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I couldn't drink the wine - a first

Place we intended going for lunch yesterday was closed (in order for them to put up Xmas decorations!!!)

We’ll go to (a place that will remain nameless*) then, Mrs M suggested. “They do a nice pie there”. I’m a sucker for pies so we both ordered a steak pie with veg, and I ordered a glass of red house wine.

It was awful. I am used to house wines by the glass being of the cheapest, and often not as fresh as it should be, but this was beyond that awful, disjointed and very sweet - but not sweet like a dessert wine, more like someone had stirred in a couple of heaped spoonfuls of sugar.

I took another sip when the food came, in case having some food in me made a difference. It did not.

When we left Mrs M asked in some surprise, if I was going to finish my wine. I told her it was undrinkable and suggested she had a taste. She didn’t like it, and said it tasted like a British wine. (How she knows is beyond me, for I have never ever served a British wine).

I had a look at the labels on the wines when I went to the bar to pay - they were all Straw Hat.

Today I Googled and found the Straw Hat website. And blow me down, they are British wines! (cost for a bottle retail £4)

*Abigails, St Albans


The patriot’s choice🙄


English wine would be the patriots choice, IMO


With that name maybe it’s a seventies dinner party theme.


I always get confused with the term. Does British Wine imply they aren’t part of Wine GB?

No mention of Wine GB on their site but could be getting myself confused

As I understand it ‘British Wine’ is made from imported grapes. English wine is made in England from grapes grown in England.


From the website they claim to be a “British Wine Brand”. To my ear that sounds like the wine itself could be just about anything from anywhere but I’m not a legal expert! ‘English’ is protected English - GOV.UK in the category of wine. British is not.


This was my understanding too, and when you say grapes, grape juice concentrate rather than actual grapes.


I have done some brief digging. Straw Hat red is “bottled and Produced” by CWF Ltd who are based in Ireland.
If you visit their website and click on “Wines” you get “page not found” but you can click on specific countries and from what I could see UK was not one of them.
So there are several inferences that can be drawn from this company’s site, most of them risk being suspiciously unfavourable. CWFs latest filed accounts show a healthy post tax profit of £4.7m. Turnover £96m (or thereabouts)
Not a wine I shall be buying…


No one has yet commented on Mrs peterm’s remarkable palate. To pick out a British wine from a single sip sounds pretty impressive to me.


Well, golly jeepers. Seems ‘Staw Hat’ buy and sell wine. TESCO sell their product made from “imported grape juice” mmm yummy. Not only British but Yorkshire based.

Looking closer brings up a geographical similarity between their website designers (huddersfield) and CWF, the Huddersfield based wine importer (Continental wine & food ltd) £96M turnover. They DO have an Italian foodstuffs shop alongside which is very good.

Usual disclaimers apply, only an opinion etc. There are no rolling vineyards nearby.


Oh, very clever!

It would probably be just the thing to serve with one of those hesgehogs comprising toothpicks impaled with cubes of cheese, stuck into a pineapple.

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With that gothic tower it could almost be a Spanish bodega, if the sun was out!

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Surely it was cubes of cheese and pineapple together on the sticks, stuck into a grapefruit?

Exotic fare.

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Actually Abigail was ahead of her time - she correctly decided to put the Beaujolais in the fridge. which I believe is currently the fashion. Not for too long, mind


There’s another player in this league based in Norfolk - formerly Caswton wines; are now rebranded as Three Mills and are cheekily promoted heavily in some locally-owned supermarkets as “local produce” to catch out the unwary.


[quote=“lapin_rouge, post:11, topic:12181, full:true”]

I believe that there is a vineyard in Holmfirth, a few miles from Huddersfield. I have no idea what their wine tastes like though


Yes it’s here https://holmfirthvineyard.com/wine-shop/ they grow the hybrids regent and solaris. I’ve not been there but have visited Yorkshire Heart near York who manage to vinify fruhburgunder and gamay (apparently)

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It’s just across the valley from my parents, so I’m sure I’ll visit at some point. As @PHarvey says, they’re growing some not great hybrids, so I won’t hold my breath. My dad rates the cafe as a good place to stop on a walk (but has never tried the wine, which is telling!).

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I’ve reminded myself of a wine trip up Long Island (North Fork so no Channing Daughters). In most cases the wine is incidental to the vineyards being a nice place to go for a picnic/family get together. The last stop on the trip was a Vineyard where there was a band and a BBQ and most people were drinking beer. In all but one vineyard I poured the wine away.

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