With the summer upon us it’s time to charge our glasses and enjoy some great British summer wines.  We’re all hoping it’s going to be a sunny one so it’s all about the celebratory fizz, the crisp, cool rosés and the whites of course …

And it just so happens that we can enjoy all of these wines without them having to cross any water at all.  We’ve got fabulous examples from right here in England.

Let’s start with the fizz.  It’s widely known that we produce world class Sparkling wine in this country.  It’s a very different landscape to what it was even 10 years ago.  The industry has seen massive investment from all sorts of visionary investors including the famous Champagne house Taittinger.  We have the chalk soil so important for producing great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the climate that mirrors Champagne as it was in the ‘70’s and land that’s significantly less expensive than Champagne.

So here are some top picks ….

If you’re tempted to go down the Prosecco route, STOP.  Get yourself to Marks and Spencers and buy a few bottles of:

Bramble Hill Sparkling Wine at £15  it’s crisp, refreshing and the perfect party fizz.

If you fancy taking it up a level and tasting some of the best England has to offer then head to Waitrose and look for Chapel Down, Nyetimber, Hattingley Valley.  All excellent and in most stores.

Then of course there are the still wines.

We’re great at ripening Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier for making world class sparkling wines.  That’s really because we need these grapes to be very high in acidity to make Sparkling wine.  It’s much more difficult to get these grapes ripe enough to make a still wine so you’ll find much English still wine made from grapes that are much more obscure.  Our champion white grape in England is Bachus  – it’s our Sauvignon look a like and beats many a Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé in blind tastings.

So, if you fancy getting your hands on some top still wine I’d recommend heading to Waitrose and trying out some of the wines from Chapel Down and Simpsons Estate, both top producers and pioneers of English still wine production.

Thank you to Tom Gilbey of Tom Gilbey LTD for supporting and educating me in the blog. If you are looking to host a fun and engaging wine tasting Tom is perfect.

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