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Wine-led dining
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Stepney City Farm - The venue for our new series "This is English!"

Stepney City Farm - The venue for our new series "This is English!"

I had a private tasting with wine maker Phillip at Barnsole vineyard in Kent

I had a private tasting with wine maker Phillip at Barnsole vineyard in Kent

I even went to fog coated building in the middle of no where in search of wines

I even went to fog coated building in the middle of no where in search of wines

February 2017 - Newsletter

Dry January is over … thank goodness for that!

So apparently, there is this thing in January were otherwise sensible people deprive themselves of the pleasure of alcohol for an entire month as penance for their over indulgence in December. I can’t say I understand it really and can assure you I did no such thing – I had some exceptional wines last month. I have all the same noticed the impact, January was a quiet month for Vintwined. We nonetheless, had a fantastic evening with a small group at the January event and I earned my “January Blue” wings in the catering industry having many conversations with restaurateurs about how tough it is. I’m one of them now, hooray!

The slow January has given me time to look ahead for the next 6 months and I have a calendar of events planned. I will release tickets for sale as soon as venues are confirmed so keep a look out!

 

Will English wines provide consumers with value wines post Brexit?

Details are emerging on the Conservative Government’s vision for a post Brexit Britain. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty about what this will really mean for almost every segment of society and industry. Whilst the uncertainty remains, the impact on Sterling will be felt and who knows where we will stand on the FX market even when all this is worked out. Given the poor currency exchange you would probably think that the emerging English wine industry will become our source of value wines.

Now, if your definition of “Value” is cheap, then I am afraid you are mistaken. Relatively high land costs, high labour costs and the cost of capital required to establish a lot of these new vineyards means that English wine is priced in the moderate to premium end of the spectrum. However, if your definition of “Value” is that for the price you pay you get a superior product compared to similarly priced products of that category, then you are in luck. The best wine producers in England understand the need to position themselves in the moderate to top end of market, competing with Champagne in the sparkling category and premium German wines (Red and White) in the still. The producers that are successfully achieving the level of quality to genuinely rival their European counterparts are doing fantastically well; with many English Sparkling wines beating Champagne at their own game in blind tastings (and with products at a much lower retail price). Unfortunately, England remains a marginal climate for wine production, being that it is on the cusp of viability for ripening grapes. Therefore, there is still a lot of inferior wines being produced and they often come with a similar price tag.

So, when you think English wine, you need to seek quality rather than value – there are plenty of great wines to be found but you must dodge some rubbish I’m afraid. Luckily for you, I’ve been through a fair few English wines myself and I’ve unearthed a number of gems (and had to hide a few grimaces with the rubbish). Naturally, I’ll be showing these in my series “This is English!”. Also, I couldn’t settle on only 4 wines so we are going to create more dishes and change the menu each time. I hope to see you there so I can tell you more about the wonders of the English wine market.

 

Upcoming events – Ticket available through www.vintwined.com

Champanois – 4 Course wine-led dining experience featuring exquisite grower champagnes

THIS SATURDAY: 11th February – Looking for something indulgent and different for Valentine’s day? We have tickets on sale for the third instalment of Champanois. Fine wine and food is guaranteed but you will have to charm your date yourself.

14th March – Your last chance to catch this event, book now to avoid missing out

NEW EVENT: This is English! – 4 course wine-led dining experience championing English wine and local produce hosted at Stepney City Farm (when we say local produce we mean it!). Menu will change for each event.

Dates - 25th February, 18th March, 15th April, 13th May

 

Further dates and further events will be released soon, I’ll keep you poste