Traditional British Roast Dinner with English Bubbly

29th August 2016


I was one, and I am sure of many, that would have chosen a red wine to accompany one of my favourite meals, the traditional British Sunday Roast. I would have added to the already heavy dinner with a deep heavy red wine assuming that this was the most perfect match and over the years I have though seen people enjoy their Sunday roasts with anything from a pint of beer to a cup of tea. Now with the fast increasing interest and success in pairing Champagne and sparkling wines with food and being fortunate enough myself to report on foods and wines for the Glass of Bubbly magazine, I recently decided to combine the Sunday roast with a bottle of English Sparkling Wine.

What many English sparkling wines offer is a refreshing young tasting yet complex explosion of bubbles that for many sit shoulder to shoulder with Champagnes and I can certainly see many reasons for why the popularity of English bubbly continues to rise. From the library of fine English sparkling wines we have stored we chose a rosé and the Mayfield Expression 2010 (limited edition of 1,000 from Sussex Vineyards) which in my mind is a perfect example of one of the most expressive examples of fizz that we in England are producing.

The typical Sunday roast for many will be a roasted meat (chicken, beef, lamb and pork being the most popular) or nut roast for vegetarians, along with roasted potatoes, roasted parsnips, Yorkshire puddings, greens, stuffing, brussels sprouts etc along with an array of accompanying condiments like mustard, horseradish, mint sauce and lastly the decision of whether or not to pour thick of thin gravy over everything. Is this making you hungry?!

What I wanted to get from my wine selection is an accompanying light wine that offered a similar theme and tradition in offering an English atmosphere. The Expression 2010 rosé is just that by offering a taste of everything you’d associate with a summer English garden, the taste of berry fruits, sharp apples, gooseberries and simply by closing your eyes whilst taking in first the bouquet and then the taste you are whisked away to this sun filled and flower full spot sat relaxed on a freshly cut lawn. This mixture of light refreshing bubbles with the fine roasted meat and freshly picked and roasted vegetables is the perfect combination in my mind, the difference yet fine balance between the wine and food enhances the enjoyment of both. I prefer my Sunday roast without too many over powering compliments such as mustards and horseradish and I tend not to opt for gravy thus allowing me to fully enjoy the flavours and complexity of my wine.

Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.