I know a little bit about wine… but not a lot… so I’m not an expert… nor an Oz Clarke for that matter… I get all the notes and the subtleness… but to me it simply comes down to ‘DO I LIKE IT OR NOT’. When it comes to white… I like dry wines. When it comes to Reds… it depends… I like the oaky ones or I like temparanillo type ones. I’m prefer my old world European wines as well as those from South America… I hate Aussie wines, unless drinking them in Australia at the wineries… and I detest, with passion, the junk that is Californian wines.
I was ambling through London’s Borough Market on my usual Saturday graze around town and I noticed a new shop, The Wine Pantry, just as you enter the market, opposite Brindisa, the tapas place… claiming to sell wine that apparently comes from England.
English wine??? come again???
The English… actually make wine???
I’d heard of this myth… once… though I couldn’t be sure whether I was imagining it or not… but YES its true.
The loud American guy talking with total passion and amazement for what he was sampling caused me to turn my head in curiousity… but what really got my attention was the lovely lady who runs the place who was even more passionate about what she is selling than the loud American was about trying it. She could probably talk about wine all day… and I would sit there and listen quite happily… like I was a child in school.
I’d all but gone off white wine… until I heard these guys talking and I thought this was something I had to try… and I have been converted back!
I asked to try a few of dry whites she recommended… eventually picking a glass of the lovely Bacchus bottled in Sandhurst, Kent to wander round the market with. It was pineappley, honey like and refreshingly dry. The taste lingered in my mouth…. I had to go and get a bottle.
One that really caught my attention was labelled Kenton, which had quite elder flowery / grassy notes… very very nice!
I also tried a sweeter late harvest one – I don’t know the name but it was delicious. Not to sweet, not too acidic.
I got so bored with the usual white wines you get here from the continent… so having something new, that actually tastes different and good… and importantly is from our great old land… was a real treat.
So… I thought I’d write a few words about it… hopefully bringing the place to more people’s attention… because 1) they’re so nice and 2) they sell great wine!
… and all of this left me wondering why aren’t we drinking more English wine?
… and why is it so difficult to find? a
… and why aren’t our supermarkets stocking some at least??
Anyway…. go check them out and have a glass… or two!
Their website is at http://www.winepantry.co.uk