English wine has come a long way in recent years. Nowadays, there’s no need to look to France for your Sauvignon Blanc or New Zealand for your Pinot Noir as there are plenty of homegrown alternatives contending for your palate. Here are the bottles to go for this Christmas…
Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2009, from £40.99, major independent retailers
Kick off the festivities with a glass of this crisp, biscuity Blanc de Blancs. With lime, floral and buttery brioche notes, it’s the perfect match for a festive breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.
Giffords Hall Bacchus 2015, £14.50, giffordshall.co.uk
The Bacchus grape can be tricky to cultivate in the UK as it primarily needs dry conditions, but with a successful harvest it tastes just like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. This East Anglian Bacchus is bursting with gooseberry and elderflower flavours, giving it a zinginess which pairs well with seafood.
Bolney Estate Pinot Noir 2016, £18.99, bolneywineestate.com
Light to medium bodied with soft berry fruit flavours balanced by a crisp acidity, this red is delicious with meat and is a strong contender for placement on the Christmas dinner table.
Hattingley Valley Blanc de Blancs 2011, £45, harveynichols.com
This dry sparkling white from Hampshire is aged for four years to gain complexity; the end result is an oak and apple flavoured delight. It’s special enough to save for New Year’s Eve.
Aldwick Court Farm Jubilate Rosé Brut 2014, £26.95, aldwickcourtfarm.co.uk/online-shop
Aldwick’s delicious Jubilate Rosé Brut 2014 is made from 100% estate-grown, hand-selected Pinot Noir grapes. It’s a light and elegant sparkling wine with hints of wild strawberries – definitely one to serve with dessert.
Oxney Organic Pinot Noir Rosé 2016, prices on request, oxneyestate.com
This award-winning rosé from Sussex is made completely from the Pinot Noir grape, which gives it its stunning pink hue. It looks attractive and tastes just as impressive and has hints of strawberry, raspberry and citrus.
Denbies Noble Harvest 2015, £19.99, waitrosecellar.com
Move over Muscat and Tokaji – this is an outstanding English dessert wine from Surrey. Made with hand-picked Ortega grapes, it’s bursting with flavours of honeyed apricot and melon – the ideal cheeseboard companion.