Taste Part Three (and a little hazy)

Following the tasting of several yummy vodkas, gins, a cider and the estimable rose coloured Lychee Martini served to me by tehbus at Bea’s of Bloomsbury I was a little tipsy.

I had eaten many mini-meals (professionally known as tasters/ings) but somehow this wasn’t enough to combat the haziness, so I trotted off to soak it all up with some Bentley’s Fish and Chips before joining the lovely Ms Shed from the Shed and Foreman and Field at the Nyetimber stand for a chat about their English Sparkling Wine.

The first mention for Nyetimber must be for the stand – it was absolutely stunning, decorated with pots of flowers and fresh herbs, representing the bouquet of the wine. I was lucky enough to arrive at the same time as Cherie Spriggs who is the Head Winemaker for Nyetimber, so we sat down to a glass of their 2005 Cuvee and I was educated!

Cherie, very kindly explained to myself, Nicola and Catherine and Gavin Hanly of Hot Dinners, the process of making Nyetimber. She took us through the stages; from tasting the grapes and setting the date for harvest to the adding and removal of the yeast. Known as disgorgement, this is very clever, done by turning the bottles upside down and freezing the sediment so that it pops out when you right the bottle. Interestingly Cherie also described the freedom you have in England to break some of the slightly archaic rules of the Champagne region, such as the quota of yield from the pressed grapes. All of this is very new to me, I am by no means a wine buff – despite my enjoyment of it regularly.

We drank the Nyetimber Cuvee 2005 and it was delightful. I would proudly present this as an English Sparkling, as an excellent wine which should be served independently, rather than as a lesser alternative to Champagne. Prosecco has long been marketed as a ‘cheaper’ version of Champagne but I must insist that this label not be applied to Nyetimber as it is in its own right a lovely fizz.

So, having greatly enjoyed the company of Nicola, Cherie and the Hot Dinners team I took myself home, rather unsteadily to say the least!

Thanks again to @Mathilde Cuisine, @LibbyEAndrews  and @GloriousFoods for my really interesting and enjoyable day at Taste.


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