‘Beer is made by men, wine by God!’ or so said German monk and theologian, Martin Luther, apparently. Why are we telling you this? Well, next week is the third London Wine Week – seven days to celebrate the very best, with over 500 different wines to try in LWW Flights, unique tasting events and banquets. You don’t have to try and pretend you know about wine, you just need to like it and who knows maybe by the end you might venture away from the bottle you always choose. Here are some of the places we think you should visit next week:
Seafood and wine pairing
What goes better with seafood than a crisp glass of white? Exactly. That’s why Wright Brothers are embracing Wine Week with a pairing menu of Sancerre Blanc, Les Chasseignes and Domaine Foussier, Loire, France 2014 and snack of devilled whitebait (Oyster and Porterhouse), Fijian ceviche (Soho), salt cod croquettes (South Kensington) and smoked haddock, leek & mustard croquettes (Spitalfields) for only £10.
Wine Club and Cellar Club
Shoreditch bar the Jones Family Project are embracing Wine Week with a selection of offers on their selection of 100 wines including 20% off Coravin wines by the glass and their usual happy hour deals on carafes. Small plates and nibbles soak up the paired wines and with bottles starting at less than £20 all the way up to three-digits there is something for any level wine-conoisseur. Wine Club and Cellar Club members can take part in tasting dinners and even store a case of their own wine in the humidity controlled cellars, ready to drink whenever you dine.
Prosecco and bruschetta
Angela Hartnett can do no wrong. Café Murano Pastificio Covent Garden sell a fine selection of biodynamic Italian wines and, during Wine Week, will be offering a Le Marche wine flight as well as pea and ricotta bruschetta with mint and lemon to accompany Prosecco Valdobbiadenne for less than a tenner. Bonus points if you can pronounce Valdobbiadenne after a couple of glasses… Visit on Monday and you can enjoy any purchased wine from the shop in the restaurant, corkage-free.
Expect the Unexpected
Expect the unexpected… that is the theme of Percy & Founders’ London Wine Week offering. They’ve chosen three wines which represent the diversity of their wine list, encouraging people to look past the grape variety and move away from getting that Sauvignon that you always choose. At just £5 for wristband wearers you can try the likes of Mother Rock ‘Liquid Skin’ a 2015 Chenin Blanc – which has intense apricot, honey and quine aromas and a Croatian Cabernet Sauvignon ‘The Will to Live’ which shows fresh dark fruit and sweet spices.
Quaffing Wine in Soho
You’re in Soho – you want a glass of wine (of course you do) where to go? How about Randall & Aubin, who’ll be matching a glass of wine with the dish that Head Chef Ed Bains has concocted that day. Perhaps he’ll have cooked up his fillet of Brixham bream with asparagus, peas, broad beans, Jersey Royals and a beurre blanc sauce which goes rather nicely with a Sauvignon Malvsia from Catine San Marzano. We know that wine might not always be the kindest to your bank budget but throughout wine week the glasses are only £5 so it’d be rude not to.
So you think wine and you probably think France, America, Italy, New Zealand… You probably wouldn’t think Greece, but perhaps you should. Be adventurous and try something different for Wine Week. Greek restaurant, Hungry Donkey is the place to do just that as they offer wines only from Greek grape varieties. Reds include Thymiopoulos Jeunes Vignes 2014 and Xinomavro Naouss whilst whites include Alpha Estate Turtles, Malagouzia, 2014 and Gaia Wild Ferment, Assyrtiko, 2014.
Bespoke Wine Flights
With over 250 bins and an award-winning wine list, Princess Victoria is already one of our favourite wine spots in West London, they’re also taking part in London Wine Week so if you have one of the wristbands you can create your own flight of three wines from the ‘by the glass’ list for just £5, which will sort your Monday blues out nicely.
New World Wine Flight
Dickie Fitz is taking part in its first London Wine Week with a £5 wine flight showcasing three undiscovered South Australian wines at the bar – we say order some of the summer small plates to go with it – we have our eye on the squid and cho ‘ritz’o nuggets. Or if you want to try something else, the pacific-inspired restaurant has a New World heavy wine list with a strong focus on Australia and New Zealand but also California and even sake from Japan.
Where: 48 Newman Street, London W1T 1QQ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Goodge Street (0.3 miles)
Summer Wine Flight
Villandry Great Portland Street and Villandry St James’ are celebrating London Wine Week and the start of the summer with a flight of summery wines. If you head to Villandry St James’ you’ll start with a lemony Albarino from Spain, then a salmon pink, dry French rosé. Moving on to a light red made from Pinot Noir from New Zealand, and ending with the uplifting sparkling Moscato. If you drop into Villandry Great Portland Street you’ll start with an unoaked South African Chenin Blanc, then dry French rosé, a Pinot Noir from Chile and ending with a refreshing sparkling Moscato. Or, you know, you could do both in the week…
Looking for more? Here are some of our other favourite wine bars:
- Vagabond: You’ll find them in Fulham, Spitalfields and Charlotte Street or join their wine club and you need never leave your house again…
- Unwined in Tooting: The first permanent home of A Grape Night In, Unwined in Tooting has great wine and great events.
- 10 Cases: As the name suggests this Covent Garden bistrot only ever buy 10 cases of wine at a time so that you can always try something new.
- Humble Grape: Humble Grape are all about making wine socially inclusive so that it’s not just for those in the know – you’ll find them in Battersea and Fleet Street.
- Wine Rooms: If you can’t choose what you want to drink then the Wine Rooms are the place for you – top up your Wine Rooms card and try lots of different samples – you’ll find them in Hammersmith, Fulham and Kensington.
- Terroirs: Big on organic and biodynamic wines, this French bistrot also sells it wine at shop prices so you can take a bottle or two home.
London Wine Week will be taking place, 23rd-29th May 2016 www.drinkup.london