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This blog site includes news on latest wines, food, events, offers and happenings at artisan & vine. It also includes stories of my wine adventures in and outside the bar, wine facts and wine profiles.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

St George's Day English Wine Trade and Press Tasting

Yesterday saw the celebration of England's patron saint: St George. In reality, St George's Day seems more to be a celebration of "Englishness" than saintliness. With that spirit in mind, Suvi, Karlee and I proceeded happily to Chelsea Football Stadium for the 2010 English Wine Trade Tasting.

The slogan of the English Wine Marketing Association is to "think English, drink English". I've been drinking English for some time now. As an Aussie, trying to appreciate the full "think English" experience, I'm considering spending more time queuing, discussing the weather and reading tabloids.

On a more pleasant note, I was delighted to taste that the 2009 vintage for some of my favourite producers were still very strong: Biddenden (Kent), Brightwell (Oxfordshire) and Bolney Estate (East Sussex) were all in fine form. Latest releases from Ridgeview (West Sussex), Nyetimber (West Sussex) and Camel Valley (Cornwall) (varying vintages as these were sparkling wines) similarly stood up well.

A slow start to my morning meant I didn't get to all of the tasting tables I would have liked - namely Three Choirs (Gloucestershire) and Sharpham (Devon) - though I'm committed to subsequent vineyard trips to these.

So, the fun bit: who are my new picks for our 2010-2011 wine list? I'm very excited about Quons Organic Vineyard (Wiltshire), who make a lovely wine from the Orion grape variety. I was very impressed by the rose and red wines from Furleigh Estate (Dorset) and the red wine, King Coel from Carter's Vineyards (Colchester). Last, though certainly not least, was a very fresh and refined couple of white wines from Warden Abbey Vineyard (Bedfordshire). Our 2010-2011 wine list will be published in May.
Overall, the quality of wines at this year's tasting was certainly up from last year. English wine producers are bringing a lot more finesse and fruit to their wine making. I think a lot of the wine makers are honing in on the style that suits their soils and grape varieties. Of course it could just be that 2009 was a fantastic year for wine grape growing.

29 May - 6 June is English Wine Week. That Wednesday, 2 June, our Wednesday Wine Tasting will be an open bottle session to taste an exciting range of English wines. It's going to be a special price of only £10/person to taste all of our great English wines. Click here for further details and to book your place.

Image: the English Wine Marketing Association slogan: Think English, Drink English

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