silly on top of that.

Then I thought isn't Waitrose in France now, but I didn't in a browse find something suitable, so then I thought, what about those gigantic stores for cross-Channel travelers in Calais, and I looked at one and they have equally ridiculously low-priced stuff from New Zealand etc. that i don't know. I want a reliable reputable Engish one. And delivery in France. Well maybe I would be prepared to pay something for that.

But still as little as possible! title=Big

It looks best to buy in France, but rather a niche product I guess, anyone know where?

Best answers:

  • Hi there,
    Firstly, only wine from the Champagne region of france can be called champagne - anything that claims otherwise is lying (see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champagne) - so you can't have English Champagne, as it simply doesn't exist.
    IF you want something similar to Champagne, perhaps go for a bottle of Prosecco, or even a Cava. Both can be picked up in supermarkets, (Aldi's cava has won awards for its taste).
    Why not order some sparking wine (English or otherwise) over here and have it shipped over? France is only over the channel, and some will get it to you in a matter of hours.
    The "English Champagne" you've seen will either be imported French champagne, or most likely a sparkling wine equivalent.
    If you're really stuck, why not visit a wine retailer? There's a few thousand online, most of whom deliver across Europe.
  • oh my we do love to quibble. OP unfortunately it's not champagne we make in this country, only sparkling wine. but some vineyards do follow the very same processes that they use in champagne and make some quality products.
    Most of the major supermarkets do have English sparkling in stock but not sure if they can ship to France. And I've no idea if shops in France have started to stock English bubbles. I reckon have a look at some of the vineyards directly and see if they'll ship. Chapel Down, Nyetimber and Denbies are all good. Look for dry sparkles with second fermentation in bottle (or champagne method)
  • My Mum and Dad bought my husband and I (when we got married), a case of each of the Bacchus and the Classic Cuvee. There were both amazing. The vineyard is in Gloucestershire.
    http://www.three-choirs-vineyards.co.uk/wine/wines/
  • The problem is not the wine, whether we call it Champagne or something else. I have drunk some Chapel Down and thought it better than any Champagne I have ever tasted (which is, let's admit, overrated). They often win over Champagne in experts' blind tastings. I have heard of the high reputation of Three Choirs. But these do not deliver outside the UK, nor even to all inside for that matter.
    I can find some of the recommendeds at Waitrose. They do not deliver outside the UK. There are a number of companies specialising in delivery to expats in France, but either they have their own selection of products or they don't deliver to a home address there or to anywhere conveniently near.
    I should say I am not in the UK or France ATM to organise delivery in person. I thought it could be a long search to find a solution, now I've now spent some time on, that's why I'm asking here if anyone has done this.
  • Thought I'd do you some research as I find this an interesting challenge. Hunting around on French websites for English wines (with Google translate) seems to be a lost cause. Which is really annoying. I even found a couple of French sites selling Brazilian wine which is ridiculous because it's not very good (yet), particularly in comparison to our excellent English bubbles.
    A couple of the English sites mentioned do offer international shipping but the prices seem a bit high and probably not efficient for your moneysaving ways. However the offer here seems pretty damn good
    http://www.courtgarden.com/buy-sparkling-wines.html
    However, I've never heard of the wine or tasted it.
    Wine direct have some good options but a bit more expensive
    http://www.winedirect.co.uk/international-delivery
    oh and I just had a play around with this site
    https://www.hambledonvineyard.co.uk/
    I entered France delivery for a single bottle and it said Ј10 5-7 days. Although it was a bit of a fiddle. But my folks just tried some of the hambledon stuff recently and said they really liked it.
    Hope this helps
    B
  • Majestic Wine Calais do deliveries to addresses in France, but they don't have any Chapel Down or Nyetimber, only the uk stores have it.
    http://www.majesticwinecalais.co.uk/services/delivery