Is it annoying if I start this post off with a quick rant? I was in the middle of a town just 50 miles from the North Sea coast and it was impossible to get hold of crab meat…or fresh fish for that matter. I ended up with king prawns with the starter, all the way from Indonesia. I genuinely fail to understand why we’re still persisting on the 1980s model of stacking shelves with no concern for the carbon footprint or local businesses. But sod it, what do I know, eh? Let’s get back to the wines…
I started with the English Dry White from Waitrose, which they kindly supplied, but usually costs £9.99. This was made for them at the famous Denbies Estate in Surrey. It was as classic an English still wine as you could ask for. Pale lemon/green colour, with big hits of lemon and lime citrus, granny smith apple, and uplifting elderflower. It wasn’t sickeningly pronounced either. On the taste it was dry, with plenty of refreshing acidity. A very good 14/20 from me, exactly what I was expecting!
Next up was the New Hall Pinot Gris, from the People’s Republic of Essex! We picked this one up at the wine shop round the corner for £12.99. Pale lemon colour, and peach, apricot, honey, and orange blossom smells you tend to get from this grape. Only thing was that it wasn’t as pronounced as I’d have expected. If I’d have bought this for £12.99 as an Alsation Pinot Gris, I’d have been disappointed. There was nothing offensive about it, it was just a bit, I dunno, is flat the right word? A very acceptable, but not rushing back 12/20 from me.
With the food, which ended up as a king prawn salad, there were mixed opinions. The minerality of the prawn meat and the lemon dressing in the lettuce went great with wine number one. The sweetness of the tomato mixed great with the off-dry style of wine number two. Effectively it was an attempted posh prawn cocktail, which seemed to go down very well indeed.
English winemakers, and us wine geeks, have a lot to be excited about!
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