It was only a question of time before the announcement from Clarence House that Prince Harry and his actress girlfriend Meghan Markle are to wed.
The wedding is set to take place in May and to toast the happy couple, we’ve selected some Californian beauties from the Sunshine State where Meghan was born.
Blessed with near perfect growing conditions, the quality of Cali wines is exceptional, while the Napa Valley enjoys cult status and is famed for its chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon. The valley’s wine contributes $50 billion to the United States’ economy – and who’s to say how the Royal Wedding could be a boon for sales from across the pond?
Napa’s proximity to Los Angeles makes it a dream destination for wine lovers, but you don’t have to take a vineyard tour to taste these world-class wines.
With an increasing number of Californian labels now available in the UK, here are five exciting labels to celebrate the royal engagement and bring friends together…
1. Domaine Carneros Sparkling Brut 2011, California (£23.75, Wine Direct)
For a first class fizz, this 50/50 blend of pinot noir and chardonnay is pick of the pops to get the party off with a bang. A joint venture with Champagne Taittinger, this is the closest thing to champers outside of France and deliciously ripe and soft.
2. Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011 (£55, Majestic)
A rich, golden straw-blonde with pure aromas of pear and green apples, overlaid with light tropical fruit flavours and a hint of honeysuckle. Full bodied and creamy, without being heavy, it’s super stylish.
3. Rutherford Hill Napa Valley Barrel Select 2013 (£25, The Wine Society)
Another Californian wine with a French accent, this Bordeaux blend offers blackcurrant, plums and ripe red fruits. Concentrated and full of flavour, more savoury notes will unfurl with time. One for the cellar master.
4. Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Napa Valley (£55, Majestic)
Generous and graceful, expect aromas of blackberry, fig and sandalwood with a fabulous layered structure. There are underscores of violet, red currant and cocoa on the finish.
5. Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars ‘Fay’ 2011 Napa Valley (£170, Majestic)
In a class of its own, this Stag’s Leap vintage will seduce you with its ravishing raspberry bouquet, with sweet red fruits that follow through with blackberry, blueberry and hints of liquorice and sage. Elegant and restrained, this is a major-league cabernet that will offer endless pleasure.