You need to try these English and Welsh wines
British vineyards are offering so much. We urge you to support a growing success story and treat yourself to a great British bacchus or bubbly.
Welsh Wine Week (3-11 June) and English Wine Week (17-25 June) see many wineries throwing open their doors for special events and vineyard trails. Quality now runs high for our home-grown wines, with sparklers and still whites leading the charge. Crisp acidity and delicate fruit flavour, plus age-ability and complexity in the champagne-method fizzes make these a delight. The wines will never be cheap, as the cool climate means lower yields from the vines, and small wineries and vineyards have no economies of scale. Buy for a treat, though, to see why top English and Welsh wines are now winning awards on an international level. You’ll be supporting local businesses too… Visit welshwineweek.co.uk and winegb.co.uk. Read about an innovative community vineyard in Bedfordshire overleaf.
The Uncommon Eleanor Bubbly Rosé Wine, England 11.5%An easy-to-carry and recycle can of dry pink spritzy wine made from English pinot noir. With delicate strawberry and red cherry, it’s perfect for a picnic. Available from Ocado (£4.99 for 250ml)
Velfrey Vineyard Naturiol 2021, Pembrokeshire, Wales 7%A naturally lower alcohol, still white wine made from the bacchus grape, with green pears and apple peel notes. It has quite a full finish, so bring it out for a cheeseboard or pork rillettes. Available from Velfrey (£20).
Chapel Down Flint Dry 2021, Kent, England 11%
Made from a blend of four grapes delivering crunchy apple, juicy lemons and kiwi fruit, this is well balanced, not sour, and one of the best English whites at the price. £16.99 or £14.99 as part of a mixed six. Available at Waitrose from 7 Jun to 4 Jul, (£15.99, down to £12.49).
Ashling Park Estate Blanc de Blancs 2014, South Downs, Sussex, England 12%
Blanc de blancs made from 100% chardonnay, like this,are arguably the best English sparklers. It’s exquisite with ripe lemon and orange, alongside toasty brioche notes from long bottle ageing. Available from Wood Winters (£36).
Eight Acres Sparkling Rosé NV, England 11.5%
Made for the Coop by the Hush Heath winery, a pale salmon-pink sparkler with crisp bubbles and a kiss of red berries. Crisp but softened by slight creaminess – and good value. Available from The Co-op (£18).
Ridgeview Bloomsbury NV, Sussex, England 12%
Consistently impressive English fizz made from the three champagne grapes and in the long-aged champagne method. Expect a citrus-led, dry and elegant sparkler with some richness. Best match: seafood. Waitrose Best match: seafood. Available from Waitrose (£34.99).
Knightor Rosso Vermouth
Made in south Cornwall from an English wine base, Knightor Rosso Vermouth is a herbal scented, copper-ruby vermouth weighing in at 15%. There are bitter orange and aniseed notes and balanced sweetness. Use it to knock up a negroni or sbagliato. Available from Knightor (£16 for 375ml).
The Coppersmith Pinot Noir 2021, California, USA 14%
For the lamb salad on p106 the best partner is a juicy, brightly fruity red, not too tannic or heavy. This West Coast pinot, packed with black cherry and plums, fits the bill. Available from Marks & Spencer (£9).
Subscribe to our magazine
Food lovers, treat yourself this Christmas... Enjoy 12 months of magazines for £29.99 – just £2.50 an issue.Subscribe
Unleash your inner chef
Looking for inspiration? Receive the latest recipes with our newsletter