Jane is an award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster who was crowned International Wine & Spirit Competition Communicator of the Year in 2014. She is a wine expert on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen Live and author of Wine & Food. Jane is a previous recipient of the Chairman’s Award at the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards for her articles on Champagne. She is a regular commentator on television and radio, hosts tastings, judges in international wine competitions and is one of the five members of The Wine Gang.
What are your thoughts on the future of English sparkling wine?
I think it has SUCH an exciting future ahead of it and I’m very excited to be part of the wine industry now – at the moment when it is turning heads all over the world. Every winemaking region that I visit these days is asking me about it, which goes to show the global awareness people have and that makes me very proud. That said, I would like to see more consistency in quality across the board. We have a few leading lights and that number is thankfully growing, but the English Wine Producers’ tasting in London this year, demonstrated the serious variability in quality and I would love to see that evened out.
Which sparkling wines or regions do you think are most underrated?
In my opinion, Franciacorta. Overshadowed by Champagne in terms of famous traditional method fizz and overshadowed by Prosecco in terms of Italian fizz, it’s such a shame. The consistency in quality across the region is great, Satèn is a nice USP that they could capitalise on as a region and it’s a very food-friendly style of bubbles, what’s not to love?
What is your favourite sparkling wine food pairing?
It’s a classic, but it works time and again for me… Traditional method fizz (Champagne and English fizz especially) and fish and chips are so delicious together, plus I love the contrast between a wine that’s seen as luxurious with a dish that’s seen as very down-to-earth.
Where’s the most memorable place you’ve enjoyed a Glass of Bubbly?
Sorry – but there are too many to choose just one! I’ve recently enjoyed a few glasses (!) of Lanson at Wimbledon – which is the brilliantly quintessential British summertime thing to do, but there are so many more, from trying wartime vintages in Champagne cellars themselves to celebrating birthdays and anniversaries of friends and loved ones, to sitting at the edge of peaceful Lake Iseo watching the world go by with a glass of Franciacorta. I could go on, AND ON!