English Sparkling -Balfour Extra Brut Rose


When I went to the European Winebloggers Conference in Rioja, I brought along an English rosè wine as my contribution to the event. I couldn’t have gotten more laughs if I’d brought along a comedian. The hoots and gibes I got. BUT once they got over their surprise, it garnered positive reviews.

So with that in mind, I took along an English Sparkling Rosè with me to the US Winebloggers conference. rodney-strong-vineyard-1311I couldn’t have gotten a more different reception. As soon as I popped open the first cork, they were all over it. It seemed everyone had heard of English sparkling and were dying to try it out. No hoots of derisions or disbelief from my American compatriots. Everyone loved it. Michael Wangbickler of Cavemanwines commented on how well made it was and an enjoyable tipple. The fact that it was a hot, sunny afternoon by the pool probably helped nudge people along to a cool, refreshing sparkler.

I had taken along the ’05 Balfour English Sparkling Brut Rosè. An award winning sparkler from the Hush Heath Estate in Kent. Made from the classic champagne blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. According to Hush Heath, Balfour is the only UK vineyard dedicated to producing sparkling rosè.  Richard Balfour Lynn, the owner has stated his aim is to set out with “the vision of creating a uniquely memorable experience. Balfour is light, entertaining and fun, and more importantly, it knocks the socks off many French Champagnes.”


wannabe wino pouring

Based on comments in California, it fulfilled all the above req’s. Light, lively, plenty of red fruits on the nose, strawberry, cherry, rapsberry, and the palate- fruity, crisp and dry. A lovely thirst quencher. Megan from wannabewino.com came back for more and Oenophilus was another fan looking for seconds. Unfortunately, the last bottle was a bit too cold and turned into a slushy in the fridge but enough people got a taste from the first two.

A big success at the US Winebloggers Conference, English sparkling is definitely winning fans on both sides of the Atlantic.


  1. Glad you liked it! I’ll be sure to bring more next year!

  2. I loved it as well, it was a fantastic and tasty sparkling wine! Very surprising and fruity!

  3. Hi All,
    You can get this delightful sparkling rose in the UK from M&S, Whole Foods, Wine Buy the Case and from Bibendum (020 7449 4120).

    No distribution as yet in the US I don’t think (but you could go into your local Whole Foods store and tell them it’s going down a storm in their London branch…hint, hint)

  4. I’m so glad you liked it, it’s not available in the States yet but hopefully will be in the near future!

  5. I loved it! And I was so excited to try a wine from England!

  6. Hi, I got it direct from the producer but I can send them an email and find out where it’s sold. I know that Bibendum is their distributor in London.

  7. A superb choice and exactly what I would have taken too (although probably a white sparkler).

    Where did you pick this up? I’ve not seen it around…


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