British Triumph for Wine Overseas

Hampshire sparkling wine

There has been a royally British fuss kicked up with regards to what is served across embassies, commonwealth offices and other core institutions representing Britain overseas. It seems now is the time where what is being presented is being brought under the spotlight. This is happening both literally, via food and drink to Britain’s guests overseas, and figuratively, through the British representation and impressions of these delicacies. We are finally now starting to scrutinise why we are presenting French pâté, Indian amuses bouches, or Italian wine at quintessentially British events near and far to home.

Whilst it can only be advocated to promote the diverse culture and foods we have access to in our multicultural country, and readily share these experiences with whomever is a guest at, say, a foreign embassy dinner, we should also celebrate the great British food and drink scene at such events. There has been much advocacy over the past few years and following a recent Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) event in July where English sparkling wine and British gin were served to much success, it looks like this could be the start of a new and lasting trend.

Following this event, and the great feedback received about the British-themed drinks, ambassadors who attended were encouraged to continue this new practice of serving British drinks, much to the delight of producers around the country. The motto from Sir Simon McDonald, who heads up the FCO’s diplomatic service was to ‘serve British at home and abroad’. This has proved such a popular idea that it was even proposed in parliament to encourage (well, force…) British embassies to buy in and offer English and Welsh wines, rather than favouring Prosecco or Champagne. Dubbed a ‘Brexit bill’ for when the fallout of the political upheaval occurs, the promotion of wine across British embassies could not only offer a little security to Blighty’s wine industry, but also serve as a proverbial challenge in the politics of wine.

We are yet to hear about the outcome of the proposed law, but regardless of the outcome, it is great to have the promotion of British produce at British events. This will be of benefit not only to the wine industry, but the lucky people on the receiving end of the culinary spreads. Whilst the meat industry has had a ‘buy British’ advertising slant for a number of years, it is great to see the wine industry taking hold of this, and hopefully asserting itself into ambassadorial events overseas and in our homeland, helping to spread the delight of our vineyard produce and vast pool of gin brands.