English Wine Week

I celebrated English Wine Week with my friend Serena on a particularly warm Saturday evening. We had decided that we would both provide a bottle or two of English wine to sample to have alongside a simple supper that I had prepared.

I had played it safe with a Lyme Bay Winery elderflower wine that I knew Serena and I both liked. I wanted to make sure there was something that we would both be happy drinking with our meal regardless. I also had a small bottle of Lyme Bay ginger wine that neither of us had tried before. Serena had been on a wine hunt in Marks and Spencer and said she was rather disappointed with the selection and had mentioned this to the chap on duty. They had three available apparently and only one local to us here in Devon. She pointed out to the chap in Marks and Spencer that it was the start of English Wine Week and there should have been a promotion on. I have to say I do agree. They have an abundance of Brazillian wines in honour of the Rio Olympics. It seems rather naive on their part not to have more on offer.

I myself had been into Marks and Spencer and Tesco to see if they were celebrating but it seemed not! I went to the fabulous and very local to me Real Food Store as I know they have a great selection from Pebblebed, Yearlstone Vineyard and Lyme Bay Winery. I think they should stock my favourite local wines from Sharpham though. Perhaps I should drop a hint next time I am in!?

Anyway, going back to Serena she purchased a wine from Marks and Spencer that was grown in Okehampton. I had never had wines from Eastcott Vineyard before so it was nice to have something new presented to me. Obviously with the limited choice in Marks and Spencer she went with the most local to us which was the Two Moors rosé. They make it exclusively for Marks and Spencer now which is a good thing in my book. These big companies need to big up the little producers!

We started our wine tasting with the Lyme Bay ginger wine. We served it chilled as an aperitif to get the juices flowing for our light supper. It was lovely.. A warming ginger flavour that wasn’t overpowering. It was a good choice to start with as perhaps with food it might be a little much. 
We opened the Eastcott Vineyard rosé next. A light and fruity rosé with hints of strawberries and delicate aroma red berries. It’s a very light and drinkable wine at 11% abv. I found it worked very well with the food I had prepared. Serena found it a little tart for her pallet.

To eat I had made a Shakshouka. Eggs poached in a tomato, garlic and chili. A delicious light supper dish that isn’t heavy on the tummy. Alongside, I served kale and pointed cabbage that I had sautéed with garlic and anchovies. To mop up the juices I had purchased the most wonderful sourdough loaf from Emma’s Bread at The Real Food Store. So good with some slightly salted butter from Quicke’s Farm. The two dishes worked perfectly together in flavour and I felt the Eastcott Vineyard rosé suited this garlicky dish.

We moved onto the Lyme Bay Winery Elderflower wine that we had sampled the first time at Taras’s Busy Kitchens first birthday party. It went down a storm. Not as sweet as the ginger wine and very light on the pallet. Serena loved it and decided that that was her favourite of the evening. I disagreed and was happier with the Eastcott Vineyard rosé. For dessert I had made a chocolate mousse lightly flavoured with Lyme Bay Winery Traditional Mead. Mead is a sweet, deliciously full flavoured honey based wine. Perfect used in desserts as it is very sweet for some tastes. Traditionally it is served with strong cheeses or casseroles. It was a fitting end to our meal and rather delicious even if I do say so myself. My mousse disappeared pretty quickly!

Serena and I had a wonderful evening sampling our English wines. I have a few more in the cupboard that need opening. We definately couldn’t have managed to drink anymore between us that evening!

I plan to try them out over the next few weeks and I will let you know about my views when I do. I have a wonderful Sharpham red and their Elderflower Bubbly to try. If the weather stays like this then the Elderflower Bubbly will be perfect for a warm summers evening.


I am visiting Cornwall this week too so plan on trying out some Cornish wines on my travels. They have a few well known award winning vineyards down there like Camel Valley and Knightor. I am sure I will be able to find some on my travels. I always try to sample all the local goodies on offer wherever I am.

Bottoms up everyone!

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