Exploring The Flavours Of English Wines: A Guide For Wine Lovers

France, Spain, Italy, New World… You can find first-class wines from so many regions in the world, but English wines rarely feature highly on wine-lovers’ go-to lists. But the English wine industry is growing fast – and for good reason. 

English wines are unique and have a distinct flavour that sets them apart from other wines. In this blog post, we will explore the flavours of English wines and provide a guide to the best English wines on the market today.

What Is The Definition Of An English Wine?

English wine is defined as a wine made from grapes grown in England. This may seem obvious, but it is important to note that the grapes must be grown in England to be classified as English wine. Another prerequisite is that English wine can only be made from certain grape varieties that are suited to the English climate: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier for sparkling wines, and Bacchus, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc for still wines.

What Flavours Of English Wine Can You Get?

As with any wine, the flavours of English wines are determined by grape variety, the soil, and the climate of the vineyard. English wines are known for their acidity and freshness – attributed to the cool climate and short growing season. English white wines are typically dry, with crisp notes of green apple, citrus and mineral. English red wines are light-bodied and have red fruit notes such as red cherry, raspberry and cranberry. English rosé wines have a fruity and floral character, with strawberry and raspberry notes.

What Is The Best English Sparkling Wine?

English sparkling wine has been gaining a reputation for its quality and taste. In fact, some critics believe that English sparkling wine is as good as Champagne – the chalky soils in many southern English vineyards are similar to those in Champagne, contributing to the unique flavour of English sparkling wine. We recommend the multi-award-winning Nyetimber Classic Cuvée as a top choice – with its delicate mousse and a complex flavour, combining notes of green apple, lemon and brioche. 

Are There Different Types Of English Wine?

Yes, there are different types of English wine. English wine can be still, sparkling, or fortified. Sparkling wine is the most common type of English wine, and it is made using traditional methods involving a secondary fermentation in the bottle. English still wine is also gaining popularity, and it is made from grapes that are not suitable for sparkling wine production. Fortified wine is made by adding grape brandy to the wine, which increases the alcohol content and adds a nutty flavour.

Is English Wine Any Good?

English wines have come a long way over the past few decades, and the quality has improved significantly. In the past, English wines were often seen as inferior to wines from other countries due to the cooler climate and shorter growing season. But advancements in technology and viticulture practices have allowed English winemakers to produce high-quality wines that are on par with some of the best wines in the world.

One of the unique characteristics of English wines is their acidity and freshness. This is due to the cooler climate, which allows the grapes to ripen slowly and retain their natural acidity. As a result, English wines have a crisp, refreshing taste that is perfect for pairing with food. English wines are also known for their fruit-forwardness and delicate floral aromas, making them a great choice for those who enjoy light and refreshing wines.

English sparkling wines are now being recognised as some of the best in the world. In fact, many English sparkling wines have beaten their French counterparts in blind taste tests. This is due to the similar climate and soil conditions to the Champagne region, which allows English winemakers to produce sparkling wines that are comparable in quality to Champagne.

So now you know. Next time you’re down your local pub, why not ask if they have any English wines, you won’t be disappointed.

Summer 2023 cocktail inspiration

Summer is in full swing, and it doesn’t get much better than sipping on some cocktails in the sunshine in your favourite pub.

PROOF Insight recently found that 1 in 4 under-35s are drinking less often but treating themselves to better quality when they are out.

You can even use our ‘Pubs that have a Cocktail Bar’ Pubfinder, if you’re after some inspiration for where to go.

Get inspired for your summer of cocktails with some of our on-trend top picks next time you go to your local.

Summer of Spritz  

According to research from PROOF Insight, 5% of people say they would drink a spritz cocktail when moderating their alcohol intake. Our love for spritz serves in the summer shows no sign of slowing down, with many bars now creating a separate spritz menu to entice customers looking for refreshment in the sunshine.  

Lemon Spritz  

50ml Limoncello
75ml Prosecco
25ml Soda water 
Ice cubes
Half slice of lemon
Sprig of mint 

Fill a large long-stemmed wine glass with ice cubes. Pour in Prosecco, lime, soda water and stir well. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint. 

Elderflower Spritz  

25ml Elderflower liqueur 
20ml Gin 
90ml Prosecco 
35ml Soda water 
Fresh lime 

Fill a tumbler glass with ice. Add elderflower liqueur, gin and prosecco. Top with soda water and garnish with sliced lime. 

Tequila, Tequila  

Mexican cuisine is already popular in the UK and is currently eaten regularly by 1 in 3 under 45s. 30% of under 45s already enjoy tequila in cocktails and as a shot, and 1 in 10 enjoy it mixed with tonic.   

Tommy’s Margarita  

50ml Tequila Blanco 
25ml Fresh lime juice 
12.5ml Agave syrup 
Salt for rim (Optional) 
Lime wedge 

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add ingredients, shake and pour into a rocks glass with a salt rim and filled with ice. Garnish with lime wedge. 

Pink Grapefruit Paloma  

25ml Tequila Blanco 
25ml Pink grapefruit juice 
15ml Lime juice 
10ml Agave syrup 
Pink grapefruit soda 

Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker – minus the pink grapefruit soda. Shake and strain over ice in a highball glass. Top up with pink grapefruit soda and stir. Garnish with a slice of fresh pink grapefruit. 

More summer serves  

Sometimes you just want something fun and refreshing to add to that summer feeling. Check out some of our picks below.  

Piña Colada  

50ml Spiced Rum  
75ml Pineapple juice 
25ml Coconut cream 

Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a slice of fresh pineapple. 

Summer Lemonade  

60ml London Dry Gin 
20ml Lemon juice 
20ml Agave syrup 
1 Fresh Passionfruit 
50ml Lemonade 

Blend all ingredients except lemonade without ice. Strain to remove passionfruit seeds. Add two handfuls of crushed ice to blended mixture. Blend to a granita texture. Serve in a Copa glass and top up with 50ml lemonade. 

Passionfruit Martini 

60ml Vanilla vodka 
30ml Passionfruit liqueur  
12.5ml Vanilla syrup 
20ml Lime juice 
1 passionfruit – cut in half 

Scoop the seeds from half a passionfruit into a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, passionfruit liqueur, lime juice and vanilla syrup. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with the other half of passionfruit. Serve with shot of prosecco on the side.

World Cider Day

Happy World Cider Day. Are you one of the 1 in 2 cider drinkers that only drink cider in the summer months? This summer, we’ll be enjoying the bursting summer fruit flavours of Kopparberg mixed fruits and the refreshing sips plus apple aromas of The Orchard Pig. Two cracking ciders that are well worth looking our for down your local. Here’s to long, lazy, cider-summer days in your favourite pub gardens.

Virtual Pub

Useyourlocal.com is set to launch a world first this afternoon. The “Virtual Local Experience” will go live today in over 1,000 pubs across the country. For £2 an hour the online service allows consumers to sign in, put on Virtual Reality googles and be transported right into the middle of their favourite local pub, real time.

The service streams a live 360 degree video feed, making it really feel as if you’re there. Strategically placed speakers and microphones make it possible for people to get involved in “bar-room banter” with other locals who are either in the pub or may also be using their own Virtual Local Experience.

Beck Weston of useyourlocal.com commented, “Of course we want people to actually go to the pub but when they really, really can’t, at least this new service is an incredibly life like alternative. We are also looking at how to partner with a couple of well known online delivery companies who could even deliver a proper pint & packet of pork scratchings to your door.”

One of the first pubs to trail the service was not so sure, “We did have one evening where it was just me, the dog and five people signed in to VLE. It took a bit of getting used to, till takings were obviously low, but at least there wasn’t anything to clear up.”