Spotlight On: English & Welsh Red Wines
England & Wales are becoming more well known for their wines – something we of course are very pleased about!
The English wine renaissance really started with English sparkling wine – the soil of South East England is almost identical to the soil of the Champagne region, making it a hotspot for producing traditional method sparkling wines using the same varieties of grapes used in Champagne production (most commonly Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier). The most popular English still wine is a white wine from a grape called Bacchus – in flavour profile, it’s very similar to a New World Sauvignon Blanc. English rosé is also becoming more popular – it’s most often made from Pinot Noir, which is grown for English sparkling wines but can also be used for English rosé.
However, English & Welsh red wines are still a bit of an unknown for a lot of people! The most common belief is that the English climate is just too cold for growing grapes to make great red wine. And you’d be forgiven for thinking so – if you asked a lot of people where their favourite red wine comes from, they’d probably list off somewhere warmer than England, be it the South of France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, or somewhere further afield like Australia or Argentina.
However, you can indeed get delicious red wine from England & Wales! You won’t find grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon or Nebbiolo in England – we definitely don’t get enough sunshine for those! What you will find are grape varieties such as Regent, Rondo, Dornfelder and of course, Pinot Noir. These varieties can be used to make a wide variety of wine styles, from light bodied to more fuller bodied red wines, meaning that whatever usually tickles your fancy on the red wine front, you should be able to find something you will enjoy from England or Wales.
Check out our top recommendations for English red wines & Welsh red wines below:
Top English & Welsh wines if you enjoy fuller bodied reds such as Shiraz or Malbec:
Lowick Regent from Northamptonshire - £13.99 – truly phenomenal value for money, and one of our all time bestsellers, this one really surprises people as it's from Northamptonshire which isn't known for its vineyards! This full bodied red is bursting with fruity flavours of dark fruits, and low tannins mean it’s deliciously smooth. We think this is great with flat iron steak.
Winbirri Signature from Norfolk - £13.99 – another amazing value price point for an incredible wine that’s been oak-aged. This has been made in a similar style to Rioja – it’s another ultra-smooth wine, with notes of plums, berries and delicate toasty oak flavours. Another amazing one for pairing with steak, we also think it pairs well with roast beef.
Montgomery Rondo from Wales - £19.99 – this ultra-velvety red is from the stunning hills of Montgomery in Wales. It’s bursting with flavours of cherry, blackberry and spice, and it’s mouth-wateringly moreish! This makes a great pairing for red meat dishes, but we think it truly comes into its own when paired with cheese (can you tell we’re real cheese lovers here at The British Wine Cellar!).
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Top English & Welsh wines if you enjoy light bodied reds such as Beaujolais or Pinot Noir:
Sixteen Ridges Pinot Noir from Worcestershire - £15.99 – this is one of our bestselling red wines, and one of the most repeat-purchased. It’s light in body and has a mix of fruity and slightly earthy notes to it. We think this pairs amazingly with lamb or duck dishes, or mushroom risotto.
Wythall Pinot Noir from Herefordshire - £21.99 – this velvety red may be light in body but it’s bursting with fruity flavours of cherry and raspberry. Low tannins make it super-smooth. We’d suggest pairing this with truffle dishes – we tried it with truffle cheese from the Snowdonia Cheese Company and it was a truly spectacular combination!
Litmus Pinot Noir from Kent - £24.99 – a real treat, this light bodied red is mouth-wateringly juicy! Oak aged for 19 months in French barrels, this starts with fruity red notes, leading to woody and earthy notes with a lingering finish of dark fruits and a hint of spice. This wine is our star recommendation for pairing with Christmas dinner.
Looking to try some selections of English & Welsh red wines? Check out our red wine cases below, and our English red wine subscription!
There you have it – you now know about English & Welsh red wine, and hopefully we’ve tempted you with some wines for the shopping list! If you want to know more about English red wine, get in touch! Hello@thebritishwinecellar.co.uk