Classy English wines to toast Harry and Meghan
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.