Reds, whites and sparkling to rival Champagne: 10 of the best English wines

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Victoria Gray

England is becoming a serious power player in the world of wine. As news comes that Bordeaux is suffering from climate change and famous Champagne house Tattinger is opening its first vineyard outside of the Champagne area in our very own Kent, this year’s English Wine Week (28th May – 5th June) comes at a peak time for English wine.

Lisa Cope, from Bloomsbury wine bar Noble Rot, tells us: “Noble Rot Magazine held a landmark tasting a few months ago pitting Champagnes against English sparkling wines. Everything was tasted blind by a top panel of wine writers, sommeliers and chefs, and English sparkling wine took the top two spots. The winner came from Hambledon vineyard in Hampshire, beating names like Taittinger and Veuve Cliquot. It caused a ripple in the industry, and proved to any doubters that English wine is not to be dismissed.”

So what are the advantages of drinking English wine? As well as the financial upside (buying local means a better price for a higher quality), not to mention reducing the carbon footprint of your tipple, the English climate means that classic grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grow well, resulting in fresh wines that are ideal for summer.

Click through the gallery below for 10 of our favourite English wines to match the grapes we know and love  – and all available to order online.

  • The Bolney Estate Dark Harvest

    If you like... Cabernet Sauvignon

    Try this: This fruity red is aged in-barrel for one year, giving it a mature edge alongside the red fruit flavours that make it an ideal accompaniment to red meat on a barbecue.


  • Tesco Finest English White Wine

    If you like... Chenin Blanc

    Try this: This blended wine is a crisp dry white with hints of apple and pear flavours, making it a great accompaniment for summery fish dishes.


  • Plumpton Sparkling Rosé 2014

    If you like... rosé Champagne

    Try this: Wine buyer at M&S, Elizabeth Kelly, tells us: "The Plumpton Sparkling Rosé from East Sussex is beautifully pink in colour, with juicy red berry fruit aromas and a refreshing finish. It shares the elegance and pretty red fruit character of classic rosé Champagne. It should be enjoyed well chilled with strawberries in the sun."


  • Sedlescombe 2013 Orion

    If you like... Sauvignon Blanc

    Try this: The light, zesty flavours of this pale white wine are reminiscent of the world's most popular wine: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Ideal with salads and vegetarian dishes, this is a wine made for summer.


  • Hambledon Classic Cuvée English Sparkling Wine

    If you like... high-end Champagnes

    Try this: This is the English Sparkling Wine that the experts visiting Noble Rot declared better than some of the best Champagnes that Frances produces. It is made in the same style as classic Champagne: ideal for a celebration.


  • Denbies Pinot Gris 2014

    If you like... Chardonnay

    Try this: This rich white wine is matured in oak barrels which gives it a fuller flavour and complex notes of peach and honey. It's ideal to drink either on its own or with a tapas-style meat and cheese platter.


  • Nutbourne Estate Pinot Noir

    If you like... Burgundy Pinot Noir

    Try this: This Pinot Noir is made in a similar style to the famous Pinot Noirs of Burgundy, which often retail at a far higher price. A light, fruity red aged in oak barrels, it will be delicious with grilled meats on a barbecue or a roast dinner, but also will age well if you wanted to add to your collection.


  • Stopham Estate Pinot Blanc 2014

    If you like... Pinot Grigio

    Try this: Elizabeth Kelly says: "Pinot Grigio and Pinot Blanc are closely related and share similar aromatics, but Pinot Blanc has a lovely floral intensity. It is an ideal match for goats cheese salad or grilled fish."


  • Silver Bay Point Rosé

    If you like... White Zinfandel rosé

    Try this: This fruity rosé with its strawberry flavours is ideal for those who like a sweeter wine, and at just 8% alcohol, you can enjoy it all day without getting too much of a headache.


  • Taste the Difference English Sparkling Brut

    If you like... non-vintage Champagne or cava 

    Try this: Sainsbury's English Sparkling Wine is made in the same method as Champagne and cava, but without the air miles. If you want to try English sparkling knowing exactly what you're getting, these are the bubbles to buy.


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Victoria Gray

Victoria is a contributor for She covers lifestyle and food pieces for the site. When on the internet she can be found tweeting feverishly about Great British Bake Off, and offline she is never happier than when in the company of some wine and cheese.

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