Vineyards are popping up all over Britain, especially in the south of England and Wales, and from these vineyards are sprouting many an international wine award to accompany them.
Having tasted many of the English wines that are on the market I am surprised that there has not been more take up from restaurants and bars in serving our home grown splendour.
Enter stage left the award winning Olley’s Fish Experience in Herne Hill...
Olley’s Fish Experience in Herne Hill has decided to put his glass of English bubbly where his fried fish are and create the UK's most extensive English wine list for a fish and chip restaurant (see full wine list below). English sparkling wine in particular is a fabulous accompaniment to dishes that have more fat and flavour to them. Our cool climate gives the wines their bite of acidity which is just what you need for dishes like fish and chips.
When I interviewed Simon Bladon, owner of the award winning Hampshire winery Jenkyn Place, a couple of years ago, he said at the time that he most enjoyed drinking his Jenkyn Place Brut with "anything with fish in it... fish and chips even!"
Harry Niazi, owner of Olley’s Fish experience says: “…why not give a big bold hug to England’s burgeoning wine scene? English wines seem to have an amazing floral acidity to them, like a squeeze of exotic lemon with our fish! And they add a new element to the toasty butteriness of our batters.”
There are of course old-fashioned red lines that wine nerds often tell us we should not cross. One of these is red wine with fish. But, as any true gastronome knows, red wine can pair perfectly well with fish, especially wines like pinot noir or gamay. So hats off again to Harry for spicing things up further by adding a couple of pinot noirs to the list.
“I also decided that we should not just do white with fish, but do the unspeakable by pairing a red wine (Bolney Pinot Noir) with gluten free battered Hake and a stunning white Pinot Noir (made from red grapes) with battered salmon.”
If you are in the area and have been wondering what this whole English wine thing is about then do drop into Olley’s Fish Experience and try some of the wines with this once well-guarded secret of a food and wine pairing.
· Ridgeview Fitzrovia Sparkling Rosé (Sussex)
· Chapel Down Brut N/V (Kent)
· Jenkyn Place Blanc de Noirs (Hampshire)
· Bolney Pinot Noir (Sussex)
· Lyme Bay Shoreline - Bacchus, Pinot Noir, Reichensteiner, Seyval Blanc (Dorset)
· Chapel Down Bacchus (Kent)
· Litmus Bacchus/Chardonnay (Surrey)
· Jenkyn Place Brut (Hampshire)
· Litmus White Pinot Noir (Surrey)
Photo credit: Thomas Alexander Photography