Ask people in the western world what their favourite alcoholic drink is, and the majority will say wine. While beers and gins remain eternally popular, wine is the go-to drink for romantic meals, a night in front of the TV and celebrations.
There are so many wine growing regions globally, but in this post, we’re going to reveal the differences between American and English wines. Both have an exciting history but are often overlooked, with French wines being the most popular.
In this post, we’ll look at some vital differences between wines from both regions to help you decide which is best for your needs.
One of the most obvious differences between English and American wine is the diverse history each has. English wine is a lot older than American wine because the continent wasn’t officially discovered until 1492. Let’s take a look at the history of each.
English wine is traceable back to Roman times, but many believe the Normans in 1066 began producing the alcoholic drink. William the Conqueror brought his nobles over to England, which led to them creating vineyards – especially around West London.
When the English acquired the Aquitaine region of France, they began moving their wine production processes to the area. The climate in England is more unpredictable than in France, and during the medieval era, most of the country’s wine production took place overseas.
While many operations ceased to exist in England, some nobles continued to grow their wine. But it was in the 20th Century that saw a resurgence in wine production. Today, although The UK isn’t exactly known for its wine production, there are plenty of vineyards that offer delicious whites, reds, roses and sparkling wines.
As you will probably know, winemaking became popular in America when Europe’s settlers decided to colonise the country. While the colonies initially tried to make wine in the eastern states and Virginia, they found it challenging to work with the complex climate and pests.
Most people assume California is the home of the first successful American vineyard, but it was actually in Cincinnati, Ohio. In the 1830s sparkling wine was the first success and shipped to Europe.
Prohibition in the 1920s dealt a massive blow to winemakers in the USA. Still, when it ended, the University of California pioneered new techniques to produce wine, and as the years went by, there was a dramatic shift from sweet wines to table wines.
In 1976, a blind taste-testing experiment saw California wines beating French versions, which cemented the country as one of the world’s biggest wine producers.
The Production Process
When it comes to wine, the production process defines the overall taste and strength of each bottle. Let’s take a look at how wines in The UK and America are produced.
In the UK, producers take inspiration from the French and German vineyards. Sparkling English wine is making big waves in the industry, and some are even comparing it to Champagne.
The climate defines which wines the UK can grow, and due to the similarities between England and Germany in temperatures and rainfall, both wines are similar.
Some of the most famous wines from England include:
- Pinot Gris
- Pinot Noir
- Seyval Blanc
Popular growing regions include:
- East Anglia
The USA is a hugely diverse country in every sense. From the west coast relaxed vibes to the deep south, it’s got something for everyone. But the country’s central wine-growing regions are Oregon, California, and Washington.
The Napa region of California shot to fame when its Cabernet Sauvignon beat France in The Judgement of Paris wine tasting competition. It’s one of the region’s most famous wines and put American wine on the map.
Since the 1990s, Chardonnay has dominated California winemaking. Known for its luxurious appeal and strong, crispy taste – Chardonnay is a fan favourite. The Sonoma Coast of California is one of the most renowned Chardonnay producers.
Rewind to before 2004, and Californian Pinot Noirs were considered too full-on and jam-like in flavour and consistency. Today, the wine continues to grow in popularity, and a focus on producing high-quality Pinots means it’s not one of the best in the world.
Wine connoisseurs love Merlot because it has a bold taste, with a creamy texture. The dense fruit flavours make it one of the most popular wines in the world.
Will Brexit Bring English and American Wine Together?
Whether you voted to leave or remain, we all got to the point where we just wanted Brexit to be complete. Now the UK is independent of the EU, and the country can look towards forming new trade partnerships. Many people are asking, will Brexit bring English and American wine together?
While the UK currently imports most of its wine from Europe, the split with EU countries could provide the ideal opportunity for American wines to make their way overseas to become the most popular wine type.
American wine is a staple in the UK supermarket, but it’s usually only top brands that make their way onto the shelves. With Brexit opening the doors for new trade deals, lesser-known American wines could rise to prominence.
However, it’s also important to mention that English producers are beginning to scale their vineyards. While American wine could find a new home, it might become a competitor with English vineyards.
The Last Round
Wine will continue to be a popular drink because it offers so much diversity. Your budget doesn’t matter because you’ll always find a bottle that suits your needs. While wines are similar on the surface, it’s important to experiment because the variety of grapes and producing regions define each bottle’s strength, texture, and taste.
If you’re not a fan of wine or would love to try something different, then the Bottle Club offers a range of unique beers, spirits and liqueurs. One of our most popular products right now is the innovative apple pie gin.
Dessert fans will adore this creamy, tangy taste explosion and bonus point – it’s not got the calories!