Vineyard Blog

Merry Christmas from English Wine Lovers

Wine Pantry Pop-Up

Julia Stafford with bubbling toddies and mulled wine at Wine Pantry

There was only one place to go for the English Wine Lovers Christmas Drinks and that was the Wine Pantry pop-up shop. Just next door to the original shop in Borough Market, Julia Stafford has made a cosy space with bubbling hot toddy as well as beers and the occasional glass of wine.

There were ice buckets of Three Choirs Classic Cuvée on the counter, so it would have been rude not to have a glass. It was a pleasant start to the evening, a very easy drinking fizz – not a champagne style, Julia likened it to starting off a bit like a cava and ending like a prosecco, but with its own English flavour. Occasional blogger Ian & I enjoyed it while discussing recent tastings and future plans for English Wine Lovers.

Gusbourne Pinot Noir

Gusbourne Pinot Noir at Wine Pantry

We weren’t sure what to try next – there wasn’t much wine on display, but Julia offered to go next door to get anything we fancied. While we were still thinking, someone else asked for a glass of pinot noir. We were quite happy to go with the flow, so said we’d have the same and boy, what a treat! The Gusbourne Pinot Noir 2011 was sensational. Wine Pantry tasting notes say “It is our firm belief that Pinot Noir is the going to be the next bright young thing on the English wine scene and this effort, from the brilliant Gusbourne Estate, is vinous proof of such proclamations.” My more educated friends tease me that pinot noir isn’t my favourite grape, but I could change my mind for this one.

More chatting and planning, then just a little try of the mulled vodka, which contained English Wine, fresh herbs and a few mystery ingredients. Very warming and delicious.

The Wine Pantry pop-up shop is open for a little longer and we definitely recommend popping along.

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first year of English Wine Lovers and cooked up lots of exciting plans to share our passion for English wines further and wider next year. Meanwhile, all that remains is for me is to wish a very happy festive season to Ian, Oliver, Liz, Rob, Susan and everyone else who has helped with the blog, to all the wine growers, makers and sellers who have welcomed us and most especially our readers. Enjoy your English wines responsibly and do let us know of any corkers you come across.

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