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.
At FXExpress Publications, Inc., we can’t wait to #ComeBacktoTravel, and we can’t wait for the travel industry and others to #ComeBacktoGT. Join us over the next several weeks as we entice you with photos from some of the places we’re most excited to visit. Take a visual journey through some of the Florida Keys’ most breathtaking sights with us, just in time for the June 1 reopening.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
People need a “chance to get some well-needed rest, relaxation and fresh air.” This is a sentiment we all likely share, as does the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union. The EC included that phrase when it released its plan to help reopen Europe following the COVID-19 global pandemic. While most EU borders remain closed to international travel until at least mid-June, the EC’s plan starts with inter-Europe travel, and are non-binding recommendations and guidelines. European countries still have the final decision, so travelers are advised to check the restrictions of the countries they plan to visit. According to the EC, “blanket restrictions of free movement are replaced by targeted measures.”
Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
The cruise industry responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with updates on cancellations and rebooking policies. Here’s an update.
Star Clippers offers two complimentary hotel nights in Barbados or St. Maarten for Caribbean sailings December 2020–March 2022. For use before or after the cruise, the hotel deal also includes one breakfast and a ship transfer.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
Two Florida hotels boast reopening offers as Florida begins its phased reopening.