This week has been full of sunshine which is a nice change from the rest of the winter.
And a sunny March afternoon was the perfect setting for wine tasting on the rivet Dart. We visited Sharpham Vineyard to test out red, white and rosé English wines; all of which I would happily drink again.
While British wines are still higher in price than your cheapest European or new world wines they compared well with mid range options from overseas. With almost any speciality, locally produced product there is a premium for buying close to home from small independent growers. But it's a premium that I think is worthwhile.
The whites we tasted were a lovely range of flavours from dry elderflower and gooseberry notes to deep creamy vanillas. I learnt lots about how the vineyard adapts its vintages from year to year, and how depending on the weather whether grapes end up being used for red or rosé wines.
This tasting was also wedding preparation as we're trying to source as much local produce as possible to feed our guests this summer. The Summer Red was a particular favourite and since affordable English red's are an unusual find we stocked up. I just hope the bottles make it until the wedding, they're very tempting sitting in the kitchen!
As well as local wine we we're surprised to find delicious local cheeses to taste on site too. The staff were very knowledgeable and the price of a (gold) tasting which included three wines and two cheeses at £9 per person was very good value for a great afternoons entertainment. Especially if your party pick different wines to taste! We managed to end up swapping between us and trying about six wines in the end.
So with the warm weather hopefully here to stay there are many reasons to look up your local vines and try a bottle from near you. You may be pleasantly surprised!