June, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

  • The six rules of barbecuing

    28 April, 2016 The six rules of barbecuing

    Even the best cooks can be stumped when it comes to cooking to perfection over coals. We ask Ben Tish to tell us the six most important rules of barbecuing so we can grill with confidence over the long weekend.
    Read more…

November, 2015

October, 2015

September, 2015

August, 2015

July, 2015

  • Eat like an Italian

    20 July, 2015 Eat like an Italian

    If you’ve ever been on holiday to Italy, like us, you’ve probably eaten classic pizzas, pastas and risottos until you’re fit to burst. While sticking with what you know isn’t always a bad thing, delve a little deeper and you’ll find the true heart of the region; eating cotoletta in Milan, beans in Florence and artichokes in Campania will open up a whole new world of Italian cooking. We spoke to three Air B’n’B hosts about the food of their region, must-eats while you’re there, and asked about the best-kept secrets when it comes to eating out.
    Read more…

  • Michelin Stars in Your Eyes

    06 July, 2015 Michelin Stars in Your Eyes

    With so many Michelin-starred chefs on the site, we challenged Cooked writer Imogen Corke to test her mettle on some of the trickier recipes. This week, she cooks Atul Kochhar’s cod in nilgiri korma gravy from his latest cookbook, Benares.
    Read more…

May, 2015

  • Q&A with Rosie Birkett

    22 May, 2015 Q&A with Rosie Birkett

    We ask our authors ten questions about their life long love of food. This week, we speak to Rosie Birkett, author of A Lot on her Plate, about roast dinners, tuna tacos, and why you should never run your finger through hot caramel.
    Read more…

  • The Lunchbox Edit: Spring Greens

    01 May, 2015 The Lunchbox Edit: Spring Greens

    Each week, we take some of our favourite recipes and give them a little tweak to make perfect packed lunches.
    Read more…

A beginner's guide to English wine

Eve O'Sullivan
03 June, 2016

With English Wine Week in full swing, we asked Gavin Smith from The Vintner to talk us through what wines to look out for, why UK-produced sparkling is so popular, and how to match English wines to your favourite dishes from around the globe.

English wine is predominantly white because of our climate; most red wine grape varieties require warmer weather to adequately ripen. There are some red varieties grown in the UK, such as Dornfelder, that do ripen adequately in good vintages, but don't have the typical flavours that consumers associate with quality red wine. English whites, however, can be pleasantly aromatic and light, which does fit with our expectations of white wine flavours; that said, in poor vintages  – the result of a drizzly, wet summer – the wines can be too light and watery. Sparkling wines, which UK growers are most successful at producing, need the high levels of acidity in the grapes you get from cool climate regions like the UK to maintain the required freshness in the wine after spending 2-6 years maturing in bottle.

Most sparkling wine is produced in Sussex because it has similar soil composition as the Champagne region - both have high levels of chalk in the soil.
When it comes to making the wine, UK producers stick to the traditional French method – if it ain't broke, as the saying goes – which means that some of the sparkling wines are often at the same level of quality as Champagne.

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meurnier grapes are all grown very successfully here. Again, these are the same varieties that are grown in the Champagne region. If you want to explore still whites, the best grapes for British soil are Bachhus, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris.

If you're looking for a failsafe choice, Nyetimber Classic Cuvée is the most consistent sparkling wine coming out of the UK. Stopham Estate Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are my favourite English still wine producers; they've really started to stand out from other still wine producers in the UK.

When it comes to matching English wine to food, you should definitely experiment.The Sharpham Dart Valley Reserve, made predominantly from Madeleine Angevine with some proportion barrel aged to add body and complexity, works well with lighter Thai dishes. I've mentioned it above, but Nyetimber Classic Cuvéis a great match for British seafood, and I personally love to drink Stopham Estate Pinot Gris with seasonal green veg, such as asparagus and broad beans, that's so abundant at the moment.

If you are looking for the perfect match, though, it has to be English sparkling wine with just-picked strawberries. With plenty of cream, of course! 

Find out more about Gavin and The Vintner's wines here, and English Wine Week here.  

    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again