Complex and characterful, our new prestige cuvée Fifty One Degrees North is an exceptionally food friendly wine. It’s an exciting prospect for sommeliers looking to break new ground when it comes to their English wine offering.
“It’s been such a pleasure to introduce Fifty One Degrees North to our favourite restaurants,” says Laura Rhys, our global ambassador and a Master Sommelier. “It’s a wonderfully nuanced wine; the layered flavour profile means it can be partnered with a spectrum of seasonal ingredients – from seared scallops or butter poached lobster to local wild mushrooms or fresh samphire and all things in-between. It’s always exciting to see the different elements which sommeliers and chefs draw out in their pairings.”
If you’re looking for the perfect setting to enjoy a glass of Fifty One Degrees North, here are our top recommendations.
Fordwich Arms, Kent
A long-time partner of Gusbourne, Fordwich Arms is a Michelin-starred pub and restaurant in England’s smallest town. Sommelier Elliot Ashton-Konig manages an extensive list of wines to complement chef-patron Daniel Smith’s seasonal menus. The emphasis here is very much on local ingredients sourced from Kentish farms and suppliers.
“We’re very lucky to be surrounded by fantastic wineries,” says Elliot. I’ve always been a fan of Gusbourne. When I heard they were going to be producing a premium cuvée, I was very excited.”
On tasting Fifty One Degrees North, Elliot was struck by the wine’s complexity, especially the opulence lent by the oak. “It gives that touch of richness,” he says. “But it still has freshness. It would make a classic match with seafood or a richer roasted white meat, such as guinea fowl or game. Or it would work beautifully alongside a fish dish with mushrooms.”
The Gannet, Glasgow
The Gannet is a true destination dining experience in Glasgow’s foodie neighbourhood of Finnieston. Since 2013, Chef-patron Peter McKenna and his brigade have continued to evolve their exquisitely plated tasting menus. Expect to experience the full richness of the Scottish larder – oysters, halibut, Scotch beef, venison, Trossachs girolles – all handled with a delicate, inventive lightness of touch.
Working closely with his colleagues in the kitchen, restaurant manager Conor McGeady looks after The Gannet’s cocktails and wines, championing producers with a shared ethos. “For us, Gusbourne is the pinnacle of English sparkling wine and amongst the best sparkling wine producers in the world,” says Conor. “With our emphasis on local produce and sustainability at the core of what we do, Gusbourne has found a place at the forefront of our wine pairings and list.”
After tasting Fifty One Degrees North, Conor’s excited about the possibilities. “With its extended lees ageing and complexity, I’d love for the dish to feature buttery rich brioche and earthy locally grown mushrooms,” he says. “We’ll have to wait and see what the kitchen comes up with.”
Most of all though, Conor and his team are looking forward to pouring Fifty One Degrees North by the glass. “This is truly something special; it rivals wines made by the top Champagne houses. We’re proud to tell the story of Gusbourne and how it’s produced in the UK – and we’re honoured to pour Fifty One Degrees North in The Gannet.”
The George, London
In the heart of London’s Fitzrovia, you’ll find this 18th-century ‘pub of two halves’, which opened in spring 2022. The Georgian building opens into a traditional pub, while upstairs is dedicated to fine dining. Menus focus on refined English dishes and ingredients: River Teign oysters, devilled veal kidneys, torched Cornish mackerel, dressed crab, crispy lamb ribs, sticky toffee pudding, gooseberry crumble and classic Sunday roasts.
Head Sommelier Dan Orton presides over his carefully curated list of more than a hundred English wines. “It’s an exciting time for English wineries, and customers are keen to explore different regions, different styles,” Dan says.
“With Fifty One Degrees North, Gusbourne has made something very special. It’s difficult to compare it with other wines, because it’s in its own category,” he explains. “I had high expectations, mainly because 2014 is an excellent year for English wines. It’s much more lively than I thought it might be, compared with other wines that have had similar ageing on cork and in bottle. It still has that freshness, that acidity typical of English wines.”
The George’s new autumn menu is overseen by Chef James Knappett of the two Michelin-starred Kitchen Table, a Fitzrovia neighbour. Dan is excited to see how some of the dishes will work with Fifty One Degrees North. “I think it can be a really versatile match with everything from snacks to mains. Personally, I’d love a glass of Fifty One with a ribeye and butter béarnaise sauce on the side. That creaminess would be an amazing match. We’ve been very conscious with the menu here that there’s nothing too overpowering – everything is wine-friendly. And vice-versa, all our wines are food-friendly.”
The Gilpin, Lake District
A gastronomic gem en route to Lake Windermere, The Gilpin hotel is home to Michelin-starred HRiSHi. This, the domain of executive chef Hrisihikesh Desai, will be familiar to fans of BBC’s Great British Menu 2020. The food here is a joyful celebration of Cumbria’s links to the spice trade, featuring fine British ingredients presented with exquisite precision. Cornish lobster with South Indian Sambar sauce. Aged roasted Creedy Carver duck, served with fermented Hunan chilli sauce ravioli. Complex combinations that sing together on the plate.
It's why the head sommelier, 27-year-old Jack Prince, enjoys the challenge of pairing wines with Chef Desai’s food. And, thanks to its versatility and fresh flavour profile, English sparkling is always one of his top choices. “We’re passionate about English wine at The Gilpin,” says Jack. “And, as a young English sommelier, I want to support English producers who are doing interesting things.”
Welcoming Fifty One Degrees North on to his list by the glass is one way to introduce fine English sparkling wines to more guests. “I’m very excited about using Fifty One Degrees North as part of a premium wine pairing, matching it to a specific dish. I know it’s going to work fabulously well with some of the lobster dishes at HRiSHi, but equally it’s going to be a superb, luxurious aperitif.”
You can enjoy Fifty One Degrees North at leading restaurants across the country. Current listings include:
Four Seasons Hotel, Hampshire
Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire
The Pig at Bridge Place, Kent
Ockenden Manor, Sussex
67 Pall Mall, London
Alternatively, Fifty One Degrees North is available at our exclusive launch retail partner, Fortnum & Mason.