At a winemaker lunch yesterday in Edinburgh, all other guests apart from me were sommeliers from the capital's top restaurants - all the Michelin-starred and most trendy places. The winemaker (Andrew Gunn from Iona Estate in South Africa) brought up the topic of English sparkling wine and I was really taken aback by the lack of enthusiasm from the sommeliers. Before anyone says it, only two were Scottish from the 14 or so present, so there was no nationalistic bias . The common opinion seemed to be a) that its emporer's new clothes to an extent and many of the wines are nowhere near as good as Champagne, yet the constant message is that they are, and b) that they are a very hard sell in the restaurant trade. Sitting next to me was the head somm from one of the city's top 1* restaurants, and whilst I'd better not name any names, he told me that while he sells a bucketload of expensive Champagne day in day out, customers requesting his English sparkling wine are almost non-existent. Two bottles in the last six months was his guess. I have to say I was by far the most positive person in the room though, to be fair, when the chap above asked about my favourites and I reeled off a list, names like Wiston Estate, Coates & Seely, Exton Park, all drew a blank, so maybe it's a relative lack of exposure to the best wines that lies behind it.