London Wine Week was back with a bang last week. Nowhere else on the planet can you experience the world in a wine glass...all in one city. We got on board with our festival wristbands, which act as your passport to sample over 500 wines in 125 venues across the capital, and with the chance to experience wines from 20 different countries, we were definitely up for the challenge! Basically, this is London's largest self-guided wine tasting, and we went to find out what was going down!
The London Wine Week Nyetimber Hub was our first port of call in Devonshire Square, located in an elegant brick courtyard and impressive space, and right next to where you collect your wristband. Handy place to begin our wine adventures.
We started the evening in sparkling style with a flight of England's finest sparkling wine on their pop up terrace.
With a selection of English Cuvee and Rose on offer as part of their £5 flight offer, Nyetimber award-winning British Fizz stood out as a brand offering a taste of upmarket British elegance, and quality, and as living true to the Nyetimber mission - of making the finest English Sparkling wine there is!
Across courtyard, The Wines of Portugal Discovery Bar provided a Mediterranean feel with its selection of reds, whites and rose on offer.
Our sampling flight consisted of a mix of whites and roses. We were instructed to start with a delicate and light from the cool, hilly, north west of Portugal. Ours was a Vino Verde or "green wine" meaning young in age. Our second white was full-bodied and from Trás-os-Montes in the north east where the vineyards bathed in high summer temperatures, and our final in the trio was a crisp and light rose.
We then moved next door to the Vins de Provence Le Beach Bar with its pink deters and delicious, crisp and cool rose on offer, bringing an air of provencal seaside ambience to the heart of City.
We got the low down from the London Wine Week team on the top trends to enjoy across the week, and here is what you need to know....
French wine is back
18 venues were showcasing French wine as part of their wine flight (the range of samples on offer for those of us not down with the wine lingo!). That's an impressive 10 more than last years wine week. In addition to this, Loire Valley Wines were a headline sponsor and the Vins de Provence pop up beach bar was certainly making waves with their rose.
This year, consumers had more options than ever for tasting and enjoying unusual and under-the-radar varieties and styles of wine and drinks. From vermouth at the DrinkUp bar, to Kensington Place's 'Off The Beaten Track' flight featuring Furmit from Tokaj, via Greek wines at OPSO and vegan wines, this was a great chance to branch out and try something different.
English Wine, - yes seriously!
From the headline Nyetimber Hub hailing from Sussex right at the centre of the action where you collected your wristbands, to flights dedicated to England's finest sparkling, reds and whites at Butler's Wharf Chop House and The English Wines & Spirits Company, the rise of English wine showed no sign of slowing down!
The rest of the week, our wristbands allowed us to wander in and out of bars across London sampling and trying wines we would have never know to have asked for. London Wine Week allows those of us who enjoy wine but don't know that much about it to really sample and try new flavours, varieties and new brands making waves across the wine industry, and a chance to support the suppliers, growers and producers in what is as much a passion as it is a business.
A huge thank you to Drink Up London and London Wine Week for inviting us down to take part in the festivities. This event is already in our calendar for next year, and should be in yours too.