English Wine to Drink at Christmas

With the festive season in full swing, there’s going to be lots of opportunities to celebrate with friends and family with a glass (or two) of wine. And what better way to celebrate than with a glass of wonderful English Sparkling wine?

We’ve put together a selection of our favourite wines from throughout the year, including to top celebration sparkling to get everyone in the mood. There's also a selection of wine and food pairing suggestions to help make the most of the festive food that we’re all sure to be indulging in over the next few weeks.

PREMIUM ENGLISH SPARKLING TO CELEBRATE WITH

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xmaswines2016_nyetimber_bdbNyetimber
Blanc de Blancs 2009

REGION: West Sussex   RRP: £39.99

This wonderful Blanc de Blancs from Nyetimber is one of their best wines to date, and one of the top English Sparkling releases of 2016.

Lots of baked apple & stone fruit flavour with fresh citrus and wonderful rich yeasty character. It’s truly something special – perfect for festive celebrations!

Where to Buy:
Hennings, Lea & Sandman

xmaswines2016_chapeldown_3gracesChapel Down
Three Graces 2010

REGION: Kent   RRP: £26.99

The flagship Cuvée blend from Chapel Down, with an average of five years lees ageing.

Three Graces is a hugely elegant sparkling wine with precise red apple & subtle brioche flavours and exceptional length.

Where to Buy:
Chapel Down, Wine Pantry

Sugrue Pierre
Trouble with Dreams 2013

REGION: West Sussex   RRP: £42.00

Not only does this wine look the part with its dark label and mysterious name, it also delivers exceptional complexity and texture.

Lots of orchard fruit character, punchy lemon zest with a smooth creamy texture. All finished off with notes of biscuit and savoury spice.

Where to Buy:
Hennings

Langham Estate
Classic Cuvée Reserve 2011

REGION: Dorset   RRP: £33.00

A beautifully golden tinted colour leads to ripe stone fruit flavours with baked bread & pastry aromas.

Striking thirst quenching acidity effortlessly melts away to smooth flavours of apple and peach with crisp citrus.

Where to Buy:
Langham Estate

STARTER WINE PAIRINGS

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Wiston Estate
Blanc de Blancs 2010

REGION: West Sussex   RRP: £39.99

The ultimate wine from Dermot Sugrue's Wiston Estate; the balance between weight, texture and acidity makes this a wonderful seafood partner.

Suggested Food Pairing:
Pan fried lobster (see below), scallops & other shellfish.

Where to Buy:
Corney & BarrowHennings, Hawkins Bros

Exton Park
Pinot Meunier Rosé

REGION: Hampshire   RRP: £40.00

The precise red currant and cranberry notes in this wonderfully unique Pinot Meunier sparkling from Exton Park just remind us of Christmas.

Suggested Food Pairing:
The subtle savoury spice qualities pair superbly with light charcuterie.

Where to Buy:
Exton Park

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FEATURED PAIRING: LOBSTER & WISTON

Our recipe pairing suggestion for the stunning Wiston Blanc de Blancs 2010 is a classic lobster starter. All you need is a simple dish of pan-fried lobster with garlic, parsley, a little seasoning and a splash of brandy – nothing else!

The Wiston is a weighty wine, but it has a striking rich acidity and lemon freshness that cuts through all of that warm buttery flavour of the lobster.

This is a match made in heaven, what better way to kick off your Christmas meal than one of Dermot Sugrue’s best wines? Why not pour another glass and relish in the biscuit and nutty complexities of this stunning wine!

THE MAIN COURSE

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Greyfriars
Pinot Gris 2015

REGION: Surrey   RRP: £13.50

A wonderfully ripe Pinot Gris, with full fruit flavours of apple & peach. Wonderful texture thanks to 6 days skin contact and 5 months ageing in oak.

Suggested Food Pairing:
Perfect with a classic Christmas day turkey with all the trimmings, but great with other light meats.

Where to Buy:
Greyfriars, Hawkins Bros

Litmus Wines
White Pinot 2013

REGION: Surrey   RRP: £22.00

Rich with all the weight and character of a white Burgundy, but a subtle red berry hints. Expect flavours of baked apple, honeyed stone fruit with a wonderful mouth coating texture.

Suggested Food Pairing:
Try with a bacon wrapped turkey crown, or even a roasted rack of lamb.

Where to Buy:
Marks & Spencer

Hush Heath
Manor Pinot Noir 2015

REGION: Kent   RRP: £23.00

A super light but wonderfully precise Pinot Noir. Striking red berry flavours of cherry & raspberry with a delicate floral edge.

Suggested Food Pairing:
Try with roasted goose, red cabbage & root vegetables; your guests are sure to leave very happy!

Where to Buy:
Hush Heath

Gusbourne
Pinot Noir Twenty Fourteen

REGION: Kent   RRP: £21.00

An English red wine comparable to cool climate New World Pinot. Ripe red fruit flavours with underlying peppery spice and light tannin.

Suggested Food Pairing:
This would be wonderful with roast duck or perhaps a generously seasoned leg of lamb.

Where to Buy:
Hennings

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FEATURED PAIRING: TURKEY & GRIS

This is a real trend breaking pairing, casting aside the classic French Chardonnay and Turkey pairing in favour of a Pinot Gris from Surrey!

Don’t panic, it’s delightful, as the Pinot Gris 2015 is the best still wine that Greyfriars have produced to date.

Wonderful ripe fruit flavours of apricot and pear with a honeyed richness that lends itself perfectly to turkey with all the trimmings.

This wine has a delightful silky texture, warming vanilla hues with bitter almond notes and striking citrus to help cleanse the palate.

CLOSING OFF WITH DESSERT

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Mayfield
Midnight Dark Rosé 2011

REGION: East Sussex   RRP: £30.00

A curiously dark red coloured saignée method rosé. Really rich red berry fruit flavours, fresh citrus with distinctive Christmas spice notes.

Suggested Food Pairing:
With the fruity and spiced character, this is the perfect pairing with Christmas pudding or mince pies.

Where to Buy:
Sussex Vineyards

Denbies
Noble Harvest 2015

REGION: Surrey   RRP: £24.95

England's answer to Sauternes? Made from botrytis affected Ortega grapes, flavours of rich honeyed apricots and tangerine peel with a surprisingly crisp finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:
As well as anything sweet and fruity, this pairs perfectly with after dinner cheese - try an English blue cheese.

Where to Buy:
Denbies, Waitrose Cellar

John Mobbs

Founder of GreatBritishWine.com, John has been a prolific user on wine rating app Vivino for the last couple of years. Now a self appointed Great British Wine ambassador and with a mission to explore all corners of the UK to uncover the best producers and most exciting wines.