Intro to English Wine bottle line up with Marasby co founder Simon Huntington

Intro to English Wine Tasting

The six wines that tell you everything you need to know about English wine tasting.

I’ve tasted hundreds of bottles of wine and this is my pick of six to give you a great intro to English wine tasting.  You’ll probably know about our world class English Sparkling Wine, but there’s a real buzz around English still wine too. And with so much choice people are asking me what wine to buy. Tough call as there are so many great English and Welsh wines being made in the UK. So for the Marasby Intro to English Wine tasting I’ve picked six, each with their own story that together make up the whole picture.

You can taste all six wines at the Marasby Intro to English Wine Tasting, which takes place every month at a fantastic venue in London Bridge. Tickets are on sale now at £38 per person, and include tasty platters of British cheeses and charcuterie.

An Intro To Tasting English Wine

I’ve picked 6 different wines from 6 different counties.  Two English red wines, two English white wines, one English rosé and one English Sparkling Wine.

There is an estate grown and bottled English sparkling wine that is better and cheaper than any equivalent Champagne you will find on the supermarket shelves. A Pinot Noir made from some of the oldest vines in the UK. A crisp and refreshing Bacchus – arguably England’s signature grape. A Pinot Blanc widely considered to be the best ever made in England. An organic rosé that knocks Provence out the park and a full bodied red wine that tastes like it’s come from much warmer climes.

I’m a firm believer that the best way to discover English wine is to taste it. That’s why we’re now running a monthly Intro To English Wine Tasting in London Bridge where you can taste these six wines and discover everything you need to know about English Wine.  The tastings are fun and relaxed with nuggets of useful info so you can impress with your knowledge.  Hope to see you there. Book tickets here.


Lyme Bay Brut Reserve English Sparkling Wine on kitchen counter

Lyme Bay Brut Reserve – An Intro To English Sparkling Wine

This is pretty much ‘house sparkling wine’ in the Marsaby household – at well under £30 a bottle, it’s a brilliantly well-made, elegant and fine English Sparkling Wine, with notes of citrus and green apples, and a soft, round and creamy, yet dryly refreshing palate.  Lyme Bay are based in Devon and source the best fruit from around the UK. Read the Lyme Bay Winery story here.

Taste: Soft and dry with light lemony flavours and minerality. Great as an aperitif or with light seafood dishes.

Buy on Marasby Market at Vineyard Prices £26.99

Meophams Union Red Wine from Kent


Meophams An Intro To English Red Wine

I wager if you blind tasted this wine, you’d never guess it was made in England. That’s because it’s so full flavoured, and velvety smooth. And yet incredibly it’s only 11.5%.  With a few Ibiza party seasons under his belt, owner Surinder Basi makes approachable and fun wines for his generation. “In fact, until I owned a vineyard, I didn’t really drink wine! So, I’m coming at this with a different mind-set, trying to think of ways to get younger people interested.” Read Surinder’s story here.

The Meophams Kent vineyards are just a short hop from London and easily accessible. And at under £15 a bottle for most of the still range, they some of the most affordable English wines. Accordingly Meophams makes it onto our Introduction to English wine.

Taste: Deep in colour, with aromas of blackberries, cigar box and ground coffee. Great with tomato based dishes and BBQs.

Buy on Marasby Market at vineyard prices £14.50

Shotley Pinot Noir from Suffolk

Shotley Pinot Noir 2022 – An introduction To English Pinot Noir

This wine is incredible. Single estate, old vine English Pinot Noir from Suffolk – one of the most exciting still wine regions in the UK. Charlotte Davitt-Mills stumbled upon this forgotten vineyard near her home and has spent the last few years bringing it back to life. It’s been an incredible journey of self-discovery. You can read Charlotte’s story here. But there’s more to Shotley than passion. The vines are nearly 25 years old, some of the oldest Pinot Noir vines in the UK.  Old vines are a good thing as they seem to give more concentration and complexity compared to young vines. You’ll be hard pushed to find single estate, old vine, cool climate Pinot Noir for less than £20 a bottle from other countries.

Taste: ripe dark cherry and blackcurrant aromas, and a silky-smooth palate, this is high-class Pinot Noir. Great with game and mushroom dishes.

Buy on Marasby Market at vineyard prices £19

Stopham English Bacchus

Stopham Bacchus – An Introduction To English Bacchus

Stopham Vineyard Bacchus is a brilliantly refreshing example of this benchmark English grape, made by one of England’s most experienced makers of aromatic still wines. Simon Woodhead, once a formula one engineer, is now bringing this same precision and passion to his winemaking. You can read his story here. The wines from this West Sussex vineyard is another great example of estate grown and bottled wine.

Taste: elegant aromatics of elderflower, nettle and rose petal, with flavours of pink grapefruit and orange peel, which linger into the long, refreshing finish.  Delicious enjoyed as an aperitif, and matches excellently with fish curry, asparagus tart, and pan fried sea bass.

Buy on Marasby Market at vineyard prices £18

Missing Gate Vineyard Pinot Blanc from Essex

Missing Gate Pinot Blanc 2021 – An Introduction To English White Wine From Essex

Missing Gate Vineyard Pinot Blanc makes it onto the ‘Intro to English Wine’ list because it showcases the fantastic potential of Crouch Valley, Essex. This is fast becoming recognised as one of the best UK regions for still wine. Missing Gate is also on the list thanks to owner Nick Speakman, a charismatic and innovative Essex farmer and businessman who’s hoping to put Essex on the global wine making map. Read his story here.

Their Pinot Blanc falls into the category of “wines we can’t believe are from England.” It is effortlessly opulent, and offers aromas of juicy stone fruits, hazelnut and citrus zest.

Taste: juicy stone fruits, hazelnut and citrus zest wrapped around a core of minerality.  The finish is long and focused, with lingering flavours of ripe nectarine and crushed almonds.

Buy on Marasby Market at vineyard prices £25

Simpsons Estate Railway Hill English Rose from Kent

Simpsons Estate Railway Hill Rosé – An Introduction To English Rosé

Forget the South of France, welcome to the South of England. This is one of the first English wines I ever tasted, more than 6 years ago. And it’s still one of my favourites. Classic Provence style rosé it has a lovely delicate pale pink hue. A beautiful balance of summer fruits and crisp minerality. The Simpsons are powerhouse winemakers producing a stunning range of English Sparkling and still wine. Discover more about the Simpsons here in my winery profile.

5 Provence style English rosés.

Taste: Simpsons’ Wine Estate Railway Hill Rosé is brilliantly dry and refreshing, with mouthwatering aromas of watermelon and crushed strawberries.. Pair with a tomato tart or grilled chicken dishes.

At the time of writing you can buy all these wines direct from the producers at Marasby Market. Many are made in tiny batches, so don’t delay.

But if you’re not sure and you’d like to try them first, come and taste them with us at the Marasby Tasting Room at the Tap and Bottle. Book here for the inaugural tasting on 8th November 2023.

99% of the wine we drink in the UK is imported. Thank you for helping us to grow the 1%.

Related posts