The Bite Magazine - Autumn/Winter 2021 - Issue 30

bitedrinks everywhere from New Zealand to Northern America, and even in the UK. In cooler climates, wine packed with apple and green fruit flavours is tempered by fresh acidity. Pinot Blanc helps celebrity wine varieties - Chardon- nay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier - pack a punch and elevate wine blends to a top-quality standard. Its lower levels of acidity and higher sugars help round off wines and temper the crisp freshness that English wines are renowned for. Pinot Noir is notoriously challenging to cultivate but it enjoys cooler climates where its fruit characteristics can shine through and is widely used in white and rosé sparkling wines. Pinot Meunier is easy to spot in the vineyard because its leaves have a layer of fur. The French name meunier means ‘miller’ in English as the vines look like they have been hanging around in a mill covered in flour. This grape gives body and complexity to some of the best blends out there. Pinot Noir Précoce, cousin to the Pinot Noir, ripens earlier than its relative which is a good thing for vines in England due to the shorter windows of sun- shine. This grape is used in still red and sparkling wine productions. This year, House Coren launched its first sparkling wine called Boco by House Coren, produced using the revolutionary Charmat method, a technique where the wine undergoes a secondary fermen- tation in a sealed tank rather than a bottle. The fermentation occurs under pressure and creates carbon dioxide to give the wine its natural fizz. Thus, it preserves the fruit flavours and subtle com- plexity that grapes in England are famous for while retaining acidity to give it a fresh, clean finish. “We love that English wine has become increasingly popular over the past few years, but we wanted to create an offering that was slightly more inno- vative and accessible without detracting from the traditional method. The Charmat method allowed us to do that,” saidWilliam Coren. “Boco creates a whole different segment in the English wine market that we feel there is demand for. A different price dynamic, an alternative drinking experience, and brighter packaging will, in turn, appeal to a much wider demographic.” Whilst it has increased in popularity the last several years and is synonymous with celebration, easy to drink, tastes great and the bubbles ‘dance and dazzle your palette’; sparkling wine is one of the most complex to make as it requires two fermen- tations - one to make the wine and another to create the bubbles. House Coren creates sparkling wine using two methods - traditional and Charmat. They explain the fundamental differences between the two methods on their website that make them equally unique. The traditional method, also known as méthode traditionnelle, performs the first fermentation like any other wine but the second fermentation is done inside the bottle. Wines created using this procedure include Champagne and more afforda- ble varieties such as Crémant made in the French and Luxembourg regions, Cava from Spain and Cap Classique from South Africa. It is said that the latter is neatly positioned between Prosecco and the more expensive English sparkling wines or Champagne. As traditional method sparkling wine ferments, it produces deposits of expired yeast particles, known as lees. These are removed after significant lees ageing time which can be at least seven years, the length of time that House Coren adheres to. The bottles are rotated by hand through the ridding process and once sufficiently riddled, the neck of the bottle is frozen, and the lees are trapped in the ice. When the cap is eventually removed, a plug of icy lees shoots from the bottle. It is then topped with a mix of wine and sugar called dosage, resealed, and after at least a month, it is ready to be enjoyed. After the Charmat process undergoes the second fermentation in sealed tanks, the deposits are fil- tered out, the dosage is applied, and the wine is bottled under pressure. It is left to mix for a month before it is ready to drink, with the whole process taking a minimum of eight weeks. The Charmat method produces many sparkling wines consumed around the world, including Prosecco, which cur- rently makes Italy the world’s largest producer of wine. Available in a 75cl bottle, triple pack or a case of six, Boco has a top-quality blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Reichensteiner. It has an iridescent kaleidoscope appearance of pale, white peach and clear with ultra-fine bubbles. On the nose, it’s ripe pear and stone fruit with crisp citrus while the taste consists of peaches, pears and a hint of raspberry with a long, clean, citrus and green apple finish. The sparkling wine can be paired with most dishes but is especially good with shellfish, charcuterie, canapés and pizza. Boco by House Coren can be purchased online or by visiting the vineyard’sWine Shed at Lower Lodge Vineyard, The Haven, RH14 9BE. It is open from midday until 8pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and tours booked via the House Coren website are held by appointment on Saturdays at 1pm.