Growing up in a family of winemakers means I’m always being asked about my favourite wine. It goes without saying that I am a fan of Bolney wines! A huge calling for me when deciding to work for the family firm was the simple fact that my mother was making exactly the style of wines that I enjoy drinking at home. I enjoy dry, fresh and crisp wines and, to me, our wines tick all of those boxes (which is fabulous, because you cannot market a product that you don’t love and believe in.)
Now I do have to be honest, I very much know what I like and the style of wines that I enjoy, but in my family I am far from being one of the experts or connoisseurs. However, I think that can be an advantage, because sometimes you can get too ‘led’ by wine snobbery and miss out on what you actually want to be drinking.
Wine for me is all about the fun of discovery and exploration and also it's sometimes just about relaxing at home with a glass of your favourite wine, or sharing that with your friends or partner.
My second confession is that, although I enjoy red wine, I mainly stick to whites and sparkling. I cannot drink heavy reds without getting a nasty headache if I am not careful, which is really frustrating! Pinot Noir is my favourite red variety because it has this wonderful lightness and, if you select the right producer, an amazing red cherry character. It works really well paired with duck or cheese, but I mainly drink it on its own.
So why is Bolney’s Cuvée Noir my favourite if I don’t drink red that often and Pinot Noir is my go-to when I do? Because our quirky little Dornfelder sparkling (in my opinion) is the dark horse of English Wine.
I mean, for a start it's a red sparkling and that on its own is exciting enough (lots of people I talk to who visit don’t know they even exist!) And yes, I know you can get a sparkling Shiraz (which is also pretty yummy), but a sparkling wine made from the Dornfelder grape variety is so unheard of and unique.
Secondly, it's just everything to love about wine in a glass. It has a delicate mousse, stunning red fruits on the palate (which combine with the crispness that I look for), plus it has this hint of smoke and tannin on the finish that reminds you that you are indeed sampling a red.
Finally, for me I can drink a glass or two of this wine happily with no headaches! It does not feel like a light wine as it has great body and creamy mouthfeel (plus Dornfelder gives a beautiful deep red hue to the wine), but being an English wine it's not too high in alcohol (because of our cool climate) - so it’s a really refreshing alternative to a traditional glass of fizz. It's one of our wines that is a topic for lively discussion, being so unusual, but it’s gaining a local cult following and is our top-selling wine over Christmas. However, I say Cuvé
e Noir is not just for Christmas, it’s for any occasion.
Seriously, give it a go for your New Year’s toast, or put a bottle in your rack for Valentine’s 2019. I can’t say for sure if you will love it like I do, but you don’t know until you try.
I would love to hear from you all in the comments below. Are you a fan of Cuvee Noir? What’s your favourite Bolney wine?