Bottoms up: Celebrating English Wine Week at Ormer Mayfair

Words by
Charlotte McManus

26th May 2017

With home-grown grapes on the rise in the international wine scene, Ormer Mayfair offers one of London’s largest English wine collections to sample

In comparison to the old school prestige of European stalwarts like France and Italy, or the respected offerings of such New World destinations as Argentina and Australia, Great Britain still has some way to go when it comes to being recognised for world-class wines. But with more vineyards popping up in the nation than ever before – even Tattinger has just snapped up some premium land in Kent – the tide is beginning to turn, as marked by key events like English Wine Week, taking place from May 27 to June 4 at a range of locations across the country.

In London, within the refined surroundings of the Flemings Hotel, you’ll be hard pushed to find a more elegant place to sample English wine than the recently refurbished Ormer Mayfair restaurant. As part of the English Wine Week celebrations, Michelin-starred chef Shaun Rankin and Head Sommelier Andreas Rosendal have devised a five-course tasting menu inspired by all things British, pairing fresh seasonal ingredients with a nod to the Jersey shores with a selection of the finest wines grown on English soil – a must for any oenophile.

"We’re really excited to be part of English Wine Week and to be able to offer a unique tasting menu at Ormer, paired with a set of delicious English Wines,” says Andreas Rosendal.

After following the progression of English wines for almost a decade now, it's great to see it finally getting the attention and recognition it deserves.

We’ll drink to that.

Once seated in Ormer’s sumptuous dining room, the evening kicks off with a crisp glass (though we enjoyed two) of an award-winning Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs; an excellent accompaniment to the Jersey crab salad with lime and a subtle peanut dressing. Next, a delightful roast rabbit dish comes with pancetta and truffle gnocchi, alongside a surprisingly good Pinot Noir from the Gusbourne Estate in Kent. The main course comes in the form of a pine nut-encrusted turbot that melts in the mouth, served with a another Nyetimber vintage, this time the rare 1992 Blanc des Blancs – due to the nature of the Sussex microclimate where the grapes were grown, only 800 bottles were ever made.

Stomachs full to bursting, there is still room enough for a nibble at the Paxton and Whitfield cheese selection with a chilled glass of sparkling Bloomsbury Ridgeview, followed by a deconstructed apple crumble with a suitably sweet white from the Denbies Estate in Surrey.

The Ormer Mayfair English Wine Week tasting menu is available from May 27 to June 10.