The Southern Quarter’s pick of the best English wine-related things to see and do this month
Celebrate this: Sparkling Wine Week
It’s no secret English sparkling wine is giving Champagne a run for its money so this Sparkling Wine Week (July 3-9), put the French stuff aside in favour of a bottle of homegrown British fizz. Check out our pick of England’s latest releases here.
Dine here: Mandarin Oriental’s Hyde Park Garden
You can’t get a much more quintessentially British dining experience than sitting in Mandarin Oriental’s Hyde Park Garden. The secluded garden, which sits in the Royal Park itself, serves a lunch menu designed by the team behind Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and inspired by British botanicals found in gardens all around the country. The best bit? The drinks list features a celebration of English sparkling wines, with everything from Simpsons and Sugrue South Downs to Rathfinnt and Roebuck. And if you don’t fancy lunch you can opt for garden snacks from their Board & Bubbles menu. Throughout the summer, Hyde Park Garden will host a Summer Sessions series of exclusive events including, on July 15, a lobster, chips and English sparkling wine feast hosted by Rathfinny Brand Ambassador Richard James and Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park’s Wine Director, Michael Deschamp. Tickets cost £175 and include a five-course meal paired with Rathfinny Sussex Sparkling wines.
Book this: Hampshire Fizz Fest
July 23 sees the return of the Vineyards of Hampshire iconic Fizz Fest – celebration of the county’s magnificent winemakers accompanied by local fizz, food and music.
Taking place this year at Hambledon Vineyard. England’s oldest commerical vineyard, the event provides the perfect summer backdrop to enjoy over 20 of Hampshire’s sparkling and still wines while hearing first hand from the winemakers and vineyard owners about the journey it has taken from grape to glass.
Visitors can also enjoy live music, delicious food from Hampshire street food stalls and the opportunity to book vineyard tours and masterclasses. Hampshire wines will also be available to buy at the Fizz Bar and shop by the bottle or glass. General admission costs £35pp.
Listen to this: New series of The English Wine Diaries podcast
We’re back with an eighth series of The English Wine Diaries! Once again kindly sponsored by Wickhams, The Great British Wine Merchant, our podcast delves into the lives and stories of those working behind the scenes in the world of English Wine. This season’s guests include personalities from Wiston Estate, Gusbourne, Vagabond and House Coren to name a few. Tune in here, or wherever you stream your podcasts, from Wednesday July 19, or catch up on previous episodes now.
Drink this: Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018
Named Best in Show at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018 has been made using the finest Chardonnay grapes and expresses the classic aromas of green apple and citrus alongside mineral notes combined with a buttery pastry richness from extended lees ageing.
This sparkling, previous vintages of this which have been at the 2012 London Olympics opening party and at Buckingham Palace for Heads of State visits, also has a natural minerality that makes it perfect with seafood and oysters.
“Our Blanc de Blancs is the very best expression of our Chardonnay grapes and our terroir,” says, Gusbourne’s chief winemaker, Charlie Holland. “It’s a truly elegant, multi-layered vintage.”