Raise a glass of British bubbles to the Queen on the 70th anniversary of her accession
Nothing says celebration like the sound of corks popping. Whether you’re hosting a street party, garden soiree or just celebrating quietly indoors, when it comes to toasting the Queen’s platinum jubilee, it simply has to be home-grown fizz.
English winemakers across the South East of England have launched limited edition bottles and will be hosting celebratory events especially for the occasion – we round up some of our favourites.
Nyetimber, West Sussex
To commemorate the Queen’s sparkling reign, West Sussex vineyard Nyetimber has launched a limited-edition bottle of its Classic Cuvee MV.
The distinctive and recognisable Nyetimber bottle has been dressed in an iridescent oyster coloured sleeve and decorated with threads of delicate golden bubbles.
Behind the brand’s shield sits a patriotic Union Jack and, above, a Jubilee ribbon is topped with an ornate, custom-designed crown, which has been inspired by the entwined vines of the Nyetimber vineyards. There are seven crowns in total on the bottle, each representing a decade of The Queen’s time on the throne.
The wine itself, Nyetimber’s flagship tipple, displays a lucious palate of honey, almond, pastry and baked apples that will surely lend a hint of decadence to Jubilee celebrations.
Virgin Wines x Henners, East Sussex
In celebration of the monarch’s milestone, the Virgin Wines team has collaborated with East Sussex vineyard, Henners, to create 500 bottles of exclusive, small batch, commemorative sparkling wine.
The winemakers at Henners, based near Hailsham in East Sussex, have handcrafted this Brut English sparkling wine using the classic Champagne blend of grapes to create a lusciously balanced wine, which displays a touch of toasty sourdough on the nose with a palate of green apple, pear and sweet brioche.
The limited edition bottle label is in the shape of a shield, inspired by a coat of arms – a whimsical take on a royal crest with quintessentially British bunting and a nod to Lily of the Valley, said to be one of the Queen’s favourite flowers.
Gusbourne, in Appledore in Kent, will host its first ever sparkling afternoon tea in honour of Queen Elizabeth II from May 30th to June 2nd.
Guests will be welcomed with a glass of Gusbourne Brut Reserve before being driven by buggy to the outdoor dining area at the top of Boot Hill vineyard. Here they can enjoy a menu of open sandwiches freshly prepared al fresco by the estate’s chefs including slow cooked pulled ham and mustard mayonnaise with pickled red cabbage and fresh green apple; crab, dill and Aioli topped with fresh cucumber; and heritage tomato, whipped rosary goats cheese, with basil pesto and toasted pine nuts.
Each of the ingredients has been specially selected to pair with Gusbourne’s sparkling rosé, a bottle of which is included in the experience. Guests can then tuck into a selection of scones and pastries surrounded by wildflowers and the vines.
Exton Park, Hampshire
Two English sparkling wine blends from Exton Park, in Hampshire, have been ordered by Buckingham Palace for its Jubilee party and you can also enjoy them, in magnum size, as part of your celebrations.
RB 23 Rosé Magnum is a well-balanced yet complex, subtly fruity sparkling wine, which would pair well with party platter favourites such as cured meats, shellfish or fresh fruit desserts in the sunshine, while RB|23 Brut Magnum, which contains Exton Park’s oldest reserve wine, has savoury notes of brioche and baked apple, with a mineral freshness and delicate citrus notes that would pair well with smoked trout, white meats or Victoria sponge cake.
Albury Estate, Surrey
If you’re going to splash out on a magnum of English Sparkling wine, what better time than the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Albury Estate, an organic and biodynamic vineyard near Guildford in Surrey, has released just 100 magnum bottles of its award-winning Classic Cuvée 2017, which have been hand numbered on specially made jubilee labels, and come beautifully presented in a branded black wooden box.
This classic cuvée of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier has all the hallmarks of a fine sparkling wine; subtle fruit on the nose, red berries from the Pinot, a little light citrus from the Chardonnay, and a hint of peach – there’s a reason it’s won awards time and time again.
Fortnum & Mason x Laverstoke Park, Hampshire
Another biodynamic offering, this time from Laverstoke Park, near Winchester. Made exclusively for legendary British brand Fortnum & Mason, this English sparkling Brut from the 2018 vintage is made from 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir grapes. Aged for 24 months, the celebratory wine has quintessential hedgerow aromas with subtle notes of green apple and honey and pairs particularly well with caviar.
The limited-edition bottle features an exclusive crown design, inspired by the passions and pursuits that have defined Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s historic 70-year reign — from racing pigeons and champion horses to the lily of the valley that graced her wedding day bouquet.