Gospel Green, The Original Cyder Brut, Hampshire About £13, HawkinsBros.co.uk; TaurusWines.co.uk; TheGeneralWine.co.uk; CharliesFarmshop.co.uk; LodsworthLarder.com; CraftyPintShop.co.uk; Harveys.org.uk; Middlefarm.com; QuaffWine.com.
I started my life in the wine trade more than 30 years ago at the Barnes Wine Shop in southwest London. A rather eccentric chap called James Lane used to pop in every so often with his stunning Gospel Green cheese for us to taste. I am not sure I ate any other cheese for nearly two years!
A few years later James and his wife Cathy started producing Gospel Green sparkling cider, made in the Champagne/traditional method. I am not sure what happened to their very fine cheese, but James’s cider is still my all-time favourite.
After 24 years, in 2015, James and Cathy decided to hang up their aprons only to find a keen buyer cruising through their cellar door! James still consults to his erstwhile cider company, which is now owned by none other than Brock Bergius. Brock is an experienced drinks-industry fellow and he is also a long-time fan of this elite, hand-crafted cider.
Painstakingly produced from hand-picked apples taken from the Blackmoor Estate in Hampshire, this is the only apple-based drink on the planet to pass my sky-high standards for inclusion in this wine-soaked column.
It is also the finest summer tipple with a top level Ploughman’s lunch. I will leave it to you to find a replacement for the long-lost Gospel Green cheese!
• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).