Classy English wines to toast Harry and Meghan

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - DRINK -

With an es­ti­mated one bil­lion peo­ple set to tune in to watch the most buzzed-about nup­tials of the year and crowds likely to ex­ceed all records, corks will surely be pop­ping when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot. For those of us who haven’t got an in­vi­ta­tion to the wed­ding here’s the best liq­uid gold to toast the bride and groom, along with sug­gested nibbles, if you’re watch­ing the high-pro­file cer­e­mony at home... Bol­ney Es­tate Kew Sparkling Blanc de Noirs, £33, Marks & Spencer Cue the grand la­bel... The wine­maker at Greyfri­ars sensed Cu­vee Royale was go­ing to be some­thing spe­cial, although it wasn’t orig­i­nally cre­ated to cel­e­brate the Royal Wed­ding. Per­fectly judged and an equal blend of pinot noir and chardon­nay, only 2,400 in­di­vid­u­ally num­bered bot­tles of this limited-edi­tion sparkling wine have been re­leased. Lively and fresh with an ap­peal­ing cit­rusy fruiti­ness, and bar­rel-fer­mented for a yeasty com­plex­ity, gen­tle hints of soft le­mony fruits lead to a long, crisp fin­ish. Won­der­ful with smoked salmon canapes. Tesco Finest English Sparkling Wine, £18, Tesco Wines A typ­i­cally spe­cial ‘Royal’ re­lease from this ven­er­a­ble vine­yard, Bol­ney have teamed up with the Royal Botanic Gar­dens, Kew, to cre­ate a sparkling wine ‘that evokes the fra­grant sights and sounds of the Sus­sex coun­try­side with ev­ery sip’.

This blanc de noirs (pre­dom­i­nantly made from pinot noir) has en­tic­ing aro­mas of honey, truf­fles and pear, with a red fruit struc­ture and a ripe, rounded palate that hap­pens to be a su­perb ac­com­pa­ni­ment with chicken liver par­fait on French bread. The of­fi­cial wine part­ner of the Ox­ford & Cam­bridge Boat Race, As­cot Race­course and the Royal Opera House, Chapel Down is ru­moured to be the la­bel that’ll be in high de­mand when the fizz starts flow­ing at the royal re­cep­tion in Wind­sor Cas­tle. With toasty aro­mas and hints of red ap­ple, pears and citrus fruits, it’s light and makes for easy drink­ing, with re­fresh­ing English acid­ity that works so well with fin­ger-food and mini fish and chips with tartare sauce. Chapel Down Clas­sic Non Vin­tage Brut, £22, Tesco Wines A dou­ble tro­phy win­ner at the 2017 In­ter­na­tional Wine Chal­lenge, this is a fine three-way split of chardon­nay, pinot noir and me­u­nier. Very classy, with hints of lemon and flow­ers on the nose, a fresh, fruity, rounded char­ac­ter and long cit­rusy fin­ish that makes for a beau­ti­ful glass of bub­bly. Per­fect as an aper­i­tif.

A gold medal-win­ner at the 2018 IEWA (In­de­pen­dent English Wine Awards), we love its fi­nesse and fresh­ness, with gen­tle florals, a yeasty rich­ness and zesty, chardon­nay dom­i­nated fruit and lin­ger­ing acid­ity. Again, highly rec­om­mended on its own or with seafood. Cre­ated for Tesco by the award-win­ning Hush Heath Es­tate, this of­fers un­beat­able value. Sim­i­lar in style to their Bal­four 1503 Clas­sic Cu­vee, and a blend of chardon­nay, pinot noir and me­u­nier, it’s fresh, lively and fruit for­ward, with hints of citrus, crisp ap­ple and brioche, and a le­mony acid­ity to cut through bat­tered cod with salt and vine­gar.

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