The grape that is probably best known for single-variety white wine in the UK is Bacchus, which is starting to get a very good reputation. Bacchus wines are aromatic and can have powerful flavours and character if the grape is able to ripen fully. Aromas to look out for are fresh asparagus, elderflower, nettles and herbs.
For food matching suggestions, I spoke to Josh, the winemaker at Chapel Down who suggests: “It depends on the style, but Bacchus is always good with sea bass or similar fish with samphire. Richer styles are good with oriental cuisine, especially if the wine has residual sugar.” He also recommended trying “Pork shoulder or belly braised with apples.” The guys at Three Choirs agreed with those suggestions, adding “perfect with fish dishes. white bait and grilled sardines.”
Try some Bacchus examples from the West Country, from Kent and from East Anglia and see what you think – are there clear differences? Most of the vineyards below have made national award-winning Bacchus and I’ve added a couple of others that are recommended; all are visitor-friendly and happy to sell you their wines from the cellar door.