The Rise Of English Wine


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WIN glassware this English Wine Week (23rd-31st May)


English Wine Week is a week to celebrate our increasingly impressive home-grown English wines. You’ll find lots of offers on English wines from wine merchants this week, as well as tastings and tours at our beautiful English vineyards. You can also win some exquisite Spiegelau glassware on our social media to raise a toast to this national celebration!

I imagine hell like this: Italian punctuality, German humour and English wine.” Peter Ustinov.

If you’ve not heard much about English wine before, that may be understandable.

Not long ago, aficionados would have had a bit of a chuckle at our wines. But today English wine is taken seriously: it’s having the last laugh as it’s fast catching-up and overtaking prestigious wine brands in quality. The success has encouraged more growth in the English wine industry: there are now over 400 vineyards in England and Wales, producing a record-breaking 6.3 million bottles in 2014.

F. Great for parties Festival glasses are a simple luxury that are extremely breakage resistant.

It is estimated that some 4 million of these wines produced in 2014 were sparkling wines, whose production has increased by nearly 150% in the last 5 years. The success of sparkling wine production in the UK is due to the country’s complimentary growing conditions for this variety. England’s own Nyetimber Classic Cuvee rivals (and often beats in blind-tasting) even the big names in Champagne. As well as winning international awards, English sparkling wines like Ridgeview have been poured for the Queen and government at special events, as well as President Barack Obama on a visit to Buckingham Palace.

“In the last 15 years English sparkling wines have won 8 trophies for Best
International Sparkling Wine and 4 trophies for Best Sparkling Rose in global
competitions – no other country has achieved this.” English Wine Producers, 2014.

Still wine production also continues to thrive: approximately 24% of English wine produced is white wine, and 10% is red/rosé. The English wine industry is something to be proud of and supported, with sales predicted to grow to £100 million by 2015.

Sophisticated and stylishly modern. Style champagne glasses.

Want to get involved? Some English wines can now be sourced easily from the high street as well as their wineries, including in stores like Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.

Here are some brands to look out for:

Nyetimber (London)

Ridgeview (Sussex)

Denbies (Surrey)

Three Choirs (Midlands)

Chapel Down (Kent)

Bolney (West Sussex)

Langham (Dorset)

Bluebell (East Sussex)

Camel Valley (Cornwall)

*WIN a set of Spiegelau Style wine glasses in our social media competition! Just share your wine pics with @SmedsonGB on Twitter or Facebook!*

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Browse our Pinterest board of English wines. 

English Wine Week Competition!


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We have a fantastic competition taking place for English Wine Week! You can enter on Twitter or Facebook just by sending us a photo of what wine you’re drinking to celebrate this week. If your photo is chosen you can win some beautiful Spiegelau Style glassware!

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Spiegelau Style wine glasses

To enter on Facebook, make sure you like our page and post your photo to our timeline. To enter on Twitter, follow us and tag us @SmedsonGB when you tweet your wine pic!

Be as creative as you like with your photos!

Be as creative as you like with your photos!

The competition will close 01/06/2015 and the winner will be announced on our Twitter and Facebook.

The chosen winner can choose one ‘Set of 6’ in the Spiegelau Style range, of value £29.99, as their prize. This means that the winner can choose ONE of the following sets:

Style Burgundy Glass – Set of 6

Style Champagne Flute – Set of 6

Style Red Wine Glass – Set of 6

Style White Wine Glass – Set of 6

The winner must claim their prize by messaging us with their prize choice and address. If the prize is not claimed within four weeks of announcement of the winner, the winner’s entitlement to the prize will be void.

Please note only UK residents are eligible for this competition.

Read more about the prizes at

Happy wining! :)

6 Yummy Mug Cakes For Lazy Evenings


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It’s been a stressful week so far and it’s still not the weekend yet. Get your favourite mug out and treat yourself to one of these amazing mug cakes to keep your spirits up!

  1. Red Velvet Mug Cake

2. Nutella Mug Cake

3. Victorian Rose Mug Cake

4. Gooey Caramel Brownie Mug Cake Sundae

5. Pink Champagne Mug Cake

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Via relish

6. Cookies and Cream Mug Cake

Enjoy! :)

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Which Glass Matches Your Favourite Wine?


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Looking to match your favourite wine to a complimentary glass? Or looking for a fantastic gift for a wine lover? Choosing the right glass can make the drinking experience a MILLION times more satisfying. And wines come and go but a wine glass will stick by you, making them a lovely gift (especially when paired WITH a bottle of your favourite vino)…

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Favourite wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec

These types of wine are Bordeaux wines and so you should choose a specialised Bordeaux wine glass. These glasses are satisfyingly big and round, for aeration of full-bodied reds: meaning flavours and aromas have room to develop, with a narrowing aperture to collect the aromas to savour with every sip. The Bordeaux shape is also designed to direct the wine to the back of the mouth.wineglass copy

Favourite wine: Pinot Noir

For Pinot noir lovers, choose the speciality Burgundy wine glass. These have the largest bowl for its fragrant and complex nature: giving the space needed to allow these delicious qualities to fully develop. Differing to the Bordeaux glass, the Burgundy glass will direct the wine to the tip of the tongue, where it is said to be most sensitive to sweetness.

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For those without a firm favourite red wine stick to a Bordeaux glass or simple red wine glass. A safe option for someone who likes a Merlot one evening and a Shiraz or Chianti the next.


Favourite wine: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio

Recent research has shown that Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are the two most popular grape varieties in Britain, so if you’re looking to gift a glass, perhaps white is a safe bet. For the average white wine lover, unlike reds, a single type of white wine glass should suffice. White wine glasses are smaller than the red variety, exposing less surface area to keep the wine chilled for longer. A larger bowl like that of a red wine glass is unnecessary as white wines do not need as much aeration as bold reds.

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Favourite wine: White Zinfandel, Provence Rosé, Grenache Rosé

A good choice for a rosé fan is to choose a white wine glass. Rosé is made from red grapes but is made in the style of white: it lacks the bold flavour of reds and is served chilled. For this reason you want a smaller glass, and a white wine glass will fit the job nicely.

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Favourite wine: Champagne, Prosecco, Cava

There are three commonly used wine glasses for sparkling wines: the tulip glass, the flute and the coupe. Generally you will find that a tulip glass is the better choice for expensive champagnes and older, more developed sparkling wines. This is because there is more room in the glass for development of complex qualities.

e. Adina Prestige Tulip an elegant tulip bowl on a high, slim stem. A fine luxury.

For younger wines you may prefer a flute, which will deliver lots of bubbles and taste rapidly. For more details, you can read up on the pros and cons of each sparkling wine glass here.

F. Great for parties Festival glasses are a simple luxury that are extremely breakage resistant.

Happy sipping! :)

Find all glassware featured plus beer glasses, liqueur glasses, decanters and more on our website.

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5 Examples of Beautiful Chinese Wine Packaging


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We love wine. We know that a beautifully-made glass will enhance the enjoyment of wine. But what about the beauty of the wine bottle? Imitating the style of Chinese wine packaging – which looks rather more like ornate perfume packaging – could perhaps make wine drinking infinitely more elegant and exciting than it already is…

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Source: Wine Packaging Of The World

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5 Things You Didn’t Realise Could Be Stylish In Your Bathroom


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We all want a beautiful bathroom: an oasis for long hot showers and de-stressing bubble baths; a room you can be proud of when you have guests; a room just as comfortable, inviting and stylish as the rest of your home. The devil is in the detail, they say, and here are 5 bathroom accessories you need to trade in for more attractive models, for the perfect finishing touches to your bathroom oasis.


  1. A Soap Dispenser

The Etna White & Silver Glitter Soap Dispenser

Every time you and your guests wash your hands can be a little more stylish when you have a beautifully crafted soap dispenser: an attractive model, like above, can help to make your bathroom look clean and hygienic.

2. A Tooth Mug

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The Fjord Tumbler

It’s just a cup to hold your toothbrushes and toothpaste right? Wrong! Tooth mugs don’t have to be dull and just necessary: they can be stylish, pretty, elegant… whatever your theme is for your bathroom, make sure your tooth mug matches!

3. A Soap Dish

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The Darwin Pebble Soap Dish

Maybe you opt for a bar of soap rather than liquid soap, or maybe you opt for having both to suit preferences in your house. Either way, there are stylish accessories out there to look after your soap and make washing your hands a rather elegant affair.

4. A Toilet Brush


The Graffito Toilet Brush

Forget toilet brushes being an eyesore in your bathroom with a beautifully crafted toilet brush holder. Rather than being something you wish you could hide, a toilet brush holder like this one can be an added ornament to your bathroom: subtly hiding the dreaded toilet brush!

5. A Shower Curtain

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The Spirella Poppy Shower Curtain

A detailed shower curtain can be a beautiful centre-piece of a bathroom and should not be over-looked on the quest for your bathroom oasis! Why stick to a plain and dull design when you can have all kinds of pieces of art in its place, like the poppies above, which can really bring together whichever theme or style you’re trying to create.

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Find more beautiful bathroom accessories from Spirella at

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The Spiegelau Stout Glass


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After the success of the IPA glass, last year saw the launch of another specialised craft beer glass: the Spiegelau Stout Glass. Not only an endeavour of glass-makers Spiegelau, the stout glass was designed in association with expert craft brewers, Left Hand Brewing Company and Rogue Ales, specifically with the enhancement of the stout drinking experience in mind. If you’re not familiar with their beer glass projects, Spiegelau and many craft beer connoisseurs will tell you that glassware can make all the difference to drinking beer: the quality and shape of the glass will affect the balance of flavours and aromas of the beer, as well as their longevity in your drinking session. stout In other words, you may find that when you normally drink a beer, after a few minutes the foamy head has disappeared, the aromas have flattened and the beer has warmed. You may find that while your beer bottle declares hints of coffee or chocolate, you struggle to experience these within other overwhelming qualities, like the bitterness. A well-made glass can revolutionise these disheartening beer experiences. The stout glass balances a stout, so that all the subtle flavours lovingly crafted into your beer can be enjoyed. The array of chocolate, mocha, oatmeal, nutmeg, coffee, peanut butter, and other delicious hints found in stout can be identified more easily when the bitterness is balanced. stout and titanic 2 - Copy But how does this work? A combination of the quality of glass and the shape of the glass is the key. The glass is made from pure raw materials and is sleek and thin, meaning less intrusion between drinker and drink. It also means that the beer is kept deliciously cool for longer. The narrowing aperture acts like a scent cannon: delivering the full spectrum of aromas straight to your nose. It also helps to support head retention, as does the angled shelf as the beer flows over it, with every tip of the glass. The stout glass is a hit at beer-tasting sessions, as it reveals the delicious layers to craft beers that have been present all along. Try it out with your friends, especially those who may not normally choose stout and you will likely hear the magic words: ‘I’m not a stout person, but I like that.SAM_2831 0 copy 1 The stout glass won’t fundamentally change a beer, but it will capture and showcase all the flavour and aroma details that were always present in it, and prolong your enjoyment of them. If you’re a beer fan, you definitely owe it to yourself to try it out. Try your own glass comparison, and see what all the fuss is about for yourself. Once you see the incredible contrast, you’ll never go back. Grab your own Stout Glass here. Like this? You might like our Twitter or Facebook Find more fantastic glassware at

The World’s Oldest Beer


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Beer fans can now sample a taste of the world’s oldest beer with Stallhagen Historic Beer 1842, the recipe of which has been scientifically matched to that found in a shipwreck dating back to the 1840s.


In summer 2010, four bottles of beer from 1842 were salvaged from a shipwreck in the Åland archipelago, southwest of Finland. The bottles, which lay 50 metres below on the seabed, offered a tangible glimpse of what beer-drinkers enjoyed around 170 years ago.

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Using scientific analysis of the beer, Stallhagen Brewery (given the right by Åland’s Provincial Government) were able to recreate the original recipe and produce an authentic replica.

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Based on analysis of the micro-organisms in the bottle, scientists were able to find out the type of yeast and bacteria used all those years ago to brew the beer. According to the Stallhagen CEO, the recreated beer is very similar to champagne with soft bubbles and a golden colour. As the original beer contained very little hops, there is a lack of bitterness and hops aroma, with a taste that is said to be more similar to wine than beer.


For info on how to get your hands on one of these amazing beers, see the Stallhagen website.

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16 Amazing Wine Ideas


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Get ready for these 16 pretty amazing ideas that will thrill all the red-wine-blooded people out there. Watch out for some ideas that will work as excellent Christmas gifts for the wine lovers in your life…


#1 Never be without your beloved wine again with a glass holder…

… in the shower…


… in the park…


Tovolo Steady Sticks

… in the garden…


Adirondack Chair

… on the beach.


Tovolo Steady Sticks

#2 Always know whose wine is whose with mildly amusing glass tags.


#3 Show your love for the great wine gods with wine decorations lit throughout the house (or wine bottles with fairy lights inside).


#4 Game of Thrones wine is a thing.

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#5 Warm wine? Never again with this decanter that has a removable ice pack.

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#6 Festive wine holders that look like penguins and reindeer.


#7 A rainbow wine rack.


#8 Just another Friday in the office.

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#9 How to fit five bottles of wine into one wine glass…


#10 Wine is a way of life. You can even use it as a rolling pin for baking.

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#11 Halloween chillin’.


#12 Wine ice-cream.

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#13 Wine jelly. (Serve with #12)

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From our Baking Bad blog


#14 Wine won’t solve your problems, but the same can be said for other things too.

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#15 Whimsical wine stoppers.


#16 Because who wants a normal boring Christmas tree?


I think it may be wine o’clock! Cheers! :)

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The Spiegelau Lager Glass Blog


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Consider yourself someone who knows good beer when they taste it? Have you got high standards when it comes to beer? Did you know that the glass you drink your favourite brew from may be hindering its taste? The purest raw materials used in the Spiegelau Lager Glass, along with a lager friendly shape, could enhance the aroma and taste of your favourite lager like you’ve never experienced.

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The Spiegelau Lager Glass was first created to bring out all the subtleties of pale lagers, but has proven to be excellent for many British ales too. As with each Spiegelau glass, the lager glass is individually designed in a way which accentuates the characteristics of these drinks. If you were to put it next to an ordinary glass and compare the two when they are filled, you will find a huge difference in the appearance, aroma and taste (give it a try, we dare you).

The lager glass is designed to preserve the refreshing character of your lager and ales. The shape of the glass will maintain a frothy head for longer and showcase the spectrum of flavours present in the beer (even subtle hints that may be over-powered in other glasses). It will release delicate aromas that you may never have experienced before, as other glasses fail to preserve these qualities because of their poor shape and quality.

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The thinness of the rim means that the beer freely hits the right regions of your tongue for a deliciously improved taste experience. The thinness of the Spiegelau glass will keep the beer refreshingly cool for longer, and its perfect clarity will make your beer look brighter and more appealing: the carbonation will be like watching your drink bubble in HD!

These features mean that you can finally enjoy the full spectrum of flavours of your beer and enjoy the taste the brewers lovingly crafted and intended you to experience.


You might assume that such high quality glass is quite delicate, but it actually has a surprisingly fantastic breakage resistance and is certified ‘extremely dishwasher safe.’ In research by an independent laboratory, Spiegelau glass underwent 1500 dishwasher cycles and received no scratching, markings, loss of brilliance, foggy shadows, change in colour or brilliance, or build-up of water chemicals and residue.

Don’t waste your time, your money, or your favourite drink on a glass that won’t do it justice.

Lager not your thing? There’s also the IPA, StoutWheat Beer, Pilsner and Tulip glasses.

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