England start their World Cup campaign today, but I won’t be celebrating with a bottle of English wine. Why not? Well:
a) Most of it isn’t very good
b) The good stuff is overpriced
A lot of English Regional wine is just poor quality. It’s made by people who think it’s a wheeze to plant a vineyard, but who haven’t really thought through the work required. However, that is changing. There are now some really good English wines available, heading away from Muller-Thurgau and into Pinot Noir, for both reds and sparking wines.
It looks like sparking could be the route forward for English wine. As the climate heats up a degree or two the south of England will have summer temperatures not unlike Champagne, although still dealing with maritime rainfalls, with the chalk ground to make similar style wines.
Unfortunately most of the good stuff is snapped up by the Queen (OK, not only the Queen) and other folk who want to serve English wine to go with British cuisine.
So when England take on Paraguay, I’ll make do with elderflower liqueur and a few strawberries with black pepper.