Marco Pierre White says only a “numpty” would buy English wine

Award-winning Bolney vineyard
Award-winning Bolney vineyard

Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White has taken a pop at the English wine industry - saying only a “numpty” would buy it.

The Hell’s Kitchen star also said English winemakers were “playing at it” and could never compete with the French in producing top fizz.

His remarks come as it was revealed that British politicians bought more home-grown plonk that any other variety to entertain VIPs and heads of state.

Speaking at the opening of his new restaurant, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, Bar and Grill, in Plymouth, on Friday he said: “English wine is nonsense.

“They are over-priced and not very good.

“The French make the best wine. The English just play at it.

“We keep hearing this about English sparkling wine. I am very happy for them.

“Better than Krug? Than Bolinger? No! Then why buy it, unless you are a total numpty?

“I am being honest. Just because something is English does not necessarily mean it is good. We make the best Cheddar, we make great pasties.

“But we can’t make very good brie or baguettes - and the French can’t make pork pies.”

Despite opening his new restaurant in the West Country, the 55-year-old chef said London was still the best place to eat.

He said: “London is the No 1 food destination, full stop. It has the talent and (the people who can pay) the prices.

“How many three-Michelin-star restaurants does Cornwall have? None.

“I have not eaten his (Cornish Michelin star chef Nathan Outlaw’s) food but I have read his books and seen his recipes and I can see he cooks very well.

“Whether he is the best in Britain is another question.”

White also admitted he didn’t always try and buy locally produced food.

He went on: “We get our fish, crabs and lobsters from Cornwall because they are excellent.

“Buy locally where possible, but if you can’t get the very best locally, don’t buy locally.

“Buy it from where it is best. We get our beef from Scotland and our grouse from Yorkshire.”