English Wine Tasting – November 1st to December 31st 2016
Wine Pantry, showcases the very best English Wine and Spirits from the United Kingdom.
Because it’s good! Surprisingly good and people shouldn’t be surprised at how good it is. They should be able to taste it, match it and enjoy it.
Join us for a glass of English Sparkling wine and three still wines Monday to Saturday by Liverpool Street Station.
About English wine
National wines, spirits, beers and ciders are some of the best in the world and English food is in the midst of a revival with our range of cheeses becoming the largest in Europe (700 and counting). So, join us in opening a bottle and raising a glass to what our tiny Isle has to offer.
Not to be mistaken with British wine (which is made using imported grape juice and produced in the UK) we source English grown grapes made into award winning English quality wines.
Whilst there is evidence that the Romans grew grapes and most definitely drank wine in England, this was more likely to have been for aesthetic purposes rather than wine making.
That is not to say that the English have sat idle ever since! Not only do we import approximately £1.7 billion bottles of wine a year but without us, wine as we know it might very different indeed.
The first person to document the containment of carbon dioxide which makes sparkling wine was English physicist Christopher Merret, who submitted a paper to the Royal Society explaining how sugar and molasses could be added to wines to make them sparkle and that stronger bottles were needed to withstand this secondary fermentation process. This was several decades before Dom Perignion’s famous declaration, “Come quickly – I am tasting the stars.” Another English man deserving of the accolade of influencing modern wine making, was courtier and diplomat, Sir Kenelm Digby, who is widely credited with being the inventor of the modern wine bottle, and the first to use corks to seal them. It was also an Englishman, Samuel Henshall, who first patented the corkscrew in 1795.
It was only after the second World War, however that English wine – as distinct from what is now referred to as British wine, which is essentially cheap concentrate from grapes grown all over the world then bottled in England– began to take shape. It was then that two pioneers, Ray Barrington Brock, a research chemist on a mission to discover the best grape varietals to grow in Britain, and Edward Hymans, an author on grape-vine cultivation in England, inspired the leap from amateur hobbyist’s interest to commercial viniculture.
In is on the back of these early amateur experiments, that Nyetimber, Gusbourne, Breaky Bottom and Ridgeview in Sussex, Camel Valley in Cornwall and Chapel Down and Hush Heath in Kent have been able, to grow and win international awards and beat Champagnes with the main Champagne grapes – Pinot Meurnier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – which grow particularly well when used in sparkling wine. Indeed, our climate is frequently cited as being the closest to what Champagne was in the 60s, when some of the best Champagnes were made.
In addition to the Champagne grape varietals, English wine is also made using rootstocks and hybrids from either northern France or Germany, which are similarly suited for the British climate. Increasingly, however, other grape varietals like Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc are being made into more complex and exciting wines, with the industry attracting new and old world wine makers to make both still and sparkling wines.
What really makes English wine special however, is that English vineyards tend to be run by people who have already reached the peak of other professions – highly successful corporate finance professional Nicholas Coates; the English Managing Director of French insurance giant AXA Millésimes Christian Steely; hotel entrepreneur Richard Balfour-Lynn; savvy investor Eric Heerema – and who are combining their passion for wine with their drive, perspicacity and experience to ensure quality and drive the industry forward .
Thanks to people like these, the domestic wine industry is making leaps and bounds, and we are delighted to house all these wine under one roof where customers can taste, drink, buy, learn about and enjoy the very best English has to offer.
Gin Tasting – November 1st 2016 to December 31st 2016
Three of the following Gins served with Fever-Tree
1. Fifty Eight – Hackney Downs, London – 43% – Single Shot Gin Savoury vs. Citrus/Sweet 9 botanicals – Juniper, Coriander, Angelica, Orris Root, Cubeb Berries, Bergamot, Lemon, Pink Grapefruit & Vanilla Serving – lemon peel
2. Hendricks – Girvan, Scotland – 44% – Blended Gin (2 different types of still) British garden & cucumber sandwiches Released 2000 – blend of pot still & head still – big oily botanicals in the spirit (pot still) & light, floral & sweet in the vapors (head still) 12 botanicals – Juniper, Coriander, Angelica, Orris Root, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Cubeb Berries, Grains of Paradise, Caraway Seeds, Elderflower, Yarrow & Chamomile Serving – cucumber / rosemary
3. East London Liquor Company Batch No.1 – Bow Wharf, London – 45% – Pot Still Floral vs. Zingy Citrus 7 botanicals – Juniper, Coriander, Cassia, Angelica, Darjeeling Tea, Pink Grapefruit Peel & Cubeb Berries Serving – grapefruit zest
4. City of London No.3 –Brides Lane, C.O.L. – 43.3% – Old Tom Gin Sweetened & Spicy 9 botanicals – Juniper, Coriander Seeds, Angelica, Lemon, Bitter Orange, Cardamom, Cassia, Nutmeg & Cubeb Serving – lemon / ginger
5. Berkeley Square No.8 –G&J Greenalls, Warrington – 46% – London Dry Gin English Garden – bouquet garni (48hr infusion) G&J Greenalls – world’s oldest gin distillery founded in 1761 Juniper, Basil, Sage, Lavender, Kaffir Lime Leaves Serving – sage
6. Bathtub Gin – Crowborough, East Sussex – 43% – Cold Compounded (Infused) Spice vs. Citrus 6 botanicals – Juniper, Coriander, Orange Peel, Cinnamon, Cloves & Cardamom Serving – orange peel / lime
From Gin Lane to Devonshire Row
A burgeoning interest in artisanal quality spirits has inspired a distilling revolution with exceptional distilleries and producers opening all over the UK. While Dutch physician Franciscus Sylvius is often credited with the invention of gin in the mid 17th century, it is often said that the British perfected it.
At Wine Pantry: Devonshire Row, not only can you find the very best English gins but also taste them neat or alongside English award winning Fever tree tonic water.
London Dry is a style. Despite many imported gins being labelled “London gin,” the Beefeater Gin Distillery, Thames Distillers, Sacred Microdistillery, The London Distillery Company and Sipsmith are some of the few distilleries located within London’s city limits.
Old Tom Gin is a lightly sweetened gin whose origins trace back to the 1700s when pubs in England would have a black cat (an “Old Tom”) wooden plate mounted on the outside wall. Passersby would deposit a penny in the cat’s mouth and drink a shot of gin from a small tube between the cat’s paws. In 2009 Sipmith launched the first copper still in London for nearly 200 years.
Martin Millers was the first gin in production to use cucumber as a botanical. British gins tend to be high proof (90° or 45% ABV) but can be significantly higher.
Flavoured gins are usually chilled and served neat. Winston Churchill, is often quoted that observing a bottle of vermouth from across the room while drinking gin made the perfect martini, but this may have been down to rationing given that he would respectfully bow in the direction of France when stocks were low.
Fortunately, Sacred microdistillery have solved this problem by making a vermouth using English wine.
Gin Cocktails – Occam’s Razor of cocktails – Keep it simple
Gin & Tonic
Fill a tall glass with ice and add 25-40ml Gin Fever tree tonic water to fill Garnish with