The taste of English charm—

Bacchus is becoming England’s signature white grape. A crossing from Germany, this grape – named after the god of wine himself – ripens early, which is perfect for our cool climate. More often than not, Bacchus tastes of things that grow happily in our hedgerows, from apples to gooseberries. But exceptional bottles can be as fragrant and dazzling as an elderflower lightning strike from a cloud of whitecurrants.

Bacchus has been touted as Britain’s answer to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, but it is even more highly scented and piercing, making it a charming summer aperitif as well as a superb pairing with shellfish.

But the real reason you should be backing Bacchus is the 2018 vintage, which was one of the finest ever for Britain. The quality is amazing.

OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH

BACCHUS TO THE FUTURE: Three Choirs Jubilee 2018 (11%) £8.50 The Wine SocietyStar quality at a down to earth price. Scintillating and exotic, this high-impact beauty is hard to beat.

GET BACCHUS: Wraxall Vineyard Bacchus 2015 (11.5%) £12.99 Waitrose. Imagine drinking Sancerre at a flower show and you’re close to this refreshing fragrant stunner.

BACCHUS WHERE YOU BELONG: Baker Street Bacchus 2018, London Cru (12%) £15 Roberson Wine. Exuberant, floral and zesty, this urban winery’s bottle is liquid splendour.

BABY COME BACCHUS: Hoffmann & Rathbone Bacchus 2018 (11%) £19 hoffmannandrathbone.co.uk Sensational white wine – moreish and world-class.

WINE OF THE WEEK

Exquisite Lyme Block English Wine 2018 (12.5%) £9.99 Aldi. The best own-label English white yet to hit the high street. Gorgeous purity and perfumed zing.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday 31st March 2019

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