01 Oct 2022

British Food Fortnight: Raise a glass with these top English sparkling wines

British Food Fortnight: Raise a glass with these top English sparkling wines

A glass of English fizz is fast becoming a favourite British staple – and with British Food Fortnight running from Sept 17 to Oct 2, there couldn’t be a better time to champion the best of both worlds.

Especially with seasonal produce including oysters and crab and lining our market stalls – both a brilliant match with a glass of sparkle.

With suggested food pairings, here’s how to start the celebrations off with a bang…

1. Ellercombe English Quality Sparkling Wine, England, £22, Sainsbury’s

Bright bubbles within budget, this own-label fizz offers characteristic green apple and citrusy flavours, complemented by gentle toasty notes and a touch of elderflower on the crisp, fresh finish. One for fresh seafood such as steamed mussels or barbecued mackerel with a squeeze of lemon.

2. The Society’s English Sparkling Wine, NV, Sussex, £24, The Wine Society

Made for the world’s oldest wine club by Ridgeview – award-winning sparkling wine producer and among the first pioneers of English wine – these fresh, feisty bubbles combine attractive apple and lemony flavours with minerally undertones giving way to a zesty citrusy finish. A perfect match with crispy battered fish and chips with tartar sauce.

3. Langham Corallian Classic Cuvée NV, Dorset, England, £29.50, Langham Wine

Another leading light, Langham wine estate was crowned Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year 2020 and head winemaker Tommy Grimshaw cites Corallian as a “vibrant and citrus driven wine with a linear steely profile”. He says this is rounded off very nicely with a beautiful salinity and long savoury finish. A wine that “begs for fresh seafood”,  his personal favourite being fresh native oysters served with a simple vinaigrette.

4. Camel Valley Pinot Noir Rosé Brut 2019, Cornwall, England, £36, Waitrose

A superb, trophy winning rosé ranked by drinks critics as one of the best pink sparklers in the country. Lively and vivacious, aromas of wild strawberries with redcurrant fruit and balanced acidity keep everything fresh and extremely pleasurable with delicate floral notes adding to its elegance. Pair with poached salmon, watercress and tender new potatoes.

5. Corney & Barrow Brut Jubilee Cuvée 1952 Breaky Bottom Traditional Method 2014, East Sussex, England, £39.95, Corney & Barrow

Another top-notch wine which embodies a particular vintage, 2014 was hailed as ‘outstanding’ and this special release honours the year the Queen ascended the throne. With ample maturation bringing depth and complexity, on the nose honeysuckle, buttered brioche and hints of creamy lemon mousse follow through with a wonderful sense of purity, well-judged acidity and long, crisp finish. Try with warm goats cheese salad or creamy blue English cheese.

6. Henners Foxearle English Sparkling Brut 2016, Sussex, England, £39.99, Virgin Wines

Another pukka vintage for English wines. Delightful aromas of freshly baked bread, juicy red apples with accents of lemon and peach, there’s a saline freshness to the citrus and apple fruit, with fresh acidity and touches of light, lemon souffle closing the finish. Think grilled Dover sole with parsley and garlic butter.

7. Wiston Estate Cuvée 2017, West Sussex, £41.99, Real English Drinks

A gold medal winner at the WineGB 2022 awards, expect a fragrant English orchard in a flute. Described as having enticing notes of nectarines, honey, toasted hazelnuts, and brioche, it must have won the judges over with its “impressive depth and complexity” and “a delightful creaminess on the finish”. We’re thinking fresh crab salad or langoustine cocktail with slices of toasty wholemeal bread.

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