by Megan Jones

Hi grape juice guzzlers, hope you all had a glorious weekend!

Fionn (pronounced Finn) coming to you this week. Silly Irish name aside, I’m one of the latest recruits here at Team Natty Boy.

As a long-time admirer of Natty Boy Wines with its vast selection of beautiful bottles it has been a real pleasure to have settled into working life here in the stunning oasis of Dalston. As a self-confessed wine geek, this is literally my dream job. The selection here is IMO the best the capital has to offer. We have everything you could ever want from the wildest of natties to some seriously fine wine. We do it all, and we do it damn well. The only thing missing was getting some cracking wines on the shelves from our very own shores. Hence these past few weeks I’ve made it my mission to get some English wine in. Yes, you read that right. Good news for you all as I’m delighted to say we now have four stunning wines to bring you from this strange little island we call home.

English bubbles are no longer the secret they once were. With our cool climate and soils not too dissimilar from those found in Champagne it wasn’t long before we released that we could probably make some decent fizzy stuff here. In my eyes, Westwell are making some of the UK’s best wines and first up we have their flagship sparkler, Pelegrim. Made from the usual champagne varieties on a south-facing chalky slope over in Kent you just know this is going to be a winner. On top of all that, the resulting wine spends a whopping 36 months on its lees adding a velvety texture and those classic brioche notes we all love from Trad Method fizz. I’m literally salivating.

Whilst English sparkling wine may be the talk of the town, our reds haven’t quite reached the mainstream yet. That’s a shame as this Double Pinot is an absolute belter, a co-ferment of Pinot Noir and the often overlooked Meunier. Bright and crunchy, you can expect plenty of wild English strawberries with a nice crack of white pepper thrown in for good measure. At a humble 10.5% and delicious straight from an ice bucket, this makes it perfect for all-day drinking at your next BBQ sesh. Thank me later.

Moving further north, even I was shocked when I found out that Leicestershire produces decent wine. This is all down to Matt Gregory AKA ‘The English Winemaker’. He spent time with one of our favourites in New Zealand, Theo Coles of the Hermit Ram so we already knew this was gonna be FUN. His Ancestral Pink is a juicy carbonically macerated pet-nat with oodles of citrusy tang and an unmistakable English hedgerow thing going on. If that wasn’t enough his Field Blend is a really wacky blend of some scary-sounding hybrid varieties like Seyval and Solaris. Don't be too scared though as the resulting wine is beautifully bonkers. Not quite a red, orange, or rosé this is a self-proclaimed ‘Pink-ish’ wine. Whatever you want to call it, it’s bloody delicious. Again we’re in low-alc territory at the modest 10%, making it perfect to polish off on a sunny midweek evening without feeling too bad about it the next day.

Enough of England, time to talk Testalonga! These South African superstars are taking over Dan’s this Thursday the 8th. Seeing as they make everything from stunning Chenin’s all the way through to gluggable reds it would be rude not to have our entire BTG list made up exclusively of their wines. Set a reminder in your phone, text your South African mates, and come on down for a guaranteed good time.

Also, this is a final reminder that we have our California Dreaming tasting next Monday. Scar of the Sea and Lady of the Sunshine make silly silly things that will convert even the most die-hard Burgundy drinkers. Their Chardonnays and Pinot’s are not the usual heavily handled, over-extracted wines we’ve come to expect from the states. Instead, these are fresh, vibrant, and joyous wines that I promise will make you smile. Now that’s a Monday you can actually look forward to!

Enough spiel from me - I’ve got boxes of delicious things to unpack.

Take it easy people!