Little London Wine Tour Summer 2019
Discover English sparkling 🍾 in Fitzrovia , a sherry flight 🍇 in Canary Wharf & great Italian wines 🇮🇹 in Bow.
With summer coming to a close, and the wine harvest in full flow all over Europe 🍇, UnscrewMe is busy filling up the autumn wine tasting calendar in London 🗓.
To distract us from the rain and cold 🌧, we look back at some restaurants and wine bars we visited over the sunny summer ☀️.
Portland, Fitzrovia, W1
- Name: Portland
- Location: W1, Fitzrovia. Just around the corner from the BBC Broadcasting House and my favourite coffee shop, Kaffeine ☕️.
I’ve have walked past this restaurant so many times, and from time to time I looked at the daily menu 👀, but never went in. Besides once, if I remember correctly, when they were fully booked 😢. After the dinner, I found out that they got awarded a Michelin star ⭐️! For me, it was just another yet restaurant on my ever-growing list. Thinking about it now, I shouldn’t have waited for so long.
The service was outstanding, they even gave me a little cupboard of books, like a personal library 📚, to keep me entertained 🤓. I did flick through one book about wine 🍷 and one about Fitzrovia, learning where the borders of this little part of London actually are considered to be, for example.
The food was extraordinarily pretty and absolutely delicious. I treated myself to this dinner on the evening before my birthday 🎂, and it seriously was one of my best dinners ever. That not only because of all the exciting wines I tasted 😁, the main dish of “guinea fowl with crispy potato mille-feuille” was a revelation.
- Wine Picks:
Blanc de Blancs NV 🍾 by Wiston Estate Winery from South Downs in West Sussex, England, UK 🇬🇧 . An outstanding English sparkling wine made entirely from Chardonnay grapes. I found it very refreshing with a beautiful balance between apple, lemon and lime flavours with some slight floral notes. Definitely an English sparkling to recommend, something confirmed by the Gold Medal 🏆 it won at the Independent English Wine Awards (IEWA) 2018.
1999 Xinomavro 🍷 by Markovitis Winery (formerly “Chateau Pegasus”) from Naoussa in Greece 🇬🇷 . A very exciting wine, earthy, forest floor flavours combined with sour cherry fruit and black pepper notes. My first aged Xinomavro, and definitely one worth to remember! 🤩
- Tastings: Our recommendation would be to go there and put together your own, unique tasting dinner 🎉 based on their excellent and interesting selection of wines.
Symposium, Bow, E3
- Name: Symposium
- Location: E3, Bow. In a somewhat quiet, residential corner of East London, between the stunning Mile End Park and Victoria Park 🏞.
I discovered this lovely, little, down-to-earth restaurant by accident 🤣. I actually wanted to go to a place a bit further down the road 🛣, but somehow couldn’t resist, so I went in. And now, I ‘m happy I did 🥳!
I enjoyed a great smoked burrata with ham followed by a delicious tiramisu. Overall, certainly another restaurant worth knowing, it also got a Bronze Award by SquareMeal 🏆.
- Wine Picks:
Janestra by Azienda Agricola Viglianti from Calabria in Italy 🇮🇹. An interesting white wine that went well with the smoked burrata. Tropical mango with fruity sweetness meets salty and green, grassy notes and maybe a hint of smoke, too. Initially, I was not the biggest fan, but over time it grew on me.
Nero di Troia by Castiglione Masseria from Puglia in Italy 🇮🇹 . An easy drinking red with good structure, bringing together red forest fruits, cherry, black pepper and some earthy notes accompanied by soft tannins.
- Tastings: The good news is that they host a monthly “Wine Tasting and Food Pairing Evening”.
Humble Grape, Canary Wharf, E14
- Name: Humble Grape Canary Wharf
- Location: E14, Canary Wharf. On the Isle of Dogs, right between all the City shiny skyscrapers 🏙 and with a nice view over the canal 🌊.
Humble Grape is a small, established wine bar group in London with now five locations 🗺. As new openings gradually moved further east, this summer they opened in Canary Wharf.
When I went there on a nice summer evening, I was lucky that a sherry flight was a special offer. Naturally, I could not ignore this unique learning opportunity 🤪.
⚠️ Full disclosure, I am one of many Seedrs investors supporting the development and expansion of Humble Grape in London.
- Wine Picks:
NV Pedro Ximénez (PX) by El Maestro Sierra from Jerez in Andalucia, Spain 🇪🇸 . Of all four sherries I tried, Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso and PX, all from the same producer, the PX was my clear favourite 🏅. Nice notes of dried fruits, a pure impression of raisins and a bit of prune flavour. Overall, a sweet, fortified wine that is very pleasant on the palate. And while it does not even need food 😋, it does pair well with the dark chocolate 🍫 truffles on the menu.
- Tastings: As almost all Humble Grape locations, the new restaurant in Canary Wharf also hosts regular wine tastings.
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We’re always happy to hear about new restaurants with great wine lists, newly opened wine bars in London or just a nice wine you discovered recently.
If you have any recommendations, please let us know! Either comment on here or get in touch via social media through Twitter @unscrewmeapp, Facebook UnscrewMe or Instagram @unscrewmeapp.
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We’re planning to wrap up our summer summaries over the next few weeks, and then we’ll bring you all the winter wine recommendations 🔥 right when you need them 🌨. At the moment, plenty of trade and consumer tastings are happening, which keeps us busy. Keep an eye on UnscrewMe to find all the great wine events happening soon 📆.
First published in
Also available at https://medium.com/unscrewme/little-london-wine-tour-summer-2019-6ada07475178