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The Rise and Rise of English Sparkling Wine

We’ve known it for a while – but it seems the secret’s out. English Sparkling Wine is a hit.

Sales were up over Christmas 2015 and experts are predicting that 2016 will see even greater growth.

To keep up with demand, production has also had to increase. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have cited a 103.2% increase in the production volume of English and Welsh sparkling wines between 2010 and 2014.

So keen is the interest in English wine that the renowned Champagne brand Taittinger has announced plans to produce it’s own English wine after buying land in Kent.

Awareness of English wine is also on the rise thanks to a series of high profile sponsorship deals. From the Nyetimber sponsorship of Cowes Week to Wimbledon offering an English Sparkling wine, there will be no shortage of English wines this summer. Virgin have even switched from offering Champagne to Meonhill Sparkling Wine from the Hambledon Vineyard on their 787 Dreamliners.

So whether you’re messing about on the river, watching a spot of tennis or flying first class, you’ll not be far from a glass of English sparkling wine.

If you are interested in finding out more, be sure to check out English Wine Week organised by the English Wine Producers. The week runs from 28th May to 5th June 2016 and features events across the country to highlight to brilliance of English wines. For more information see, http://www.englishwineproducers.co.uk/

Alternatively, if you fancy sampling English Wine but can’t wait for English Wine Week, you can have us deliver a bottle of our excellent Coates & Seely English sparkling wine direct to your door.

For more information see:

Introducing Our Wine Of The Month: Giribaldi Barolo DOCG

Here we are with April’s Wine of the month, and it’s brand new to Charles Rose Wines.

Barolo is a ruby red Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wine heralding from the northern Italian region of Piedmont. It is made from the Nebbiolo grape and is often described as one of Italy’s greatest wines.

Our Barolo comes from Giribaldi, a third-generation family run wine maker. It is a deliciously deep red colour with hints of coffee, liquorice and chocolate. Full bodied with soft silky tannins, overflowing with red fruit. This wine finishes clean and elegantly.

Barolo is well known for it’s powerful tannins and so it pairs well with red meat dishes, rich risottos and powerful pastas.

So if you are looking for a big wine to ring in the spring then give it a try! With 10% off the RRP until the end of the month!

 

Introducing our Wine of The Month: Tosti Prosecco Brut Atelie DOC

Well now that we’ve moved beyond February 29th, March has finally arrived and so has the time to introduce March’s wine of the month!

This month we’re showcasing our Tosti Prosecco Brut Atelie DOC.

Prosecco, the Italian cousin to France’s champagne, has quickly been gaining in popularity in the UK. Last year, sales of prosecco overtook sales of champagne for the first time in Britain. Prosecco has not only a rich history and quality, it is also a highly fashionable and cheaper alternative to champagne.

Our Tosti Prosecco is produced in Canelli, in the province of Asti, Northwest Italy, which is undoubtedly one of the wine capitals of the world and known for its’ sparkling wines. The Tosti Brut Atelie is produced by husband and wife team Maria Cristina and Giovanni Bosca. Seven generations of the Bosca family have been producing wines and sparkling wines at their family estates since 1820.

This prosecco is both refreshing and gentle with aromatic fruity notes. It is crisp and lively with a beautifully clean aftertaste. The perfect accompaniment for cured meats, asparagus and creme brulee.

So whether you’re celebrating St David’s Day, treating a special Mum on Mother’s Day or enjoying an Easter celebration, our Atelie Brut Prosecco is just the thing.

And with 10% off the RRP – it’s ‘eggcellent’ value for money (sorry we couldn’t resist!)

It’s Christmas time, anyone for Port?

We may be biased but in our opinion there is nothing finer than a bottle of Port at Christmas time… or any time for that matter!

When paired with a good stilton, there is little better, but below are some other excellent food pairings to try over the festive season.

Ruby port

Noval Fine Ruby

Ruby Ports are the ideal partner for a cheeseboard or chocolate dessert. They also make fantastic Port wine reductions to complement roast beef or duck.Try with full flavoured cheeses such as a good farmhouse Cheddar, Red Leicester or gorgonzola.

The sweet and full berry flavours of ruby port complement chocolate desserts such as a molten chocolate cake or a chocolate-walnut tart. Alternatively, a rich cherry pie would work brilliantly.

We love Quinta do Noval’s Ruby Port, so much that we stock it!

Tawny port

Noval 20

A glass of aged tawny port is delicious when matched with a hard, nutty cheese or a pudding such as apple pie, tarte tatin, baked figs or caramel tart.

Cheeses such as Parmesan and Manchego complement the naturally nutty flavours of tawny ports. Alternatively, go for any eggy dessert—for which the Portuguese are famous – such as Pastel de nata or a crème brûlée.

Be warned though, if you start eating Pastel de nata you will find it impossible to stop!

Quinta do Noval have wonderful Tawny ports, available from us here.

Vintage Port

Noval Silval 2005

A vintage is only declared when the port house believes it has a truly exceptional wine.

The truly classic pairing is Vintage Port with blue cheeses such as Stilton. The tangy, soft and mellow character of mature blue cheese compliments the powerful character of Vintage Port. If Stilton isn’t your thing, you could consider Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Saint Agur Blue.

If you are looking for the punch of a Vintage but at a more reasonable price then you should consider Quinta do Noval’s Silval Port. Quinta do Noval is one of the top Port houses in the World and produces the internationally renowned Nacionale. The Silval vintages are only declared in very good years and this is an excellent example. This wine also represents superb value for money compared to other vintage ports.

Snap it up here.

White Port

Noval White

White port is wonderful when served chilled as an aperitif, or poured over ice, and pairs well with olives, nuts, gouda and similar cheeses, or even seafood.

Quinta do Noval produce a wonderful dry white port, available from us here.

If these pairing suggestions have whet (that’s the right spelling) your appetite, then check out our range of Ports.

This Season It’s All About The Accessories!

As the party season gets into full swing, we know that it’s all about the accessories. We’re not talking bags and sparkly shoes – we’re talking decanters, stoppers and openers!

From our luxury, silver plated drip catcher to our lead crystal decanters we have all the accessories to make this season pop.

Silver Plated Drip Catcher

When the Christmas table is set, nothing spoils the scene more than wine stains on your linen. Helpfully, our luxury, silver plated drip catcher ensures your bottle looks fantastic, while also protecting your table and linens. The catcher is compatible with most standard wine bottles and the luxury red felt inner is the perfect seasonal adornment for your favourite bottle.

Deluxe Wing Corkscrew

BarcraftConnoisseurWingCorkscrew-2000x2000

This classic style, double-handled heavy duty wing corkscrew, with a mirror polished finish and a comfortable curved top handle is perfect for opening all types of cork bottle tops. The corkscrew is of a single cast design, so no broken toys on christmas day. This corkscrew is used in professional bars, so why not take the party home.

Silver Plated Wine Bottle Stopper

While we find it hard to leave a bottle of our fantastic wine unfinished, on the odd occasion when it happens, this stopper is the perfect solution. Not only does the rubber seal maintain the wine’s freshness, but the silver plated top is pure luxury.

Silver Plated Champagne Bottle Opener

While there are many ways to open a Champagne bottle, using this beautiful opener is certainly easier than attempting sabrage and has the advantage of avoiding flying corks a waste of good champagne spray!

Our Crystal Decanters (Square and Fluted)

The piece de resistance! Our beautiful 24% lead crystal decanters are the perfect addition to any drinks cabinet and make a wonderful gift for lovers of fine drinks.

We strongly suspect it’s going to be a very merry Christmas!

Charles’ Ultimate Gift Buying Guide

At Charles Rose Wines, we make finding the perfect Christmas gift easy. Whether it’s a fine wine, aged port or a vintage champagne, we have a fantastic range of perfect presents this Christmas.

If you are unsure of what is the best choice for that special someone this Christmas, why not have a look at our suggestions for a very merry Christmas.

Dapper Dads (and Grandads)

Quinta do Noval 20 Year Old Tawny Port

Noval 20

This delicious blend of ports is carefully matured in oak casks. The perfect way to round off a delicious Christmas lunch.

Marvellous Mums (and Grandmas)

The Mionetto Sergio Prosecco or Mionetto Rose Sergio Prosecco

 

Whether you opt for the White or the Rose prosecco, mum’s everywhere are bound to love these superb sparkling proseccos from the Veneto and Trentino areas of Italy.

Party Princesses

Deutz Brut Rose Champagne

Deutz Rose

It’s party season and what better way for party princesses to celebrate than with a glass of fabulous pink champagne in hand.

Lovers of all things Vintage

Deutz Brut Vintage 2006 Champagne

Deutz Vintage.jpg

This champagne is a class act. Perfect for those who love the finer things in life.

Quinta do Noval Silval Vintage Port 2005

Noval Silval 2005

A superb vintage port, perfect to enjoy now.

Those who dare to be different

Quinta do Noval White Port

Noval White

Perfect for those who love to try new things.

Gonzalez Byass 12 Anos Palo Cortado Sherry

Sherry

While Sherry used to be reserved for the Christmas trifle, this wine is not just for Christmas and is certainly on trend this year.

The Wine Aficionado

The Around the World Mixed Case

Case The Aroud The World

If you can’t decide between white or red, then our Around the World case will do the job for you. A great way for wine aficionado’s to sample a wide range of wines.

Organic Foodies/Gin Lover

Forest Gin, Premium London Gry Gin

Gin

This award winning gin is hand-crafted in small batches and is made with organic certified botanicals foraged from Macclesfield Forest.

If you would like any more help, please be sure to email, tweet or connect with us on facebook and our helpful team of wine experts will be sure to point you in the right direction.

Happy hunting!

New Products Launched!!!

At Charles Rose Wines we work hard to bring you top quality wines at fantastic prices and, even if we do say so, we’ve done it again!

We are extremely proud to announce a whole range of fantastic new products. Please allow us to introduce you to them…

Gin

Forest Gin

An exceptional spirit distilled in small batches by husband and wife team, Lindsay and Karl Bond at their distillery in Macclesfield. This fantastic gin is produced using organic juniper berries, coriander seeds and botanicals foraged directly from Macclesfield Forest.

The gin comes in a beautiful screen-printed stoneware bottle with a design created by papercuts artist Suzy Taylor. Each bottle is individually made and is printed by hand. Plus, we’re not the only ones to fall in love with this wonderful gin; it recently scooped Silver in the Ultra Premium Gin category at the Global Gin Masters Competition 2015.

See here for further details.

Noval Silval 2005

Quinta do Noval Silval Vintage Port 2005

Quinta do Noval is one of the top Port houses in the World and produces the internationally renowned Nacionale. The Silval vintages are only declared in very good years and this is an excellent example. This wine also represents superb value for money compared to other vintage ports.

Snap it up here.

Sherry

Gonzalez Byass 12 Años Palo Cortado Sherry

This fantastic sherry comes from the Jerez D.O. in Spain and is made from handpicked Palomino grapes. The grapes are lightly pressed before being fermented in stainless steel vats, which are then aged for 12 years in North American Oak barrels. This sherry is for life, not just for Christmas!

Click here for more information.

Tosti Prosecco Brut Atelie

Tosti Prosecco Brut Atelie DOC

For seven generations the Bosca family have been producing wines in the Asti region of Piedmont, Italy. This prosecco is fun and refreshing and to the best of our knowledge, they are the only producer to create a bottle with a naval (see below)!

Get yourself a fizztastic time here.

Tosti Pinot Grigio Rose

Tosti Pinot Grigio Rose Sparkling Wine

Produced by the same Bosca family described above, this elegant and smooth sparkling wine is the perfect with chicken, white meats and fish. The bottle features the famous Tosti naval!

Available here.

For more details about these, and our other fantastic wines and spirits, please see our website. Happy drinking!

Gin, Glorious Gin!

We are absolutely delighted to announce that we are now stocking the award winning, Forest Gin.

This fantastic gin is family produced and hand distilled in small batches using botanicals sourced from Macclesfield Forest. The gin uses organic grain spirit, organic certified juniper berries and coriander seeds along with wild bilberries, gorse flowers, raspberries and moss. To this magical mix, the spirit is added, before being distilled through a copper condenser. To give the final flourish, pure spring water is added resulting in a flavour packed Premium London Dry Gin.

The gin comes in the most exquisite hand screen-printed stoneware bottles complete with a one of a kind commissioned design by papercut artist, Suzy Taylor. Not only is the bottle extremely beautiful, the stoneware means that the gin will not be affected by direct sunlight and is better safeguarded against temperature variations.

We’re not the only fans of Forest Gin. Forest Gin was awarded a Silver Medal in the Ultra Premium category at The Global Gin Masters competition this year.

For more details, check out our website.

How much would you pay for Thomas Jefferson’s Wine?

Thomas Jefferson is famous for many things: for being the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, the third President of the United States, an architect, a philosopher and fluent in six languages. He is also regarded as America’s first great wine connoisseur.

Jefferson served as Minister to France from 1785 until the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1787. It is this posting that became instrumental in one of the most notorious alleged wine frauds the world ever saw.

At 2:30pm on December the 5th, 1985, at Christie’s Auction House in London, bidding opened on a bottle of wine. Expectations were high. The bottle had been hand blown and was inscribed simply with a year; 1787, a name; Lafitte, and the initials Th J.

It was believed that this bottle of bordeaux was acquired by Thomas Jefferson, presumably during his posting to France, from Chateaux Lafitte.

This estate is now Chateaux Lafite Rotheschild, one of the four wine producing Chateaux of Bordeaux originally awarded first growth status in the 1855 classification. Wines from this estate demand exceptionally high prices. A case of 1982 might set you back around £30,000.

So, on that December afternoon Christopher Forbes, of the family that own Forbes Magazine, paid £105,000 for this single bottle. This is still the highest price a bottle of wine has ever fetched at auction.

Other bottles from the “Thomas Jefferson Collection” went on to be sold at auction. Unfortunately however, the authenticity of the bottles was questioned. One of the purchasers, US billionaire Bill Koch was told by the Jefferson estate that they had no record of those bottles ever being owned by Thomas Jefferson.

The subsequent investigation into alleged wine fraud became the subject of a book, “The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine”, by Benjamin Wallace. This is now being adapted into a film starring Matthew McConaughey.

The authenticity of the wines of the Thomas Jefferson Collection is still in doubt and divides experts. Some claim the wines taste far younger than they should, and show no sign of appropriate oxidation. Others claim that the engraving on the bottle is more reminiscent of modern engraving tools than those available in the 18th Century.

This mystery rumbles on. Full story in The Guardian.

Image is “Thomas Jefferson” by Rembrandt Peale [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Terroir and Changing Climate Behind English Sparkling Wine Success

We recently posted about the dramatic increase in English Wine Producers. What is driving the spectacular success of English Sparkling Wine?

The South East of England is well known for its’ countryside, castles and universities.

However, the qualities of its terroir (the fancy French word for land) are less well known.

The chalky soils of the Sussex Downs, formed some 60 million years ago, are the same as those in the Champagne region of France. During the Cretaceous period much of Northwestern Europe was covered in a shallow sea that left a thick chalky soil for today’s vineyards.

Chalk is soft limestone and very porous meaning that vine roots can more easily grow. It drains well and is best for grapes with high acidity levels used for Champagne and sparkling wines.

Sussex is the sunniest and warmest part of the UK. Unprecedented climate changes in the South-East has had the effect of increasing temperatures year on year for the last 20 years. The South-East now has a similar cool climate to Champagne, which lies on a latitude less than 100 miles to the south.

Previously hardier German grapes such as Reichensteiner and Riesling, more at home in the Rhine region of Germany, were prevalent across the South-East.

Thanks to changes in the weather the finer, more delicate Champagne grapes such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir can now be correctly ripened.

Thanks to the combination of climate change and terroir, the South-East is producing sparkling wines that are arguably the finest in the world.

If you fancy learning more here’s a short clip from BBC Inside Out which explains more.

Image is of “Seven Sisters cliffs and the coastguard cottages, from Seaford Head showing Cuckmere Haven (looking east – 2003-05-26)” by Stephen Dawson, Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.