FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Don’t Overlook Southern England’s Sparkling Wine

by Eunice Fried

Feb 11, 2020

PHOTOS: © CHAPEL DOWN,
© RIDGEVIEW, © NYETIMBER,
© GUSBOURNE, © CHAPEL DOWN

February 2020

THE GRAPE BASE IS VIRTUALLY the same as Champagne — Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. They are made by the same two-fermentation Champagne method. And, like Champagne, the finished result is a sparkling wine. One difference, though: This bubbly is made not in France’s Champagne region but in the southern part of England. So much is English sparkling wine a growing industry, the majority of wine currently produced in England’s 450 wineries is now sparkling.

To test the quality of English sparklers, I held a small tasting of six. The result was fascinating.

Chapel Down Classic Brut NV — an elegant, pale-shaded sparkler with tiny, tight bubbles — proved a well-made, well-structured, clean wine. It left a pleasant, refreshing finish.

The flavors of Ridgeview Bloomsbury NV were a bit deeper with small, lively bubbles and an elegant aroma: a classic, delicate sparkler.

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée Brut, NV, expressed still deeper flavors and a fuller body, more complexity and more weight. A sturdy, well-balanced wine with well-balanced acidity, it’s a classic sparkler very similar to Champagne.

As befits a wine made totally of white grapes, Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2014 was pale, almost colorless, with bright, especially active bubbles: a vivacious wine with a positive mouth feel.

Delicious and powerful, Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2014 inspired one of the tasters to ask if I snuck a Champagne into the tasting to fool them. No, it was simply a bigger, more forward English sparkler.

Chapel Down Three Graces 2014 displayed the largest bubbles of the group, and they were aggressive as well. This complex wine boasts a body of medium weight and exceptional structure although with a rather short finish.

Overall, England’s sparkling wines, all new to the tasters, both surprised and pleased them. As for prices, they range about $40–65.

Is France’s Champagne region concerned about English competition? Perhaps more in action than in words. In 2015 the 276-year-old, highly respected Champagne house of Taittinger bought vineyard land in England and in 2017 planted its first English vineyards. When they mature, it will make its first English sparkler.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions

#globility

Insta Feed
February 2024
Feb 29, 2024

When in Rome: Get a True Taste of the City on One-of-a-Kind Tours with Local Experts

Looking for a city tour that goes beyond the basics? In Rome, local experts in everything from architecture to food and photography take guests on deep dives into their city, where they share not just their expertise but their passion.

Briggs & Riley: Elevate Your Journey with Quality Luggage

Embracing a life well lived often means embracing a life well-traveled. Every journey becomes a canvas for experiences that shape our lives and at the heart of every adventure lies the indispensable companion: quality luggage.

Daily
Feb 29, 2024

Vienna’s 1950s-Era Wien Museum Reopens After 4 Years of Redesign, Expansion

After an almost four-year redesign and expansion, Vienna’s popular Wien Museum Karlsplatz reopened its doors to visitors in late 2023. The original 1950s-era building, designed by noted Austrian architect Oswald Haerdtl, now has a new exterior and two additional floors.

Daily
Feb 29, 2024

Experience the New Blue Zone Series at Costa Rica’s Hacienda AltaGracia

At Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection, guests can uncover the secrets to a longer, happier and healthier life in the heart of Costa Rica with its new Blue Zone Immersion series. The three-month series runs from May 9 to July 31 and invites guests to explore individual pillars of the Blue Zone philosophy through workshops, local visiting masters and immersive programs. With each month comes a different theme, letting travelers pick which experience works best for them.

Hit the High Notes in Nashville

Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.

Daily
Feb 29, 2024

Raffles and Fairmont Debut New Guest Experiences in Doha

New offerings are available from Raffles Doha and Fairmont Doha, both housed in the Katara Towers, which redefined the city’s skyline.

eFlyer News
Feb 28, 2024

Canadian Airline Lynx Air Officially Shuts Down

Launching less than two years ago, Canada’s low-cost airline Lynx Air ceased operations Feb. 26. The Calgary-based airline continued to operate flights until this past Monday.

Unearth Seoul’s Hidden Gems

Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.

eFlyer Deals
Feb 28, 2024

The Ultimate Mid-Weekend Getaway Offer at Hotel San Luis Obispo

Treat yourself to the ultimate mid-week getaway at Hotel San Luis Obispo. The hotel’s Mid Weekend special blends luxury with adventure and great savings. Book the hotel’s two-night, mid-weekend offer and enjoy an exclusive 20 percent discount on guestrooms and suites.