Weekly Tastings

Greenwich Tasting Table Set For 12 People

Our instore tastings happen every week and are designed to be relaxed, informal and accessible for everyone, whether you are exploring wine for the first time, broadening your horizons, or delving deeper into your favourite regions and styles.

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Our upcoming programme of tastings is listed below. We also regularly host winemakers in our Meet the Winemaker series, with winemakers from Australia, France, Hungary and Austria joining us in recent months.

Please note that our tastings start at 7.30pm. Unless otherwise noted, tastings take place on the same day in each of our stores. We typically taste ten wines, accompanied by quality charcuterie and cheese, and the tastings last for around two hours. Places must be booked and paid for in advance.Reservations will not be confirmed without a working contact number and cancellations made with less than 48 hours notice will not be refunded. Due to the popularity and long reserve lists for many of our tastings, it is our policy that reservations made but not confirmed with payment more than two weeks after your reservation is made may be released without notice, although we will try to contact you by phone or email first of all.


Upcoming Tastings:
March-April 2017

In the Mix: Discovering Wine Blends - £28.00
Thursday 23rd February

Many of the world's finest wines are made from a blend of grapes, the aim being to create a harmonious balance of textures and flavours. By far the most famous is the Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, but we'll travel further afield tonight as well, to look at examples as diverse as sparkling wines, Rioja and the innovative new world blends of South Africa and Australia. In this tasting we will discover just what it takes to make a wine greater than the sum of its parts.

Native Grapes: Austria, Hungary, Croatia – £27.00
Thursday 2
nd March
Central Europe is home to varieties that offer something radically different to the usual suspects from France, and you won't find these distinctive personalities in the supermarkets. Smoky, umami babic from the Dalmatian coast, opulent gruner veltliner from the steep terraces of the Wachau and fiery furmint from volcanic Tokaj take the stage tonight, as we discover what makes these little-known wines among the most distinctive and flavoursome in the world. We can't promise authoritative pronunciation, but we can promise new flavours.

Mile High Club: Mountain Wines – £25.00
Thursday 9
th March
Even if you aren't hitting the slopes this year, there is no reason to miss out on the full apres-ski experience. While we won't have the wooden panels, an open fire, or stuffed marmots adorning the walls, we will have the best wines from high altitude wineries, from the indigenous grapes of Haut-Savoie and Jura and powerful Swiss petite arvine to crazy wines from high up in the Andes. All these wines are united by the unique geology and cool nights that high altitudes offer, demonstrating freshness and minerality that is rarely matched.

Brave New Britain: Commonwealth Drinking – £28.00
Thursday 16
th March
As Theresa's finger trembles on the Article 50 trigger, much is still unknown about our post-EU future. While political discussion is surely best left until after we've had a few drinks, we know one thing: a lot of interesting and delicious wines are coming out of the Commonwealth, across a huge range of climates and soils. Gamay from the Canadian lakes, Australian riffs on Italian grapes and regal South African wines meet at tonight's bonanza.

Mother Nature: The Women of Wine - £27.00
Thursday 23rd March
As it is nearly Mother's Day, we raise ten toasts to the women behind some of our favourite wines. While winemaking can be a bit of a 'pere et fils' industry, its history is full of pioneering women, such as Veuve Cliquot in Champagne. Tonight we taste from 9th generation Chateauneuf winemaker Coralie Goumarre to new-kid-on-the-block Meo Series at Chateau de Cabidos, not to mention the Lopez de Heredia sisters in Spain, Filipa Pato in Portugal and many more besides. Tonight is about celebrating their delicious wines, and, of course, Mother Nature herself!

Project Portugal: Wines of the Atlantic Frontier - £24.00
Thursday 30th March
As you stand on the beaches of western Portugal, staring across the grey Atlantic, the next landfall is America. This windswept, maritime nation has a long tradition of looking beyond the horizon while defending its own identity from its larger Spanish neighbour – not unlike ourselves. Thankfully, instead of replanting with chardonnay and merlot in the 1990s, Portugal stuck to touriga franca, baga, alvarinho, and a host of unique indigenous grapes. Emerging into the provenance-led noughties, no country in Europe represents better value and broader choice than Portugal, ranging from zesty whites to strapping reds. All aboard our barca velha as we travel from the Atlantic to the Spanish border to uncover Portugal's vinous pleasures.

Outrageous Orange: Discovering Natural Wines - £28.00
Thursday 6
th April
It's just not as simple as red or white anymore. More and more winemakers are experimenting with making white wines with longer periods of contact between the grape skins and the juice, resulting in deeper hues and tangy, savoury wines. Meanwhile, rosés that steer clear of simple Provençal pleasures, offering deeper, earthier flavours, even aging potential, continue to gather momentum. Although the orange wine movement has been boosted by sommeliers always on the hunt for the next thing, beyond the hype there is a diverse range of great wines here made with minimal intervention and, often, zero added sulphur. From turbid whites to cloudy pinks, if you're feeling curious come along and see what all the fuss is about.

Meet the Winemaker: Hentley Farm, Barossa - £10.00
 Tuesday 11th April – Leytonstone only
 Australia's Barossa Valley helped to put it firmly on the map of UK wine drinkers two decades ago. Tonight we are very happy to welcome Keith Hentschke, owner of the prestigious Hentley Farm estate in Barossa Valley to Leytonstone to host our first Winemaker tasting. Keith will talk us through his range of premium single vineyard wines from the vines grown on his 150 acre farm. On show will be sumptuous Grenache, not to mention prize-winning Shiraz, with a few other gems in between. We'll be showing eight delicious wines for the price of two pints of beer, so it's fastest finger first – this will sell out quickly!

Rhone Revival - £27.00
Thursday 13
th April
With Easter on the horizon, no region's wines make better matches for lamb in all its forms than those of the Rhone Valley. Tonight we'll follow the river's route from north to south, taking in the refined and elegant northern reds such as Côte Rôtie, the flamboyant, luxurious viogniers, not to mention iconic Chateauneuf-du-Pape, spicy Gigondas and the meaty, sun-drenched wines from the southern Cotes du Rhone. Styles vary as the climate transitions from continental to Mediterranean, but if you like rich reds at mortal prices, you can't afford to miss these bottles.

Pfalz to Franken: Rediscovering Germany - £26.00
Thursday 20th April
A derelict wine shop in the arcade under Charing Cross station proudly declares on its curlicued Victorian sign 'Claret, Hock, Moselle' – a reminder of a time when German wines were as highly esteemed as the best red Bordeaux. The wines have since fallen out of favour and are nowhere near as expensive but, whatever the reasons, the vineyards around the mighty Rhine still produce some of the most delicious and distinctive wines in the world. The majestic riesling grape reaches its zenith here, and silvaner, muller-thurgau, weissburgunder and chasselas all make characterful, contemporary wines with crisp flavours and low alcohol. Among the reds pinot noir rules the roost, making increasingly sumptuous and sensuous reds that might challenge all your preconceptions about Germany's misunderstood wines.

Wines of the Silk Road: Kazakhstan, Georgia, Armenia - £29.00
Thursday 27th April
You would be forgiven for thinking that wine was invented in France, but its origins lie in the fertile triangle east of the Black Sea where we know people were cultivating vines and producing wine at least five thousand years ago. Modern Georgian winemaking isn't that modern – wines are still made in traditional Georgian qvevri, clay vessels buried underground, and native varieties like saperavi and rkatsiteli rule the roost. Nearby Armenia focuses on its native areni noir grape, and Kazakhstan also has a burgeoning wine culture. Tonight we return to the cradle of civilization in our wine glasses!

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