Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Cool Britannia: top English wines


With sales of English wine on the up, here's how to make the most of those sparkling pinots and elegant reserves with some tasty international food fare...

English wines are experiencing a surge in sales with 2011 seeing a record year. To be sure of choosing the best of the bunch, we asked Simon Field MW, English Wines Buyer at 300-year-old wine merchants Berry Bros. & Rudd, to give us his top picks and get some advice about the best foodie treats to match them with.

1. 2004 Chapel Down, Pinot Reserve Brut, Kent, £23.95

An impressive sparkling English wine, made in the Méthode Champenoise by Owen Elias and the team at Chapel Down. Biscuity notes are finely integrated with the red fruit from the pinots (Noir and Blanc) and the ensemble is rounded and long. Try this Chapel Down with a smoked trout terrine as a starter as it will stand up to the strong smoky flavour. Or you could go to the other end of the meal and try it with fruit puddings – a pavlova or tarte tatin.

2. Jenkyn Place Brut, Hampshire, £24.95

Jenkyn Place Brut is an English Sparkling wine made by Ridgeview’s multi-award winning team. An appealing aroma with good intensity and an engaging middle palate, showing richness from the chardonnay and perfume from the pinots. I would partner this with a savoury dish that brings in some deep, sticky fruit flavours. Try this with a deep-fried Camembert accompanied by a red currant jus as the wine complements the fruit beautifully.

3. 2001 Nyetimber Première Cuvée Blanc de Blancs, Sussex, £32.95

There is a real emphasis on elegance in this wine with its rich, buttery fruit finely entwined with a fine minerality. Its texture is long and satisfying, worthy of comparison with some of the better Blancs de Blancs from Champagne itself. This is a wine to enjoy with seafood. It makes the perfect match for a fruits de mer; ideal with raw oysters or, if you fancy something heartier, try it with moules marinières.

4. 2008 Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs, Ridgeview Estate, Sussex, £25.95

The Grosvenor marries citric with tropical fruit on the nose. Refreshing and with fine and dignified bubbles, the 2008 is a very impressive wine. This is very firmly an Aperitif wine and marries well with canapés – my personal match would be with smoked salmon. If you want to enjoy a sparkler with a main dish, this would go particularly well with a salmon en croute.

5. 2010 Wickham Vineyards Vintage Selection Dry White, Hampshire, £10.75

Winemaker William Maitland Biddulph has retained stone-fruit purity with this wine. Chalky, floral aromas and whiffs of newly-mown grass characterise this cool, classic Hampshire white, pleasingly reminiscent of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, but with an extra dose of the finest English reserve wine. This pairs well with goat’s cheese salad and with sticky, sweet roasted vegetables.

All wines available from bbr.com.

What do you think? Do you have a favourite English wine, and do you think we should drink more wine from the UK? Tell us your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below.



Would you drink Chocolate Wine?


Cheese and beer: a match made in heaven?


The Art of Fine Dining



Amazing tasting menus from top UK restaurants for under £50

Total steals from Michelin-starred spots

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2016

The formula for the perfect cheese toastie has been revealed

Prepare to salivate

by Harriet Hall
20 Oct 2016

How to make red wine hot chocolate, aka the ultimate winter drink

Weekend plans, sorted

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Oct 2016

Scarlett Johansson is opening a popcorn shop in Paris

As you do

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2016

High-end Halloween: sophisticated ways to celebrate this season

From dining at The Savoy to decadent cabaret and gourmet hampers

by Amy Swales
19 Oct 2016

Brexit might affect the price of your wine

The industry is warning of an increase

by Amy Swales
19 Oct 2016

No more bar queues: meet the wine glass that automatically refills

*Approach with caution*

by Harriet Hall
19 Oct 2016

Londoners: you can now get a three-course, Michelin-starred takeaway

Eating on the sofa in your pants just got a whole lot more sophisticated

by Amy Swales
12 Oct 2016

Crisp lovers rejoice: London is getting its own crisps and dips cafe

All hail the crisp conveyor belt of our dreams.

by Amy Lewis
11 Oct 2016

Who wants to be a gin butler? It's a real job and we all want it

Brush up your drinking CV because applications are open

by Amy Swales
11 Oct 2016