Stuck in the city in August? Here are the best wine tastings in London you can’t miss this month. This is a pick of only five. And if you want to get out of town, I’ve added a couple of wine and wine-ish festivals at the end of the post.
For the hardcore wine lover, it may feel like a stay-cation to switch to beer – maybe time to check out the craft beer festival? And of course the month ends with the Notting Hill Carnival and a few Red Stripes…
Please check beforehand with the venue as spaces are limited and bookings are essential.
1. If you want some Italian glamour but can’t get away to the islands
Cruise through Sicily and Sardinia without leaving Soho. The unique wines from the Italian islands are almost born just to refresh you, especially good on a muggy night in August. You won’t go hungry either with food matched by Polpo at the Ape & Bird.
Where: Upstairs at Polpo Ape & Bird, 142 Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho, London WC2H 8HJ
Date: 5th Aug 2015, 6:45pm-9:00pm – £50
2. If you want to kick back at a party with some pet nat
Let’s break down the goodness. There’s going to be a barbecue, large format wines from Tutto Wines’ eclectic portfolio, Italian inspired cocktails, a DJ spinning tunes. The clincher? Watching the sun go down over Regent’s Canal and Hackney’s iconic gas towers.
Where: Ovalspace, 29-35 The Oval, E2 9DT
Date: Thursday 6th of August, 5pm til late. No booking required.
3. If you want to delve into Grower Champagne
Grower champagnes only feel risky when you don’t know them. Once you do, you may never go back to the big brands again. Let these guys walk you through little known names – with perfectly matched cheeses along the way.
Where: 22 Wellington, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7DD
Date: Thursday 6 August 2015 and 20 August 2015, 7.30-9pm – £55
4. If you want to pick the top new recruits to the Academy
Explore the new wave of wines, based on classic grapes such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Consider this the graduation speech for young wineries emulating the best in the world – will the student surpass the teacher?
Date: Thursday, 13 August (Tufnell Park and Greenwich), 7.30pm – £28
5. If you want to hack the Burgundy code
This is a smart idea – Burgundy is a complex region to understand yet is also an expensive regions to make a mistake. Learn the passwords that get you inside this most fascinating (and for wine lovers, often heartbreaking) region.
Where: Vagabond Wine 18-22 Vanston Place, Fulham SW6 1AX
Date: August 26, 7pm – 9pm – £40
Plus… a summer bonus!
The events have been chosen simply because I think they are worth taking a trek across town (or, in case of the festivals, across country). I do not receive any kickbacks for sharing these events. Do you think your customer tasting should be mentioned? Feel free to leave details in the comment below or get in touch on twitter.