No, I’m not talking about breakfast (although wine at breakfast was an entirely acceptable notion during lockdown). It’s English Wine Week and I got to taste my way through a selection of brilliant wines (with Jack Whitehall!) on last weekend’s Saturday Kitchen. Details are on the programme’s website here and I’ve added a couple of my favourites to this week’s reviews below. Visit winegb.co.uk to see what’s going on from now until Sunday with vineyards offering real/virtual tours and/or selling direct from their cellar doors. The English wine industry is young compared with most – we’re in the teenage years, the wines can sometimes be difficult – but there’s no doubt we’ve now got the climate, soils, grapes and people determined to make great wines here. Time to go for the full English.
Current rosé in the fridge: Simpson’s Pinot Noir Rosé
Price: £14.99 - Buy From Waitrose
The couple behind this wine have been making rosé from their vineyard in Provence for years so they know what they’re doing. And they’ve made this one, from the Pinot Noir grape grown in Kent, very much with Provence in mind. Pale with delicate red fruits and a streak of freshness, it’s a real taste of things to come, I think. More please.
Current sparkling in the fridge: Tesco English Sparkling Rosé
Price: £20.00 - Buy From Tesco
Another pink from Kent but this time with bubbles. It’s made in the same way as champagne (fermented in the bottle for a second bubble-inducing time) from a blend of the three classic champagne grapes and when you stick your nose in the glass you get a face full of strawberries and cream. Fantastic value for a traditional method sparkling wine of this quality.