English sparkling wine is made to be a fresh drinking wine for having a celebration with some mates. I’m racking my brain for what to celebrate, but if I see the sun once through the clouds in the next 24 hours then that’ll do!
The wines are usually made using the traditional method most commonly associated with Champagne production. That means that yeast stays in the bottle, ferments a bit more, and the carbon dioxide they release gives the bubbles. When they die, sad though it is, they break up into the wine and that’s why if you give it a really good sniff you’ll be able to smell yeasty smells. Things like bread, or biscuit, or (middle class shout out!) brioche.
On top of that you get the normal flavours of the base wine. So the refreshing high acidity, the citrus flavours, the cold climate fruit flavours of red apples and things like that. Look, point is there’s a lot of flavour in the glass, but it’s really fresh to drink, and when it comes to food pairing you want to keep it simple and just enjoy drinking it with your mates.
Go with canapés. They’re a safe bet. I’m thinking crab paté (with lemon wedges) and breadsticks, and then maybe some fish nuggets with a lemon aioli or tartare sauce (btw if you’re usually a cod person, they try coley, more plentiful supply, tastier, and less than half the price!). It’s all about keeping it light, but looking to pair the citrus flavours, or the bready flavours. Don’t go mad, but they should be pretty tasty together.
Or at least that’s the theory anyway!
Other posts in NWTW Week 21
#NWTW Week 21: English Sparkling Wine (Part One)
#NWTW Week 21: English Sparkling Wine (Part Two)
#NWTW Week 21: Making Wine In England
#NWTW Week 21: Ups & Downs of Making English Wine