English Wine Week with Hush Heath Estates

May 28, 14 English Wine Week with Hush Heath Estates

Posted by in All, England, Food and Wine

English Wine Week has begun and last night I was invited to the new pub, The Bull at the Hyde in the City to a dinner hosted by the Richard Balfour-Lynn, the owner of English vineyard, Hush Heath Estates. This was the first dinner for  the pub’s new tasting club, The Cunning Plan Wine & Spirits Club. Richard first planted vines in 2002 because he had always wanted a vineyard but in Spain or France or Italy. When the opportunity to buy the derelict land near his estate in Kent came up, his wife suggested that instead of going to the Continent, why not plant vines literally in his own backyard. The rest as they say is history. I’ve always liked the Hush Heath rosé and last night was no exception. I really enjoyed the food matches that Chef Kalifa Diakhaby created for the evening. The Balfour Brut rosé 2010 was paired with perfectly roasted scallops with pureed cauliflower. The scallops were delicious, not mushy or rubbery as can happen so often. The rosé is full of fruit but having refreshing acidity and long length. With the main of rabbit terrine, we had the Balfour Blanc de blanc 2010. The rabbit was another delicious dish, perfumed with truffle oil and garnished with sauteed mushrooms. The blanc de blanc that was paired with it comes from a small parcel of chardonnay from the Oast House Meadow and only 100 cases have been made. 2010 was a very good year and the grapes were allowed to hang until late October, which gave grapes with high sugar content and intense flavours. The blanc de blanc was well balanced with definite fruity notes on the palate but a dry, lime finish. The big surprise of the evening was the Jake’s Orchard Sparkling Cider with Strawberries and Blackcurrants. It’s a bottle fermented cider that has a dosage of strawberries and blackcurrants added. Richard commented that this is a “cider made for wine drinkers by wine makers…” It was the...

read more

Brightwell Vineyards & English wine week – slideshow

English wine. English wine week. Do they make enough wine to support English wine week? Well, yeah, they do. There are over 250 vineyards in the British Isles and loads of them are winning awards and making fantastic wines. I’ve become a big fan lately, not only because I’m living here but also because I think that they’re producing some fantastic stuff. I have to say that the sparkling wines are the ones that are winning the awards but they’re getting better and better at making those whites and even, dare I say, reds! Last weekend, Andrew from Spittoon invited a bunch of us food and wine bloggers up to Wallingford, Oxfordshire to visit Brightwell Vineyards and have a taste or two of quality English wine. So one EARLY Saturday morning, I met up with eatlikeagirl, foodstories, pencilandspoon  (Mark, a beer blogger) and cooksister to brave the wilds of the English countryside. (A slideshow of my trip to the English countryside and vineyards) Our first stop was Brightwell Vineyards which has been around for about 20 years and they have a quite an extensive collection of varietals but most are experimental. They focus mainly on bacchus, ortega, reichensteiner, and dornfelder with pinot noir being planted next year. They are unusual in that they focus on still wines as opposed to sparkling which most English producers seem to gravitate to. Brightwell is not only situated next to the Thames but has a lovely duck pond with lots of wild birdies, horses, the friendliest dobermans I’ve ever met (the dogs would probably show you where the safe is), and pigs! Athough the wine pigs, as we nicknamed them, will be moving next year to make way for rows of pinot noir. The big hit of the tasting had to be the Oxford 2006 Regatta red, a complex spicy, woody, red wine. Pepper, graphite, ripe red fruits, raspberry, all those decriptors were being thrown about with abandon by the bloggers. I had to agree and it also had a lovely silky weight to it. Carol,...

read more
%d bloggers like this: