WineHandpicked by IWSC

12 award-winning English sparkling wines to try this Christmas

From Blanc de Blancs to sparkling rosé, check out this selection of fine fizz declared the best English sparkling wine in 2023 by the IWSC - all fit for opening for the Christmas celebrations

Words by IWSC Judges

langham winery pouring english sparkling wine from the bottle
Handpicked by IWSC

The rise in quality – and volume – of English sparkling wine has been remarkable. But when you consider that the climate, grape varieties and soil types in parts of England are the same as Champagne, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the best English sparkling wines are very much their equal. These days, stories of English fizz beating Champagne in blind tastings are not uncommon.

Despite the English getting in on the fizz act back in the 17th century, it’s only really in the past couple of decades that the industry has flourished – there are now has more than 150 wineries in the UK, and thanks to better techniques and warmer temperatures, making good sparkling wine in this country is no longer a challenge. The fact that big-name Champagne houses have been buying up land on England’s south coast has not gone unnoticed, either. All this points to the fact that English sparkling wine is now a fitting part of any celebration – and would be a worthy contender at the Christmas table in 2023.

Busi Jacobsohn Wine Estate, East Sussex
Busi Jacobsohn's design-led estate, home to a silver-winning English sparkling wine at the IWSC 2023

One of the top scorers in this year’s IWSC was Hattingley Valley, whose Classic Reserve Brut NV scored 95/100pts, and which also picked up a Silver medal for its Rosé Brut 2019. RAIMES, who planted its first vines in 2011, also picked up a Gold medal (95/100pts) for its Classic Brut 2018 offering zesty lemon and lime notes, with secondary toasty aromas.

Meanwhile rosé fizz got a look-in with Roebuck Estate’s Rosé de Noirs Brut 2017 receiving a Silver medal (92/100pts), a fruit-forward sparkler boasting cranberry and raspberry on the nose, followed by rose petal and almond on the palate.

Every English sparkling wine in this year’s IWSC was judged blind, with a top-class panel tasting each one, including Master Sommelier Matteo Montone, journalist and communicator Libby Brodie and wine buyer Freddy Bulmer.

Believe the hype – English sparkling wine is seriously good stuff, and the choice is getting wider. Here is our pick of the best English fizz from the IWSC’s 2023 tasting – with each bottle worthy of popping for any celebration this Christmas.

Gusbourne Estate
One of the top-scoring English sparkling wine from blind tastings was from the Gusbourne estate in Kent


We run a tightly structured, rigorous wine tasting process. That means that each wine sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC wine judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the wine industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.


Only the best wines sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, wines have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.


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