While you can’t always rely on the British weather, the best English wines are always worth packing in your picnic hamper. The English wine market is booming at the moment, largely thanks to sales of our excellent sparkling wines. And this means there is a great range to choose from.
English wines have been around since the Romans, with most vineyards centred in the warmer south. We’ve seen a real growth in production in the last few years, with crisp, fresh sparkling wines leading the way. But there are also some excellent still wines to enjoy as well, both white and red.
The best English wines to enjoy on a summer picnic
Many of the best English wines are still unfamiliar to UK wine drinkers, who are more used to supermarkets stocked with French, Spanish, Italian and New World wines.
So, the sun is out, and you want to take a bottle of English wine to a picnic. Where do you start?
- Astley Old Vine Kerner, 2015
We’ve posted before about some of the best wines to enjoy with salad and vegetable dishes. White wines in particular go well with these lighter, more summery foods. English vineyards produce white wines of the highest quality, and we have no hesitation in recommending this fantastic vintage. Produced from Kerner grapes at the Severn Valley in Worcestershire, it is a gorgeous dry white wine.
- Nyetimber Rosé
We recently picked out some of our favourite rosé wines to try this summer. But what about English rosé wines? While red wine and rosés only make up around 10% of production in the UK, there still some top-quality wines to try. We’re in love with this rosé from the Nyetimber estate in West Sussex. It’s wonderfully dry with a refreshing finish and well worth trying.
- Hambledon Première Cuvée
There’s a good reason why English sparkling wines are so special. It’s all about the soil. Areas like the Downs share the same kind of chalky soil as the Champagne region, and this shines through in this particular wine. The Hambledon Première Cuvée from a vineyard in the South Downs is as good as many of the sparkling wines on offer in France. Citrussy, fresh and perfect for a picnic.
- Davenport Diamond Fields Pinot Noir, 2018
While England is highly regarded for its white and sparkling wines, we also produce some delicious reds. They’re not widely available and are often pricey. But they are well worth checking out. Our pick is this excellent Pinot Noir. The Davenport Diamond Fields Pinot Noir is organically produced and has a deep, fruity flavour that’s perfect for drinking outdoors.
- Litmus Orange Bacchus, 2016
We’re big fans of orange wines and we want to share an excellent English example with you. The Litmus Orange Bacchus is made from Bacchus grapes and has a summery pale gold colour. Slightly peppery, it’s something a bit different to try with this summer.