Best of British

  • Sharebar

What a fantastically patriotic several weeks we have had recently. I wouldn't like to hazard a guess at how much the sales of English Wine increase during the celebrations, but with the BBC's 'The Apprentice' and our Queeny's milestone all helping to raise the awareness of our award winning tipples, sales must surely have risen. For the first time in ages, people were actually asking for English wine at the hotel in which I am Head Sommelier. Good thing I stocked up on British plonk for all the requests of patriotic and curious guests!

My jubilee weekend was spent eating cheese and pineapple on sticks, Roast Chicken, and Trifle. As you can see I'm a gastro connoisseur! To wash down those quintessential dishes, we tucked into the wines of Camel Valley. Located in Bodmin in Cornwall, Camel Valley was started by ex-RAF pilot Bob Lindo and his wife. The main wine making responsibilities now rest on the shoulders of Sam, Bob’s son. Camel Valley make a range of wines, both sparkling and still. For example, the excellent and award winning Darnibole Bacchus.  The unusual grape, Bacchus, a cross grape created in the 1930's, is well suited to the Danibole Vineyard's slatey soil. 

I sampled three of Camel Valley’s wine during the Jubilee weekend of festivities. The 2009 Brut Sparkling and Rose and the Atlantic dry white. Let's forget about the latter as it didn't go down too well with my guests due to its acidity of epic proportions. So instead, I'll start with the brilliant and delicious 2009 Brut. A well-balanced, elegant, bright and complex sparkling wine with brilliant freshness and apple aromas. The palate is crisp, dry and brimming with white peace, blossom and granny smith apple. This really is a great wine that I would easily choose this over a non-vintage Champagne.  The second Camel Valley sparkling I tried was the 2009 Camel Valley Rose; a fantastic, fruit driven pink fizzy, jam-packed full of red berries and Turkish delight. It's crisp, dry and muscular with great structure. A really good food wine, for example matched with pork or chicken dishes. Both these wines seriously punch above their weight. Classy, and great value for money. 

English wine is coming along just fine...