The Cheltonian > Articles

English Wine Choices

Will Morrison offers his advice for choosing enticing English wines

While it’s quite commonly known that wine is produced in England, it's not given much heed and viewed as something of a novelty. However more and more wines are being made that are making people sit up and take notice that top quality wines can be found right on our doorstep. So if you're feeling patriotic and want to see what our green and pleasant land has to offer, where do you start?

Three Choirs Rose
When discussing English wine in The Cheltonian it would be criminal of me not to mention Gloucestershire's own Three Choirs Vineyard. Personally I favour their Rosé, which is available from The Wine Society or direct from the winery from around £9. Light, off-dry, and bursting with red summer fruit flavours, this wine is blended from a range of grapes specifically selected to suit the cooler British climate.

Chapel Down Bacchus
Originally created in Germany in the 1930s and used typically to add flavour to blends with Muller-Thurgau, the Bacchus grape has migrated westwards and found a well suited climate over here. It is probably the most successful variety in the production of English still wine and can almost be considered as a domestic alternative to Sauvignon Blanc - with aromatic flavours of gooseberry, elderflower and nettle and a crisp, palate cleansing acidity. It is sold by The Wine Society, among others, at around £10-12.

Nyetimber Classic Cuvee
It is difficult to pass comment on the rising prestige of English sparkling wine without mentioning Nyetimber. Popular among the Royal family, it also caused something of a stir in February when it became the first non-Champagne to be served at an official Paris Fashion Week event (albeit one at the British Ambassador's Residence!). The Classic Cuvee comes in at around £25 when on a decent offer and in my opinion offers a great deal more depth of flavour than similarly priced Champagne. There will typically be some vintage variation depending where you buy (available in Waitrose/Ocado, Majestic, Berry Brothers) but they will typically have zesty citrus notes overlayed with glorious hints of brioche and ripe apple.

For further information about wine selection, please contact Will Morrison at: