We’ve all had those sorts of days when the only consolation is to stop off on the way home and buy a nice bottle of wine. A long soak and a lovely glass can soothe even the most ruffled of feathers. All too often, though, we stare along the shelves wondering what to purchase, and the countries that jump out as winemakers are all Mediterranean, Australasian, South American or South African. We tend to forget that there is such a thing as British wine, and very good it is too. Wine has been made on these shores for centuries, but it is only recently getting the recognition it deserves.
British Bubbles the Best
So good is English sparkling wine now that it has won several prestigious international awards, and the Champagne makers of France have been put on notice. Critics have gone so far as to say that English bottles of bubbly have more elegance than traditional French Champagne. Cornwall has a distinctly similar soil structure and climate to a large area of northern France, as it was once all part of the same land mass. It's no surprise then that the grapes grow as well there. The climate growing warmer is helping this success, although the fact that the UK's climate is slightly cooler is actually an advantage.
The UK fizz may be the bubbly that is impressing experts in blind tastings, but it is not the only variety. Pinot noirs and roses are also going down very well indeed. Camel Valley is now the most famous vintner, but there are others in Kent and Surry providing excellent home-grown wines.
Fly the Flag
There was a lot to be patriotic about in 2012 with the Jubilee and the Olympics, and this is when English wine makers saw their sales start to shoot up - in fact, they trebled. It is no longer a bit of a joke to consider having a tipple of Britain’s best. With all the honours being heaped upon the local wine trade, it would be a shame not to see what you’re missing.
So next time you feel so deflated and down, and the only thing that will pick you up is a relaxing drink, do take a look at the British wines. You may well join the legions of new fans who have found that our own grape harvest is good enough to lift anyone’s spirits.
Image by Bob Jones, used under Creative Comms licence.
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