A sunny morning after a week of monsoon-like rain was just what I needed as an excuse to take a short stroll by Virginia Water lake to work up an appetite, followed by a roast dinner. As my go-to home-cooked roast dinner expert
was working overseas (thanks Si) I decided to try The Wheatsheaf Hotel. Despite having lived locally for 5 1/2 years and having enjoyed many cups of coffee and the occasional Friday night beer on the way home from work, I had never been here to
eat or sampled the wines. The Wheatsheaf has an acceptable - if not particularly adventurous - wine list for a pub, almost all available by the Glass. Premium wines include a Sancerre, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, three Prosecco, and three Champagnes: Mumm Cordon
Rouge Brut NV, Mum Rosé Brut NV and Veuve Cliquot NV. A seasonal range of cocktails, including mocktails and specialist Gins served with Fever-Tree tonics, rounded out the drinks list - which also features cask ales and six craft beers. Those
with intolerances are well served with gluten-free lager and Fentimans botanical sparkling soft drinks.
I always take the appearance of an English Wine on the shelves, especially in a chain establishment, as being a sign of quality, so I was pleasantly
surprised to see bottles of Chapel Down English Rosé in situ. But, as it was not on the drinks list, I didn't realise it was available until after the barman had popped the cork on my fizz. I'd selected the Maschio dei Cavalieri Extra Dry
DOC Prosecco 11% £4.29/£16.99 125ml/750ml - light, dry and refreshing - undemanding and ideal for a summer's day/evening. I was saddened to hear that the Chapel Down English Rosé was being discontinued as it was insufficiently popular. Apparently,
when it comes to Rosé the patrons here prefer Italian Pinot Grigio or Californian Zinfandel. It might just be that at £7.49 per 175ml glass it is overpriced compared to the alternatives, although £19.29 per bottle is good
value. Given Rosé's increasing popularity, together with the superior and growing reputation of English Wine, I would hope for it to stay for another summer - if not, I plan to consume what is left their reserves with a fellow local oenophile.