Looking for the best English Red Wines to try this Christmas? Here’s the Marasby 5.
Want to drink English red wine this Christmas, but don’t know where to start? We can help. We’ve tasted hundreds of English wines over the last couple of years. And while English Sparkling Wine is now well established, it’s English red wine that’s getting all the buzz.
English Pinot Noir, in particular, is gaining real recognition with some wines hitting big scores from the critics. For more on this, read Marasby’s co-founder Simon Huntington’s blog on why everyone’s talking about English Pinot Noir.
We know from our Intro To English Wine Tastings that Pinot Noir isn’t for everyone. We don’t have the climate in the UK for those juicy reds like Shiraz or those powerful tannic reds from Bordeaux. But we are seeing some really great wines being made from non traditional grape varieties. Be open to reds made from Regent or Rondo and you’re in for a treat.
English red wines tend to be lower in alcohol than most (around 11.5%) and light to medium bodied, which makes them a great pair for turkey and rich creamy dishes. For inspiration read Talya’s blog on English wine for Christmas dinner.
Want to know what English red wines we’re drinking this Christmas? Here’s our top 5, all of which are available to buy direct from the winemaker on Marasby Market, at farm-gate prices.
1. Radlow Hundred Rondo 2022
This English red wine is a wonderfully full-flavoured, medium-weight red, from a lesser-known grape perfect for English terroir. One of the few English red wines made with 100% Rondo this is an English red for Malbec and Rioja lovers.
Taste: With dark cherry and plum fruit, well-balanced by hints of oak and velvety texture from oak ageing. Perfect for pairing with umami-based dishes and decadent desserts.
2. Westwell Double Pinot An Unusual English Red For Christmas
Westwell Double Pinot 2022 is an English take on Cru Beaujolais – brilliantly light, vibrantly juicy and best served lightly chilled. It’s made from a mixture of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grown in their stunning Kent vineyard just outside Ashford.
Taste: Redcurrants, strawberries and cherries on the nose with crunchy bright red fruit on the palate. Perfect for Boxing Day cold turkey.
3. Simpsons Rabbit Hole Pinot Noir 2022 – A Classic English Red For Christmas
This is one of England’s best examples, made from the same types of Pinot planted in Burgundy. Beautifully perfumed damson, hints of mocha, and soft, caressing tannins. From a stunning single vineyard near Canterbury in Kent this English Pinot Noir is a true expression of place. by Read more about Ruth and Charles Simpson, the dynamic husband and wife team behind Simpson’s Wine Estate.
Taste: ripe red cherry, with hints of violets and mocha. It is perfectly balanced with an elegant structure and soft, caressing tannins. Perfect for Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.
4. Gutters & Stars The Atomic Earth Pinot Noir 2022 – A Trendy English Red for Christmas
This is classic English Pinot Noir: full-flavoured, silky and ripe, with juicy red berry fruits and a refreshing spine of crunchy cranberry. It’s made by Chris Wilson at his urban winery in a converted grade 11 listed windmill using fruit from Kent vineyards. With high scoring wines and award winning labels, Chris is one of the most exciting producers in the UK. Read Marasby Co-founder Simon Huntington’s Gutter & Stars profile here.
Taste: A beautifully well-made and delicious Pinot Noir. Chris describes it as: bold in the glass and on the palate with ripe strawberry fruit, pomegranate acidity and a savoury, sappy tingle. Great with a strong Great British cheeseboard.
5. Riverview Crouch Valley Pinot Noir 2021 A Showstopper Red For Christmas
This is a concentrated, yet juicy and fragrant English Pinot Noir reminiscent of top quality Premier Cru Beaune. Ripe red fruits are balanced by hints of cloves, cinnamon and smokey earth. Made by newcomers Katie and Umut with grames from their stunning Essex vineyards overlooking the River Crouch. Only 900 bottles of this wine were made, so don’t delay.
Taste: Katie and Umut at Riverview Crouch Valley describe their 2021 Pinot Noir as offering delicate floral notes and lifted red fruit aromas of strawberry, red currant and cranberry. Perfect for Christmas feasting.
And finally …
At the time of writing all our recommended English and Welsh white wines are available to buy on Marasby Market at the same price as available at the vineyard. But many of the best wines are made only in tiny quantities, so be quick to avoid disappointment.