English Wine Week will be from 19-26 June this year and is the perfect time to celebrate – or try for the first time – some of the top-quality bottles being made in England.
The English wine market has been steadily growing over the last decade in both size and reputation, with English wines winning top accolades around the world and over 500 vineyards now established in England.
Due to the warmer climate, the majority of these are in the southeast of England, often growing grapes including chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. Producers of English wine are becoming well known names available on restaurant menus, in wine stores and supermarkets – such as Nyetimber, Hambledon, Chapel Down and Hattingley Valley.
The majority of English wine produced is sparkling wine, but from rosés to canned wines and even non-alcoholic English wines, our wine experts and BBC Good Food team have tried and tested many top-quality English wines across a wide variety of styles and budgets.
Here we’ve rounded up six of our favourite English wines to try, covering a variety of styles to find a bottle (or can) for every occasion. Which will you crack open first?
6 of the best English wines to try
Botham & Balfour Hush Heath Estate
Best English rosé
Made in Kent, this English rosé gives your classic Provençal styles a run for their money. Our wine expert Henry Jeffreys describes it as ‘very hard to resist on a hot summer’s day’ so it’s perfect to stock up on ahead of peak summer season.
Bolney Estate pinot gris 2020
Best English pinot gris
Proving that you can find top-quality pinot grigio in England, this flavour-packed bottle is sure to please white wine fans. It has spice on the nose, a crisp, tangy palate and fresh finish.
Davenport Limney Estate 2014
Best organic English sparkling wine
England’s climate makes it tricky to grow organic grapes, but Davenport have achieved it with this wine. It is made with a blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and meunier grapes, grown in Kent and East Sussex. It’s fruity, with notes of lemon peel and crunchy green apples. Henry Jeffreys recommends serving this with shellfish.
The Uncommon Bubbly rosé wine
Best canned English wine
English wine doesn’t just have to be luxury bottles for special occasions. The Uncommon sources its wines from southern England and produces canned wines perfect for picnics, parties and al fresco evenings in the sun. This light and sparkling rosé has notes of cherry, herbs and orange peel.
Waitrose (£18.99/4 x 250ml)
Definition Brut NV
Best own-label English brut
English sparkling wine often comes at premium, but this is one of the best-value we’ve tried – especially as if you buy six bottles, as this then comes down to £22.49 per bottle. It is a classic brut fizz produced in Hampshire, ideal for special occasions.
L.A Brewery sparkling English rose kombucha
Best non-alcoholic option
Crafted in their non-alcoholic brewery in Suffolk, this sparkling kombucha from L.A. Brewery is a great non-alcoholic English alternative to wines. Kombucha isn’t based on wine (and is similar to sparkling tea) but it has a distinctly tangy flavour and touch of acidity reminiscent of a fine bubbly, bringing fresh English sparkle even on non-drinking days.