Despite its first wine being released just in April of last year, there have already been many bottles of ‘Mereworth’ popped and enjoyed over lockdown and in celebrations since. But Kent winemaker, Mereworth Wines, is keen to explain why its English Sparkling Wine is much more than just a celebratory drink.
Sparkling Wine is often opened as a drink of celebration, but you may not know ‘Mereworth’’s English fizz is also incredibly food-friendly, pairing with a wide range of dishes, so you can make it a regular at your lunch or dinner table. The bubbles wake up your taste buds, and the vibrant acidity cuts beautifully through a range of salty, fatty or sweet foods to effortlessly partner whatever you bring to the table.
“Acidity is an essential characteristic of wine, and a sign of quality, which allows a wine to be paired well with food” explains head winemaker, Scott Gebbie. “The acidity of a wine is largely influenced by the climate in which the grapes are grown, and in this case we find ourselves particularly fortunate here in Kent,” he continues.
When grapes are freshly formed and still green, their acidity is very high. As the grapes ripen, the acidity starts to decrease, and the sweetness increases. The key is to reach the ideal point at which the grapes have ripened and reached the required sugar levels, whilst there is still enough acidity to give structure and flavour profile to make high quality wine. With a cool to moderate climate, Kent has established itself as a successful sparkling wine producing area – well-suited as it is to growing the principal grapes which are typically blended to make sparkling wine: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Cooler night-time temperatures allow these thin-skinned grapes to hold on to their acidity which would not be possible in much hotter growing climates. With increases in temperature due to global warming, many French champagne houses are now finding that their grapes are beginning to lack the required acidity, and they are looking at planting in Kent for the future of their wines.
So, what should you pair with their sparkling wines? Fresh and delicately balanced, with citrus and gently toasted flavours and a crisp finish, Mereworth’s ‘White From White’ pairs beautifully with white fish, summer salads and cheese platters. Their pale pink sparkling Rosé with rich and juicy berry and stone fruit flavours benefits from the added texture and depth from the blending of a still Pinot Noir wine with their White From Black, making it a fantastic match for salmon and light game meats. Both elegant and delicious on their own, but why not try them for yourselves and discover the perfect pairing?
Mereworth Wines planted its vineyards in 2016, releasing its first vintage in April 2020. Its English Sparkling wines are made by the traditional method, as in Champagne, with grapes hand-picked from the vineyard, which is just a mile or so down the road from the winery.
Newly opened ‘Mereworth’ Winery & Taproom provides a unique space where you can enjoy the drinks made by the team at ‘Mereworth’, in the very room in which they are made, surrounded by the tanks and presses used in production. After enjoying a drink, or two, there are case deals available for guests to take home enough to last them until their next visit. Outside and inside tables are available for walk-ins, with tours and tastings, masterclasses and unique dining events bookable in advance online at www.mereworth.co.uk
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