Nyetimber Queen’s Jubilee Limited-Edition Classic Cuvee Multi Vintage, (£37.50, nyetimber.com) Depending on whether you’re a royalist or a republican, the upcoming long weekend is either a four-day feast of pomp and circumstance or a small but welcome compensation for putting up with all the fundamentally undemocratic parasitism. But for drinks producers it’s also very much a marketing opportunity. Certainly, British drinks brands are lining up to make the most of the patriotic pound, with a flurry of special releases, events, promotions and the like. The English wine scene, which for the most part has a very Bake Off/Waitrose/Middle English vibe to its marketing, is inevitably at the forefront of making the most of the Royal moment and the accompanying expected boom in domestic tourism. Kent’s Gusbourne Estate, for example, is lining up a very British celebration, inviting guests to its rather lovely Boot Hill Garden from 30 May to 2 June for a Platinum Jubilee Sparkling Afternoon Tea for £100 for two, while rivals Nyetimber have gone for a specially labeled Platinum Jubilee bottling of its excellent Classic Cuvée.
Luscombe Damascene Rose Bubbly (£21.30, 12 x 270ml, luscombe.co.uk) Other English wine contributions to the Platinum celebrations include Langham Wine Estate’s Jubilee Extravaganza, a “sumptuous buffet -style banquet of classic English and Dorset Fayre” put on in the grounds of this excellent Dorset sparkling producer on 5 June; while The Royal Collection has its very own Platinum Jubilee Special Edition English Sparkling Wine (£39, royalcollectionshop.co.uk). Another very British drink, gin, is also getting in on the act, with special bottlings from the likes of Cotswold’s Distillery, whose Limited Edition Platinum Jubilee Gin (which I’ve not tasted) is made with the very seasonal ingredients of strawberry and raspberry, as well as pink pepper. For Devon fruit drink producer (and Royal Warrant Holder) Luscombe, it’s a matter of helping out Kirstie Allsopp-style: the company is offering free “Street Party Boxes”, complete with bunting and paper cups, for anyone who buys two or more cases of fruit drinks – such as the delightful, gently floral Rose Bubbly – from its website and enters the code JUBILEE.
Taylor’s Platinum Jubilee Very Very Old Tawny Port, Portugal NV (£290, bbr.com) Events such as the Jubilee are a bit like Manchester United or the Olympics in the sheer, ludicrous range of “official partners” willing to come on board. Inevitably in these Covid times there is an offical hygiene partner, as well as an array of posh and medium posh food brands and retailers, from M&S and Waitrose to Fortnm & Mason, plus the inevitable McDonald’s, which seems to be the official fast food for every event known to man or woman. For wine, big names include two French brands, Moët & Chandon and the delicate Provence rosé of Whispering Angel from Château d’Esclans, which is on elegant, incisive form in the Jubilee Edition 2021 vintage I tried (£20, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Majestic). By far the best of the Jubilee-marking drinks I’ve tried however is Taylor’s Very Very Rare and very very special (as it should be since it’s very very expensive) Tawny Port. A blend of Ports that have been ageing in cask “since the Queen acceded to the throne”, it’s full of life and endless mellow complexity.
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