Raising a toast to the elegance of English wine
Venue hire | 26 May, 2018 | The Events Team
Celebrating English Wine Week at The Mary Rose

The Mary Rose is nestled in one of the sunniest corners of England where the local produce is bountiful. Juicy strawberries from the fields of Sussex, fresh seafood from the Solent, and of course, sparkling crisp English wine from the vineyards of the South Downs.

The statistics speak for themselves. English wine releases reached a record high in 2017 with more varietals and vintages available, and some 3.8million bottles of UK-made wine were released for sale last year – up 64 per cent on the 2.36million bottles produced in 2016.

The crisp complexity of English wine is becoming more and more popular – and we have witnessed this trend among our guests at the Mary Rose. Our location on the South Coast certainly helps! We are lucky to have a number of award-winning vineyards on our doorstep across the wide expanse of the South Downs.

Southern England is perfect for the production of sparkling wine because the chalk seam that supplies Champagne grapes with the perfect green sand and chalky soil to flourish is the very same that runs under the lee of the South Downs.

As part of our commitment to serving the very best local produce wherever possible, we are proud to serve a variety of quality English wines at the Mary Rose, whether it be a few glasses of fizz for a drinks reception on our stunning Bridge Balcony or a business dinner in our awe-inspiring Upper Deck.

One of our caterers, Red Herring, serve a Nyetimber Classic Cuvee – a lovely pale gold wine with fine bubbles. Toasty, spicy and complex aromas give way to a palate supporting complex aromas with honey and almond. Some even say they can taste baked apples on the tongue! Whichever way it is described, it’s become a firm favourite for our events at the Mary Rose and we love the reaction from guests when we tell them it’s produced less than 50 miles away!

The wine is paired beautifully with some of our current favourite seafood canapes, including: Vodka and beetroot cured gravlax on wasabi pancakes; black sesame seed cornets of crayfish and smoked salmon mousseline with violets; seared sea bass with lime, creamed leeks and coriander cress on teardrop spoons; and seared tuna with a ruby red grapefruit salsa.

Who could resist one of these sumptuous canapes, paired with an ice-cold glass of English wine, while gazing out at the harbour waters as the sun sets over our neighbour, HMS Victory? A memory to cherish forever, we’d say!

Another of our caterers, Vanilla, serve a number of English wines, including Hambledon Classic Cuvee, a wonderful sparkling white wine produced just north of Portsmouth in the historic village of Hambledon. Fresh sourdough, magnolia and lily scents mingle with a hint of smoke over a core of greengage, red plums and dessert apples. The palate is vivid, almost vibrantly crunchy with precise, structured yet ripe acidity. Or why not go for the Danebury Cossack? It’s a beautifully structured classic English vintage sparkling wine produced in Stockbridge, Hampshire. The nose has a hint of orange blossom, while the palate starts with fresh fruit lime and slightly richer grapefruit. This evolves into a complex mix of flavours with notes of white peach and pear and long mineral finish.

Both these wines pair amazingly well with Sukkah Crusted Sea Bream, served on a warm rocket, new potato, spring onion and oven-roasted tomato salad, with a warm red pepper chutney and coriander oil. Or why not go for our Lymington Crab, served with watermelon, pickled cucumber and samphire?

With English Wine Week coming up between Saturday May 26 and June 3, it seems the perfect opportunity to explore and enjoy this very Anglo-Saxon boire du vin.

For details on our summer drinks reception packages at the Mary Rose, please call Becky or Andy on (023) 9281 2931, email events@maryrose.org or pop in and ask to speak to one of our events team.

Wine Outside The Museum