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British wines used to be the subject of derision. I once offered a French friend a glass of one of the best English whites to try. She sniffed, sipped and pronounced, “Yes, very nice with a little sponge cake.” Some of her countrymen would not even go that far. During a dinner of European leaders when Britain held the presidency of the EU, Tony Blair offered his guests English and Welsh wines to accompany each of the courses. Jacques Chirac is alleged to have said to the server, “No wine for me, thank you.”

Things have changed, or, rather, they…

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