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Published:  23 July, 2008

By The Harpers Nearly News Team

Harpers took to the airwaves this week, as deputy editor Christian Davis defended the English wine industry from a vitriolic attack by Harpers' Ad Nauseam' columnist Malcolm Gluck on the BBC Radio 4 consumer programme You and Yours. Gluck laid into his fellow countrymen, claiming that there isn't any such thing as an English wine industry', while slamming English wines for being, for the most part, dull, overpriced, unexciting and not worth bothering about'. He also rubbished claims that sparkling English wine is comparable to non-vintage Champagne. The vast majority of non-vintage Champagne is rubbish,' Gluck said. Why compare yourself with something which isn't any good anyway?' Davis, willing as ever to fight for his country, stood up for the Brits, and urged listeners to drink for England'. The idea of the Colonel Blimp in his green wellies in a vineyard, knocking out a few bottles and buying ex-vineyard' was old hat, Davis said. Most of the supermarkets now stock English wines, and the likes of Waitrose are stocking some quite serious wine at both the expensive and everyday end I think there might be a new era for English wine,' he said. Unperturbed, Gluck concluded by suggesting that the English should make sweet late-harvest wines to go with English blue cheese,' a suggestion which Frazer Thompson, managing director of New Wave Wines, later described as preposterous'. He added: Every winemaker in England was falling over laughing when they heard that comment.'