‘English Wine Week’ has come to The Bahamas to celebrate the world’s best wines, all now produced in the UK. The British High Commission hosted the GREAT British Wine Bar at this year’s International Cultural Wine and Food Festival, and provide hugely popular with guests at the event.
This followed a week of tasting events with the ´who’s who´ of The Bahamas hospitality trade, including Atlantis, Baha Mar, Graycliff, Ocean Club, Lyford Cay Club, Albany Luxury Resort, Caribbean Wine and Spirits, Jimmy’s Wine and Spirits, and Commonwealth Brewery. The tasting events surprised many very experienced buyers of just how good English sparkling wines now are: as an unexpected impact of climate change, English vineyards produce some of the finest Sparkling Wines in the world, beating its French cousins in blind tastings and international wine awards. Some are now served at Buckingham Palace as the wine of choice for Royal events. And the Great British Wine
Bar sold out this weekend at the ICWFF, with everyone trying it very surprised by just how good English wines are.
Organised by the British High Commission’s wine and spirits advisor, Bahamian Steven Boon (Wine & Spirits Guys), the Wine Barr and trade tasting event was almost unique in getting some of the Caribbean’s most important buyers – for whom trade secrets are guarded jealously – into the same room. To impress on them how good English wine now is, Steven organised for Giles Cooper – one of the world’s most influential wine buyers – to lead a wine tasting event. Steven Boon said, “What a successful week. I have had the most amazing response from all who we invited to taste English wine. I really feel that this event was the moment the food and beverage trade was introduced to English sparkling wine – in 10 years time when English wine is on every menu in every hotel, we will all remember this moment.”
British High Commissioner Thomas Hartley said, “Hot on the heels of the first Bahamian rum being sold in London, I am very excited we’re seeing the first English sparkling wines in Nassau! The response from some of the Caribbean’s biggest and best buyers was overwhelming – none could believe how good the English wines are, and it wont be long until we see these wines in every hotel, every bar, and every home. I am glad so many people have bene surprised; and now see things differently about English wine!”
The English wines on show this week included wine from:
- Ridgeview Wine Estate in southern England. Served by Her Late Majesty the Queen at her 80th birthday, and at the 2012 Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Ridgeview’s sparkling wines have won Silver at the Decanter World Wine awards and the World Championships.
- Camel Valley – from Cornwall. Current “Royal Warrant Holders” meaning their sparkling wines are served exclusively to HM King Charles at official State events, and in private. Their wines have won Silver at the Champagne championships and Gold at the International Wine
- Langham Wine Estate in Dorset. Produced on the same chalky soils as Champagne, Langham won Gold at the Wine GB awards.
- Roebuck Estates – from West Sussex. One of England’s vineyards with a real focus on premium quality: using Champagne techniques such as French oak barrels, and using only the ‘core’ of the press.
More photo highlights below: