Your English Wine Questions Answered

For English Wine Week, we opened the floor to our newsletter subscribers to ask whatever burning questions they had about English Wine to our Head of Wine, Phil. There were too many. So we cherry-picked a few goodies for our resident fount of all knowledge to answer. He did not disappoint! 



Hey Phil, why do you use English and not British?

Great question! "English wine" means it’s made from grapes grown in English vineyards. But "British" means it's not from Britain. Confused? Fair enough.

"English & Welsh Wines" is actually the legal term for wines made from grapes grown in England or Wales. "British Wine" actually refers to a different product altogether, made from imported grape must. So, wines labeled as "English" or "Welsh" are from here, and reflect our land, climate and winemaking practices. "British wines" are made from imported raw materials.


Do English wines taste like French or Italian wines, or are they completely different?

A broad question! They’re all so different for so many reasons, but there are some similarities…

Some English sparkling wines made in the Traditional Method taste very much like Champagne. Pinot Blanc from the UK is comparable to Northern Italy’s Pinot Bianco but tends to be more citrusy with a zippier acidity.

However, English wines have their distinct style, shaped by our cool climate and unique growing conditions. We make wines that are fresh, vibrant, and very much ‘Of England’. The challenge is getting the perfect balance, but when it’s right, it’s world beating.


Are there specific types of wine that taste better in a can?

Fresh, crisp, and aromatic wines are ideal for cans. Varieties like Bacchus, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay shine in this format. Light and fruity.

Rosé is another big hit in a can. While some worry that highly aromatic wines like Sauvignon Blanc can be too intense, blending it with zestier varieties can balance things out nicely.

Lighter reds, such as Pinot Noir and Gamay, also do well in cans. I’m not a massive fan of heavier reds in cans, but it is being done. There’s plenty of experimentation going on!


Can England produce dessert wines?

Yes, England can produce dessert wines, though it’s very, very tricky!

A producer in the Midlands managed to create around 100 bottles of a sweet wine using botrytised grapes. This method, known for its "noble rot," requires a special micro-climate to shrivel the grapes without destroying them. Think misty autumn mornings by a river, similar to conditions in Bordeaux for making Sauternes.

Unfortunately, the UK's heavy rainfall often leads to "grey rot," where grapes rot and fall apart. However! Some winemakers have found creative solutions. For example, Bacchus grapes can be frozen to around -15C, producing a concentrated, sugary juice. Hattingley Valley’s ice wine, Entice, is a great example of this method!


How many calories are in English wine?

This differs a lot from wine to wine. It really depends on the alcohol content and the residual sugar in the wine. Our wines are both relatively low in alcohol (11% - 11.5% ABV) and naturally very low in sugar, a third of your average Prosecco, for example. Per 250ml can of wine, we are roughly 160 kCal, and our spritzers are just 83 kCal. Which is very light!


Sorry to those of you whose questions we couldn't get round to! Thank you to all of you who quizzed Phil. We will try to do another soon!