English sparkling wine for the Lionesses

Drinks blogger James Robertson picks two English sparkling wines to toast “the auld enemy’s” victory in the fitba.

TIMING, they say, is everything and – along with 17 million other viewers – I watched the England women win the European Cup. The question therefore is what to drink to celebrate the win? Well here are two excellent examples of something else that England is getting quite a name for and that is sparkling wine.

For the past few decades, English sparkling wine has gained many plaudits and it will not come as much of a surprise that some of the key Champagne houses have planted their own vineyards in Sussex, Hampshire, and elsewhere. The soil structure and climate mirror that of the Champagne region, and here are two cracking examples of what can be produced when the vintage is near perfect, as it was in 2018.

Black Chalk Wild Rose 2018 (II) 12% – Made from 47% Pinot Noir, 21% Pinot Meunier, and 32% Chardonnay that come from vineyards in Hampshire, this wonderful wine has soft raspberry, strawberry notes, with a balanced crisp acidity and a delightful finish somewhat like Ella Toone’s goal in the final! £40 per bottle online via www.blackchalkwine.co.uk

Busi-Jacobsohn Blanc de Noirs 2018 12% – 92% Pinot Noir and 8% Pinot Meunier make up this first attempt at Blanc de Noir from this single estate in East Sussex. It has a light biscuit and brioche note, with subtle strawberry fruit. The finish is not like the goal mouth melee for the final goal, but it certainly has a touch of the Chloe Kelly celebration at the end. £48 per bottle online via www.busijacobsohn.com

Read more of James’s articles on The Grape & The Grain drinks blog