Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Blog Event – English Wine Week

English wine is something that I was introduced to a few years ago, ever since then, you can almost always guarantee that if we’re invited to dinner we’ll arrive with a bottle of English wine. This may seem rather monotonous, but this is definitely a product that needs to be known about far and wide! An astonishing number of people have never come across it, let alone tried it.

P5060152My favourite is Parsons Leap from the Three Choirs vineyard  (I buy mine at Morrisons), although I know very little about wine – I know I love this! It’s dry and tastes of elderflowers. Of course, a sommelier may wish to disagree with me!

Just taking a quick peak at the news page on the English Wine Producers website shows how successful English vineyards are across the world, after all, they are producing a world-class product. If this is the case, why, when I went in to my local Sainsbury’s store was I told, ‘We don’t have the demand for it’? This is a real shame. With the drive for locally-produced food sweeping across the country, why aren’t we demanding more English wine? Not only does it taste just as good, or in my opinion, better than, other wines, it saves ‘wine miles’.

EWWiiTo help raise awareness of this wonderful wine, I thought it would be fun to host my first blogging event around it. English Wine Week is held in the last week of May (23rd – 31st May), providing a perfect deadline for entries!


Here’s the challenge:

1) Find some English wine (take a look at for your local supplier). Three Choirs can be found at Tesco and Morrisons for around £6.99 I believe.

2) Blog about a recipe that a) uses English wine, or b) goes extremely well with English wine, before the 30th May 2009.

If you don’t live in the UK, I would love to know if you have come across English wine in your local wine store (I know, this goes against the ‘less wine miles’ idea – but interesting nonetheless!). If not, and you would like to enter the event, just submit a recipe using a wine from your local vineyard, I’ll collate these separately.

3) Send an email to with:

  • a link to your blog post
  • the wine you used and where you bought it
  • a photo.

I will collate all the entries on the last day of English Wine Week (31st May).

4) Have fun!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009


P5020109 It’s been a while since I’ve written a post, life has been a bit hectic! Despite the constant bustle, we managed to get out-and-about over the bank holiday weekend - in between the occasional downpours on Saturday and the constant heavy drizzle on Monday.


Driving home this evening, I started to mentally analyse the contents of the fridge. What needed using up? Various scrummy cheeses, a little bit of gnocchi, some salad and not much else! Remembering an old recipe of a goat’s cheese and spinach gnocchi bake, I tried a slight twist on the recipe (in the absence of any spinach).

Wrapping-up in my long wax jacket and wellies I went out into the the lane in absolutely-bucketing-down-rain and picked some nettles. After washing and blanching the leaves in boiling water I mixed these with the cooked gnocchi and a basic white sauce, with tons of P5050146grated cheese and a little nutmeg added to it. The mixture was split into  individual casserole dishes with a little more grated cheese sprinkled on top along with a few walnut pieces. These dishes were put in a hot oven for 25 mins and then served with a small salad and grilled pesto bread spread with a little wild garlic pesto.

This was good mid-week supper for using up leftovers and free food. However, I would definitely recommend using a strong cheese, like a goat’s cheese or a good blue cheese.