Crab and Cuveé – I can’t think of a better combination! When I saw that a local Hampshire vineyard, Hambledon Vineyard, was teaming up with Sally’s Fish Camp to offer an afternoon of crab and cuveé, I simply couldn’t resist getting a ticket!
Hambledon Vineyard, located in the rural Hampshire village of Hambledon, produces excellent English sparkling wines from its 100,000 vines. Their vines are pruned and picked by hand, so each bottle of cuveé is a real labour of love!
Sally’s Fish Camp, run by the lovely Sally, is based in Dorset and offers locally caught fresh seafood hampers, delivered to you – whether you’re at home, at the beach, on your boat or on holiday for the weekend! She also runs Crab Cracking Workshops – which is what we had in store for the afternoon (whilst drinking some Hambledon Cuveé of course!).
We chose a crab each, and spent the following hour or so following Sally’s cracking instructions, making a lot of noise and getting very messy! It was absolutely brilliant fun.
We were taught which parts of the crab you should (and shouldn’t) eat, how to dress it and the best methods for cracking the claws. After proudly presenting our crabs, we were whisked off to the winery for a tour before sitting down for lunch in the sun by the vines.
The grapes are handpicked in September and October, before being taken to the winery onsite where they are pressed – minimising the time between picking and pressing, and ensuring a good quality wine. Hambledon Vineyard produces three wines – the Classic Cuveé, Classic Cuveé Rosé and Premiere Cuveé. My personal favourite is the Classic Cuveé Rosé – not too sweet, crisp and perfectly sparkling. It’s beautiful! Each bottle of cuveé takes anywhere between 2 to 5 years to make, creating the perfect taste. To put that into perspective, a bottle of Prosecco can take as little as around 6 weeks. As much as I do enjoy a glass of prosecco, the Hambledon sparkling wines are really something special! Read more about how each bottle of cuveé is made here.
Hambledon Vineyard hold a range of events throughout the year, including tours, wine tastings and their annual wine festival – find out more here. I’d recommend visiting if you can!
After finishing our winery tour – and topping up our glasses – we picked up our crabs, a hunk of sourdough and some freshly picked leaves, and headed down to the vineyard for an al fresco lunch. I couldn’t believe just how much meat we had managed to pick out from our crabs – there was more than enough for two people per crab! It was a delicious seafood feast, with excellent wine paired with it.
I couldn’t recommend Sally’s Fish Camp enough – I just wish she delivered to Hampshire! If you’re based in Dorset, make sure to look her up here. You can order one of her freshly prepared seafood hampers, or book onto your own Crab Cracking Workshop (which is such a fun afternoon).