Visit South Devon has announced the winner of its search for a Devon wine to accompany its famous South Devon crab that has its own Festival – South Devon Crab Festival – dedicated to it during the summer. (30 July – 5 August).
The 2010 Sharpham Estate Selection from South Devon Sharpham Estate was pronounced the winner by a distinguished panel of judges with an honourable mention given to Knowle-based Lily Farm’s Brut Sparkling Rosé. Those taking part in the blind tasting of 16 wines from an assortment of producers across Devon included international wine writer Susy Atkins, who is one of the regular wine experts from BBC1′s Saturday Kitchen together with Master of Wine Xenia Irwin, local wine merchant Nick Borst-Smith, Ben Foster of Newton Wines, James Dart from Dart’s Farm and Jonathan Woollatt from Chris Piper Wines.
The judges were invited to the Devon Country House and Wine School by Visit South Devon and owner and Master of Wine Alastair Peebles to find a wine that would go really well with the assortment of South Devon crab dishes which had been created by Devon Wine School’s Carol Peebles from fresh crab donated by David Markham from crab specialists, the Blue Sea Food Company.
The Sharpham wine (£10.95 from www.sharpham.com ) was pronounced a winner by all the judges with Susy Atkins saying, “It had just the right balance of crisp acidity and juicy fruit flavours to go with the crab.” All 16 wines were tasted blind so the judges had no idea of their provenance. A sparkling wine was also given an honourable mention because as Master of Wine Xenia Irwin commented, “It sang out in its glass,” and is perfect for those wanting to add some extra fizz to the festivities.
Devon is home to some of the UK’s renowned and award- winning vineyards which produce some classic wines but it is particularly fitting that a wine from a South Devon producer has come through in a blind tasting to be the perfect partner for South Devon crab. The winning wine will be showcased at the forthcoming South Devon Crab Festival.
Other Devon vineyards which showed well at the tasting were Eastcott Estate in Northlew, Summermoor Vineyard in Swimbridge, Manstree Vineyard in Shillingford St George, Pebblebed Vineyards from Topsham and Yearlstone Vineyards from Bickleigh.
Stephanie Cherrett, Marketing Manager of Visit South Devon, said, ”
The South Devon Crab Festival has become a popular annual event for celebrating some of the best food that Devon has to offer and so we thought that it would be a natural progression to invite some of our excellent local wine producers to get involved. We are delighted that the winning wine comes from the Sharpham Estate which is also in South Devon and was judged as the best wine to match the excellence of our tasty crab.”
Visitors will have the opportunity to try the winning wine alongside other drinks when they attend one of the new and extended 2012 crab festival events at Dartmouth, Dawlish Warren and Teignmouth.
Highlights of The South Devon Crab Festival 2012 include:
30 July – Festival Launch day
3 August – The South Devon Crab Fete in Dawlish Warren
3 August – Crab Street Party in Teignmouth
5 August – Crab Street Party in Dartmouth with Mitch Tonks and Nathan Outlaw