Raise a Glass to St George

st georgeIn my time I have lifted many a glass of the black stuff for Saint Patrick, had a wee dram for Saint Andrew and had a many a debauched evening in Cardiff celebrating Saint David. However, when it comes to celebrating my own countries patron saint, the 23rd April every year has been little marked. This year, despite it falling on a Tuesday, we have vowed to raise a glass to the much neglected Saint George. What will be our tipple of choice? English Wine!

English wine now competes with among the best in the world and our great nation is in fact the spiritual birthplace of sparkling wine. During the first 3 months of our project we have got a real taste for the stuff and, if you have not tried it we urge you to give it a go. The average price for a bottle is between £8-£10, which is not a cheap plonk, but once you try we are sure that you will be an English wine convert.

So, for Saint George’s day we invite you to all to join us in celebrating the English nation and raising a crisp glass of English wine. Let us know what your favourite tipple is.

We also hope that our Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish brothers and sisters will join us this year in celebrating what the English do well. 

– James



  1. I’ve never had English wine but have had some amazing wine, white and sparkling, from the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Will give Chapel Down wines a try!

  2. Steven priscott says

    Please give us a run down of the wonderful British brands that you have sampled…I would like to try some

  3. Denbies, sparkling – much better than Champagne

  4. Steveo says

    For a number of years, my family have enjoyed Denbies wines when we lived a stones throw from their Dorking vineyards in Surrey (remember James May’s Lego house anyone??).
    Since moving to Worcestershire, we swayed back to our Italian and French faves.
    However, for the last month I’ve been taking part in the ‘Newent Parkrun’. This means driving past the ‘Three Choirs’ vineyards every Saturday morning. On the way home recently I took a very small diversion and sampled their wines. VERY GOOD!!

  5. If you don’t mind the cross-posting, this from another site might interest people: http://www.ukvine.com/english-wine-still-a-needle-in-a-haystack/.

    For people who want to try English wine but don’t know where to buy:
    – Waitrose have far & away the best supermarket offer. They’ve been supporting the industry for years, and so have the pick of producers.
    – M&S have their own-label selection of wines from Chapel Down.

    http://www.sparklingenglishwine.com/ are the online specialists.

  6. I enjoy Denbies as well. Shame the UK can’t grow a decent red as this is my preference.
    Don’t forget all the fantastic beer!

  7. Sadly, St George was Greek!

  8. dazdread says

    I thought that St. George was Turkish!

    Here in Leicestershire we have three vineries withing 10 miles of Market Harborough, about 6 micro breweries and two cider producers. We are currently in the process of setting up a local food hub to promote local seasonal produce too!

  9. Gordon Smith says

    As I mentioned before there is a vineyard at Fernhill Heath, just north of Worcester.

  10. David Courtney says

    I can only recommend that all those interested look up The Wine Pantry. They started in Borough Market by London Bridge and now have larger premises in Marylebone, London, I believe. They ONLY sell English (and British) Wines and have a fantastic range. Cheers!

    • I’ve mentioned the Wine Pantry on here before, so felt I couldn’t replug! But now you’ve given me an opening, I can concur that they’re the best option in London by far. The new premises are at St.Pancras, and also includes UK beer, charcuterie, etc..

      They only sell English & Welsh wines. They do not sell British wine, which is confusingly made here from non-UK grapes.

  11. Steveo says

    I didn’t realise that British as opposed to English and Welsh wines were different??? A new one on me. I’ll keep my eyes open for this!

    • Please do, it’s important, not least because of the difference in quality and implications for repeat purchasing. From http://www.englishwineproducers.com/background/legislation-and-labelling/:

      “English or Welsh Wine is made from fresh grapes grown here in England (or Wales) and produced in UK wineries …

      “British Wine is not the same thing at all. It is the product of imported grapes or grape concentrate that is made into wine in Britain and usually sold at a low retail price. ‘British’ wines are not wines as defined by the EU which specifies that wine can only be the product of fermented freshly crushed grapes. You may also find British wines labelled as United Kingdom Wines or wine from the UK.”

      I believe it arises from an historical decision that we’d never have a functional native wine industry, so the legal definition was assigned elsewhere.

  12. Chapel Down produce some fantastic beers as well, keep meaning to try their wines as they sound fab

  13. Gill commented on A Truly British Family:

    Chapel Down produce some fantastic beers as well, keep meaning to try their wines as they sound fab

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