It's been another stellar year for English wine, with world-class sparkling wines as well some of the best still wines this country has ever produced. As usual, I have taken the festive occasion as a chance to revisit some of my favourite and most memorable wines of the year. These wines are all perfect for sharing with friends and relatives over the holiday period, and also fantastic for pairing with delicious festive fare.
I do hope you enjoy this line-up, and please feel free to suggest what English wines you may be drinking this Christmas in the comments box below.
Be sure to check back regularly as I will be revealing a new wine each day between the 1st and the 12th of December.
Coolhurst Lady Elizabeth Rosé 2015
A deep and decadent rosé
Beautifully presented, this 100% Pinot Noir Rosé from Coolhurst is elegant and profound. Its intense character makes it great with food as well as for a festive toast.
Engaging on the palate, with bright red cherry and cranberry flavours that soften to creamier textures and notes of warm brioche.
- Buy from Coolhurst - £42.00
Denbies Ranmore Hill 2017
An attention-grabbing white blend
A vibrant, textured palate that grabs you with both hands, and just doesn’t want to let go.
Fresh, crisp green fruit and fleshy white peach, the finish is long and drawn-out with floral and hedgerow flavours and just a hint of spice.
- Buy from Denbies Wine Estate £14.95
Squerryes Vintage Brut Reserve 2014
A rich and confident Brut
The palate is very well-structured, pleasingly crisp at first bite, before a riper pear and white peach streak takes hold.
A balance of ripe depth and fresh cut-through makes this young 2014 a superb and versatile food pairing wine.
- Buy from Squerryes Winery £32.00
Biddenden Gamay Noir 2018
A beautifully concentrated red
This has got to be one of the English wine surprises of the year. It’s a true 100% English grown Gamay red wine made by Kentish wine pioneers, Biddenden.
It’s all about the intense red cherry and wild raspberry flavours, with a lick of black berry fruits and a reassuring savoury depth. Fantastic value, too, for an English red.
- Buy from Heritage Wines - £15.50
Greyfriars Blanc de Noirs NV
A complex but great value sparkling
A striking nose of red apple, candy floss, lemon zest and dried orange peel; it's so very appealing!
This delicious Blanc de Noirs is packed full of character, nuance and interest. Crisp orchard fruit leads to fuller notes of honeyed apricot and delicious biscuit and savoury hues.
- Buy from Greyfriars Vineyard - £30.00
Hattingley Entice Dessert Wine 2018
The nectar of Hampshire
This cult favourite from Hattingley is a delicious, concentrated but fresh dessert wine made from frozen Bacchus grapes.
The result is a ripe, tropical fusion of mango, peaches and honeysuckle, with tangy grapefruit crispness. Pair with cheese and pâtés for a heavenly combo.
- Buy from Hattingley Valley - £22.50
Kit’s Coty Blanc de Blancs 2014
A hugely welcoming Blanc de Blancs
This wine absolutely leaps out of the glass, combining zingy English youth with that familiar Kit's Coty ripeness and richness.
Baked apple pudding and ripe stone fruit flavours set the stage for an incredibly approachable Blanc de Blancs.
- Buy from Chapel Down - £40.00
Woodchester Valley Orpheus Bacchus 2018
The ultimate Bacchus?
Absolutely delicious, combining that classic grassy, elderflower Bacchus character with plentiful tropical fruit richness thanks to the fantastic 2018 vintage fruit.
The finish is where this wine really sings though, with its Pouilly-Fumé-esque smoky minerality that lingers pleasingly and effortlessly.
- Buy from Woodchester Valley - £14.95
Rathfinny Blanc de Noirs Brut 2015
A food-friendly, indulgent Noirs
This delicious Blanc de Noirs is brisk and youthful up front, with crisp and crunchy red apples and the tang of young raspberry and cranberry.
The mid palate has a generous weight, with pleasing stone-fruit ripeness and supple mouthfeel. Very food friendly!
- Buy from Lea & Sandeman - £35.95
Nyetimber Cuvee Chérie Demi-Sec
A little bit of sweetness and indulgence
If there was one wine that screamed out with versatility for both food pairing and festive indulgence, it would be Nyetimber's sublime Cuvee Chérie Demi-Sec.
On the sweeter side of English sparkling, this beauty is packed full of opulence, with aromas of apricot, tangerine skin, sweet pastry and toasted nut; characters that also follow through on the palate.
- Buy from Fortnum & Mason - £37.50
Simpsons Roman Road Chardonnay 2018
A bright, pristine English Chardonnay
Pristine orchard fruit flavours with bright mineral seasoning that you can’t help but admire for an English Chardonnay.
What seals the deal is a delicious spiced nut and white chocolate undertone that makes it excessively moreish. Forget the Chablis this year, drink this!
- Buy from Grape Britannia - £24.99
Wiston Estate Blanc de Blancs 2011
A classy, energetic Blanc de Blancs
This Blanc de Blancs 2011 is a classic example Dermot Sugrue's winemaking prowess, with intense, zingy citrus and crunchy green apple, leading to ripe apricot and creamy lemon curd textures.
The finish is seasoned with toasted hazelnuts and mineral tones, adding a wonderful complexity and structure. Enjoy with festive seafood dishes such as lobster or smoked salmon.
- Buy from Wiston Estate - £42.50
John's festive round-up featuring a selection of the most best English wines to enjoy this Christmas.
Our festive roundup including some of the most fantastic and diverse new English wines.
A visit to Penzance to meet John & Kim Coulson for a tour, tasting and lunch at the vineyard.
John takes a look at five fresh and vibrant English Sparkling wines to enjoy over the Easter holidays.
We explore 10 precise and elegant English White wines made from the Madeleine Angevine grape.