This week it’s been English Wine Week, as you might imagine an event set up to encourage greater recognition (and consumption) of the wines produced in old Blighty. Its fair to say that even five years ago most people would have choked on their glass of Sauvignon at the prospect of a wide range of drinkable English wines being available, but even though many still might, they should perhaps think again. There are good English wines on offer in most of the major supermarkets and most self respecting farm shops also carry a few. Vineyard gate sales are also up.
Many of the well-known wines come from Kent (e.g. Chapel Down – who do a rather delightful wine called Bacchus that’s a good contender for swapping with Sauvignon) and Sussex where one of HM The Queen favourites fizzes comes from (Nyetimber, they do lovely stuff) but there’s plenty of options from other counties too. With my #livelocal challenge and the delightful sunny weather in mind I decided to sample something from Essex and happened upon a rosé made from Pinot Noir.
Here its is, its from New Hall vineyard, which is out towards the coast from Chelmsford. To pair with it we decided on a classic choice of lamb cutlets (local of course), simply grilling these and serving with new potatoes and wilted mixed greens. The match worked well and the rosé also stood up to being sipped on its own as an aperitif, its nice and fruity but sufficiently dry to be refreshing without too much acidity. It’s a nice mid but bright rosé colour. I thought it was a great all round wine both good on its own and with the lamb, much better than many rosés which can either be too sweet or too acidic. It’s pretty sensibly priced at about £6.00 a bottle (direct from the vineyard) and, I think, would rank well against a slightly pricier rosé.
If the weather holds like this I’d recommend you get your hands on a case, as I will be, to sip throughout the summer, with or without lamb. Go on discover some English wine for a refreshing change ;)