Our instore tastings are at the heart of what we do, and we have run over 1000 since we opened in 2002. They 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.
Our upcoming programme of tastings is listed below. We also regularly host winemakers in our Meet the Winemaker series, with producers from Australia, France, Japan, the UK and Austria joining us in recent months.
All our tastings start at 7.30pm unless otherwise noted, and last approximately two hours. Each evening, a range of artisan bread, cheeses and charcuterie will be provided to match the wines, although we regret that we cannot cater for dietary requirements. Places must be booked and paid for in advance and payment must be made within two weeks to confirm your booking, otherwise your reservation may be released without notice. Reservations will not be confirmed without a working contact number and cancellations made with less than 48 hours notice will not be refunded.
To book, please email your local store for availability. As our tastings often sell out within days (or hours) of publication, we suggest you sign up to our mailing list to receive the tastings updates as soon as they are published to avoid disappointment.
Upcoming Tastings in 2018
Green, White and Red: Regional Italy - £30
Thursday 19th April
Although the top wines of Italy are internationally recognised, its fierce regional independence makes it an overwhelmingly complex country to get to grips with. Not only are there hundreds of grape varieties, often the same grape is called a different name in the next town down the road. Still, there is a lot of delicious wine to be found, so tonight we'll showcase our pick of Italy's lesser known regions, such as mineral muller thurgau from the edge of the Alps, dense, herbal sagrantino from Umbria, aromatic nerello mascalese from Sicily, and juicy falanghina from the Adriatic coast.
Meet the Brewer: Hop Stuff and Pretty Decent Brewing - £10
Wednesday 25th April - Leytonstone only
After a hard day's work tasting wines to select the best for our shelves – someone has to do it - we all agree that the best way to wind down is with a refreshing beer. With this in mind we have invited our friends at Pretty Decent Brewing and Hop Stuff over to our Leytonstone store for another 'Meet the Brewer' tasting. Pretty Decent are a young brewery from just round the corner in Forest Gate, and Hop Stuff are based in Woolwich, just a stone's throw from our Greenwich store. Come and join us to taste through each brewer's range of styles, hear their stories and find out what exciting new things they are brewing up.
Rosé and Light Reds with Cheese - £25
Thursday 26th April
Spring is here, and now that the days are getting longer, we start fantasising about ripping off our knitwear to gambol through fields of budding grasses and blossoming trees, feeling the kiss of spring sunshine rejuvenate our pale, winter skin. This lease of life is tangible in the produce of the season, so tonight we'll be pairing young spring cheeses with light, fresh reds and ruddy rosés that exude joy. Think fresh and earthy goats cheese from the Loire with sprightly cabernet franc, Charolais with juicy gamay, and peppery, tangy Bandol rosé with Coulommiers.
Monastrell to Mencia: New Wines of Spain - £28
Thursday 3rd May
Spain's reputation has been built around the imposing bodegas of Rioja, but thanks to a renewed vigour in the country's wine scene, change is afoot. Rioja and Ribera del Duero have been joined by a host of other regions such as Bierzo, Rueda and Jumilla, all of which offer new grapes and flavours. Even in Rioja they are debating new single vineyard classifications and whether sub-appellations should appear on wine labels. Tonight's tasting explores these new horizons in Spanish wine, from the crunchy, vividly fresh reds of Galicia to the rich, mouthfilling wines of Granada in the deep south, via verdejo, xarel-lo, bobal, albarino and plenty more besides.
Expats and Emigres: European Grapes Abroad - £29
Thursday 10th May
Whether the pinot noir of Burgundy, the riesling of Germany or the tribidrag (aka primitivo) of Croatia, European grapes form the basis for the wines of the wider world. Often transported as cuttings by migrants leaving Europe in the 19th or 20th centuries in search of a better life, these varieties have gone from being planted initially for family consumption, and as a memory of home, to forming the basis of some of the most famous bottles from the Americas and the southern hemisphere. While many were originally fashioned in the style of their European ancestors, much of the new world now makes wine in a distinctly non-European style that reflects a sophisticated understanding of their own climates and often very different soils. Tonight we'll be opening the greats - and the good value - to discover how European traditions have been reimagined across the world.
Persian Feast with Elijah's Table and Theatre of Wine - £40
Wednesday 16th May - Leytonstone only
Theatre of Wine are teaming up with Elijah's Table to put on a banquet of delights inspired by the cuisine of the Middle East, with wines carefully paired throughout the feast. The love and passion behind Elijah’s Table comes from the mother and daughter duo, Yael Tzabari and Sam White, who use family recipes passed down from generation to generation, adding their own unique twist to regional classics. With roots in Yemen and Israel, they now reside in the heart of East London, where they can be found in their kitchen grinding and mixing spices to create their signature flavours. Tonight's feast will be matched by the best of Theatre of Wine, including the Lebanese wines of Chateau Ksara, the unmistakeably Mediterranean wines of Greece and the ancient wines of Thrace.
Life after Prosecco? Cremant, Cava and Col Fondo- £32
Thursday 17th May
Britain's mania for Prosecco shows no sign of abating, despite suspiciously periodic headlines announcing imminent shortages and steadily increasing prices. While we like a glass of Prosecco as much as anyone, we also like to champion the underdog. Tonight's tasting is a Prosecco-free zone as we re-evaluate the other sparkling wines that don't get such a lot of the limelight. We'll be showcasing our favourite cremants from France alongside sparkling riesling, new wave cava and newly-arrived traditional method sparklers from Italy, New Zealand and the UK, and pairing them all with some fine, handmade cheeses.
The Summer Collection: New Wines for Warmer Days - £26
Thursday 24th May
The punishing length of last winter has meant we have thrown ourselves into spring with blissful abandon, thirstily scouring the world for the most quenching, gluggable wines to see us all through the sunnier months. Tonight we will be showcasing these new discoveries with our minds on picnics, barbeques and gardens, introducing new friends, such as the fresh alpine wines of Vallarom, and reacquainting ourselves with old ones, like Elisabetta Dalzocchio's gorgeous pinot nero and Marsannay rosé from Vieux College. We'll be looking at the full spectrum of fizz, white, pink and red, but emphasising wines that celebrate freshness, drinkability, and coolness in all its guises.
Yard Sale Pizza with Italian Wines - £15
Wednesday 30th May from 6.30pm - Leytonstone only
Benvenuti Yard Sale Pizza! We are very excited to welcome Yard Sale Pizza, the winners of the Observer 'Best Cheap Eats' 2017 to Theatre of Wine Leytonstone. Come and join us in a big Theatre of Wine and Yard Sale Pizza blow out, with a night of the best Italy has to offer, namely mouthwateringly good pizza and classic lip smacking wines to match. You will receive a flight of three wines to taste, encompassing the delicious white wines from the alpine foothills of Trentino to the volcanic soils of Sicily, and three slices of pizza from the Yard Sale Pizza menu. Discover the unalloyed joys of the wines from this land of gastronomic wonder as they should be - with a generous plateful of food!
We can cater for gluten free, vegetarians and vegans. Please advise on dietary requirements when booking.
Lava Lovers: Volcanic Wines - £28
Thursday 31st May
We talk a lot about soil - limestone, clay, gravel – when we do our tastings, but perhaps the most unique and fascinating of them all are the volcanic soils left behind by millennia of tectonic activity and dramatic eruptions. Far less common than limestone or clay, volcanic soils tend to produce wines of real distinctiveness and quality; arguably no other soil type has quite so strong an identity in the glass. Our tasting tonight ranges freely around the world in search of these pockets of brilliance. We will look at some new discoveries from Gabor Orosz and Barsi Szabo Edwards in Tokaj, the little known but highly prized volcanic wines of Slovenia and Italy, and the on-trend wines of Beaujolais, Campania and Sicily. All in all, an unmissable night of avant-garde wines for terroir hounds.
Discovering the Grapes and Wines of Bordeaux - £30
Thursday 7th June - Leytonstone tasting
From the world's most significant fine wine region, with centuries of tradition and strong historical ties with consumers in the British Isles, the wines of Bordeaux have an enduring appeal that draws us back again and again. Perhaps it's their balance, their versatility at the table or maybe just the familiarity of their flavours, but nothing tastes quite so much like fine wine as old claret. We will look at the wide range of wines coming from this relatively small region, covering the left and right bank, showcasing cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot at their best.
Magnetic Medoc: Rediscovering the Fine Wines of Bordeaux - £40
Thursday 7th June - Greenwich and Tufnell Park tasting
Bordeaux is the world's most significant fine wine region, with centuries of tradition and a truly global fan base. While we're not immune to the charms of a Californian cabernet or a Bulgarian merlot, the wines of Bordeaux have an enduring appeal that draws us back again and again. Perhaps it's their balance, their versatility at the table or maybe just the familiarity of their flavours, but nothing tastes quite so much like fine wine as old claret. Our tasting tonight is given over to the superb range that Bordeaux offers, from white to red and sweet, including mature St Emilion, fine old Graves blanc from Andre Lurton's cellars, and ready-to-drink vintages from St Julien, Margaux and Pauillac, all matched with delicious cheeses and charcuterie. As we explore the subregions of Bordeaux and their characteristic styles, we'll also throw in a few pretenders to the crown from elsewhere to keep things honest...
Wine tasting for Dummies: Back to Basics - £25
Thursday 14th June - Leytonstone only
Do you know your pinot noir from your primitivo? Do you like a white Burgundy but have a distaste for chardonnay? This tasting is designed to educate you in the basics of grapes, regions and food pairing, to help you in your journey of wine discovery. We want you to come prepared with questions you have always wanted to ask before, but didn't dare. We'll let you in to a secret: most people will be asking themselves the same questions. The world of wine is a deep and vast one. We will endeavour to provide you with the tools you need to navigate through this mine field of wine terms and jargon, helping you to become a more discerning wine drinker. We'll also have lots of fun!
Iconoclasts: Wines that Break the Rules - £34
Thursday 14th June - Greenwich and Tufnell Park tasting
For every dozen winemakers that are happy to follow the rules, there's always one who likes the break them. With increasingly bureaucratic regulations across wine regions, rule breaking is becoming easier than ever. Many of these rebel winemakers feel that the conventional strictures of appellation systems do more harm than good by stifling creativity, preventing experimentation, and encouraging winemakers to produce wines that have generically 'correct' flavours rather than individual personalities. Tonight we discover the wild flavours, esoteric practices, odd blends, rogue grape varieties and atypical flavours that are the hallmark of these vinous iconoclasts, from Dirk Niepoort's 'Nat Cool' project, through fragrant and light interpretations of tannat from south west France, to the singularly bonkers wines from Oikonomou in Crete. Every bottle is guaranteed to expand your palate and smash your preconceptions.
Perpignan to Provence: Wines of Southern France - £29
Thursday 21st June
The evocative stretch of coastline that runs from the beautiful village of Collioure to the glittering waters of the Cote d'Azur is home to some of France's most underrated wines. The region's diversity is precisely the problem: without an overall identity, the best wines never seem to make a splash beyond France. The range of climates and soils here is immense, and thanks to relatively inexpensive land the Languedoc is an ideal start up region for many young, first-time winemakers and their families, and an equally good place for value-conscious wine drinkers looking for something under the radar. Tonight's tasting encompasses the freshly-famous rosé of Provence, the zesty whites of Picpoul de Pinet and new discoveries in Minervois, as well as some off-the-beaten-track gems from the garrigue-clad hillsides of ancient Occitania.
Meet the Distiller: Raasay & Tweeddale Whisky Evening with Kevin Liu- £15
Friday 22nd June – 8pm - Leytonstone only
We're excited to present a special tasting event in our Leytonstone store focusing on some recent listings from R&B Distillers. We've had great feedback on their Borders Single Grain and While We Wait Single Malt, so whether you haven't tried them or you are already a fan, tonight is a chance to meet the people behind the liquid and taste a few more of their rarer releases, including the award-winning Tweeddale whiskies. We'll have Kevin Liu from the distillery coming to talk us through the basics of understanding scotch and taking us through everything from blends to single malt and single grains. He'll also be bringing along some of the new make (unaged whisky) from Raasay, Scotland's newest distillery opened just last year, not to mention fresh spring water from their ancient celtic well for mixing!
Treasure Islands: Wines of the Mediterranean - £30
Thursday 28th June
What do Sicily and Corsica, Chios and Samos, Mallorca and Sardinia all have in common? Wine, of course! Tonight we board our luxury yacht for a cruise around the Mediterranean that will uncover the true flavour of the islands. With a fresh glass waiting in every port, we discover the delicious grapes of this ancient sea, criss-crossed by Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans, all of whom have left their mark on the wine cultures of the islands. Each island produces its own unique wines, often privileging local grapes not found elsewhere, but they all share a splash of salinity and the sparkle of Mediterranean sunshine. Join us for a slice of the island life as we delight in vermentino, luxuriate in muscat and revel in cataratto.