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Five Minute Insights with…Mike Boyne, BinTwo

Five Minute Insights with…

Mike Boyne, BinTwo

Ahead of English Wine Week, we spoke to Mike Boyne, owner of the award-winning BinTwo wine bar and merchants business in Padstow, who gave us an insight into why he thinks we should be celebrating and supporting English wine.

Why do you think it’s important to celebrate English wine?
Apart from an understandable desire to support the ‘home team’, English wine is going through a really exciting time! The quality of English sparkling wine is now pretty well established with some top notch larger producers (and smaller niche producers) carving out a distinct identity for their wines. So rather than walking in the shadow of endless comparison to Champagne, English sparkling wine feels like it’s stepped into a more confident phase where it can just be ‘it’s own thing’.
Do you think demand for English wine has changed over the years?
Yes! In Cornwall there’s huge support for wines made in Cornwall. Cornish residents tend to be great supporters of local food and drink and visitors always want to try something that has been made locally.
But even beyond that I think that as the quality of wine made in England has improved the appeal has broadened. They’ve become wines people buy because they’ve discovered they like them rather than an oddity that they try cautiously with a sense that they ‘ought’ to buy a bottle to ’show support’.
Which English wines are you most excited about right now?
Still wines produced by smaller ’new wave’ producers. Whilst English sparkling wine has definitely found it’s feet, good quality still wine – particularly reds – have continued to be challenging to make in the UK. And while some established producers have found a winning formula with varieties like Bacchus (well worth trying if you’re a lover of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc), it’s small scale experimental pioneers that I’m most excited about right now.
For English Wine Week at BinTwo we’ll be featuring a Cornish Pet Nat called Fizzy Bum Bum and a still white wine called Supernova from new Cornish wine producer – Howl & Grappa.
It’s partly a shameless plug for my own new winemaking project with both of those wines having been made by my own fair hands using a grape variety called Solaris that I’ve planted in my own micro vineyard. But more broadly it signposts that with fewer historical hang ups and fewer arcane regional production rules in terms of what you can and can’t do, English wine producers have much more opportunity to experiment and innovate – what could be more exciting than that?
As we approach summer, what would your summer wine recommendation be?
Well obviously I’m going to say Fizzy Bum Bum. But don’t take my (admittedly biased) word for it… Fizzy Bum Bum won a Silver medal at the Independent English Wine Awards, it’s received plaudits from established wine writers and winemakers and – more to the point – two thirds of the tiny production of 360 bottles has already sold in the four weeks since I launched it. Best be quick if you fancy giving it a whirl.
What is you top tip when choosing a wine?
A good wine is one that you like and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! I know that wine shops can feel like intimidating spaces, but that’s where your local independent wine merchant can help.
And my “top” top tip is to once and a while take a gamble, put yourself in your merchant’s hands and ask them to recommend a wild card option that they think you might like – you might just find a a new style of wine that you absolutely love!
Visit BinTwo to find out more about what they offer and discover some English wines to try!

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