I arrived in London, and it is cold, damp and overcast. Well, actually that is what the weather is like here in Seattle. I am told the weather in Seattle is similar to London, so I am going to assume I am on point.
Before I get to the wine, I am going to take a look at a few sites, most specifically the London Eye and the Tower of London. A couple of months ago, I went for a ride on The Seattle Great Wheel, and while not in London, I am going to imagine the experience is the same.
I don’t have anything to compare to the Tower of London, but it looks absolutely amazing. I did go to the Palace of Versailles many years ago, and that was pretty spectacular. I can imagine that the Tower of London is similar in all its jewels and splendor.
Speaking of rulers, it is thought that wine was first brought to England and Wales during the Roman empire. I found a few good write-ups on the history of English wine, both from English wine websites. The English Wine Producers, have a nice thorough history, and a site called English Wine also does a nice job of outlining how wine came about in England and Wales.
Once the Romans left England, wine decreased in popularity really until after World War II. There are many different varieties of grapes that are grown in England, but what really catches my attention are those varieties used for sparkling wine. Apparently in Kent, the limestone soil and climate offers prime growing for these grapes. However, instead of going to Kent, I am heading to rural Sussex.
In Sussex is a winery called The Bolney Estate – a winery that won a “Gold Outstanding Medal” at the International Wine & Spirit Competition just this year. Their 2007 Blanc de Blancs (Sparkling Chardonnay) beat some pretty stiff competition, so I think it is a winery worth checking out. The winery looks absolutely beautiful, and if I could really be there, I would not only taste this Gold Outstanding Medal winner, but also enjoy a little bite from their Vineyard Cafe.
But, alas, I am here in Seattle and I cannot find an English wine to save my soul. So, I head down the beach, and buy some delicious fish & chips and a small bottle of Freizenet Metodo Tradicional. Maybe not the fanciest of bubbly, but it was the perfect pairing to my meal.
The dry, citrus of the wine cut nicely with my fried fish and salty chips. And with the bit of sparkle, it really dressed up my meal.
I even topped my meal off with a lovely chocolate chip cookie (which also went nicely with my wine, by the way).
My next stop is France – a country I plan to spend quite a bit of time in, so I am off to pack my bags and get a good nights rest before my next adventure.