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 producers from Australia, France, Japan, the UK 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. We regret that due to limited facilities we are unable to cater for dietary requirements.
All 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.
To book, please contact your local store for availability.
Upcoming Tastings in 2017
Monster Wines for Hallowe'en - £25
Thursday 26th October
As we move into the darkness of winter, it seems only appropriate to cue up some diabolically rich reds to see us through Hallowe'en and beyond. With the increasing emphasis on indigenous grapes, experimental varieties and more creative winemaking, tonight we'll focus on reds that offer lashings of flavour without breaking the bank. That means uncorking Mexican petite sirah, peppery mavrud from Bulgaria, richly spicy reds from the Douro valley, heady monastrell from the Levante and many more besides. With their deep colours and over the top concentration of flavours, these generously rich, ripe reds bring warmth and succour for the days ahead.
Out of Africa: New Wines of the Cape - £28
Thursday 2nd November
The wine renaissance in South Africa has been nothing short of incredible. Out of the moribund days of the apartheid-era KWV co-operative a new generation of young winemakers, lead by pioneers like Eben Sadie and Chris and Andrea Mullineux, has emerged. With the help of talented viticulturalists like Rosa Kruger, unearthing old vines in off-the beaten track locations, these winemakers are a superb source of complex, original, delicious wines that represent some of the best value for money in the world. Tonight we'll be tasting the biodynamic wines of Johann Reyneke, the old vine Swartland blends of David and Nadia Sadie, the southern hemisphere's best pinot noir and chardonnay via Hemel-en-Aarde producers such as Crystallum and Newton Johnson, alongside muscular, mineral chenin blanc from leading producers Beaumont - and plenty more besides. Come, join us and discover the South African new wave!
Meet the Winemaker: Valdespino Sherry - £15
Tuesday 7th November - Greenwich only
With a history going back to the 1200s, Valdespino are one of the oldest bodegas in Jerez. These days, they are one of the most exciting producers in the region, the only one making single vineyard sherries, as well as some amazingly long-aged wines. This is a fantastic opportunity to taste through the whole range with Ignacio Lopez de Carrizosa, from the deliciously tangy Inocente Fino to the deep and complex VORS Oloroso, from a solera that dates back to the 19th century. Sherry lovers will not want to miss this!
Into The Woods: Country Wines of France - £28
Thursday 9th November
Away from the polished pomp of Bordeaux and the magisterial richness of the Rhone, France is full of wines made with integrity, hard work and no small amount of tears when the sun doesn't shine. These are some of the wines that most epitomise a sense of place, that coy and fickle notion of 'terroir', closely linked to well-loved indigenous grapes, so there'll be rarer names such as tannat from Madiran and fer servadou from Marcillac. Each wine conjures an image of the country: the wild herbs of the Languedoc, the spray of the sea in Montpellier, the geese and pates of the Pyrenean foothills. These are wines that are good for the soul – come along and be nourished.
Pining for Pinot: The Family from Burgundy and Beyond - £38
Thursday 16th November
The pinot family of grapes are a powerful bunch, and pinot noir sits at the head of the table. In Burgundy, they have known of its amazing potential since the Middle Ages, and ever since then it has been endlessly studied, cloistered, worshipped and, ultimately, transformed into some of the world's finest red wine. The Burgundians claim that no-one can do pinot like they can, but many winemakers around the world disagree – and often with a point. Tonight we'll compare the best of the classics with challenges from both elsewhere in Europe and the southern hemisphere, looking at how this endlessly fascinating grape expresses itself and the diverse range of places in which it is grown.
Land of the Rising Sun: Japanese Whisky with Nikka - £20
Friday 17th November - 8pm start - Leytonstone only
Compared to Scottish whisky, the Japanese industry is in its infancy. Yet, in terms of quality, it is mature beyond its years, with Japanese whiskies winning prizes all around the world and prices surging to match. Nikka is at the heart of this excitement, as one of the most acclaimed brands since it was established by Masataka Taketsuru in the 1930s. Tonight we'll explore how Nikka began by adopting the style of Scotch (Taketsuru married a Scot, after all), and how it has developed its own distinct characteristics over the twentieth and twenty-first century. From their single distillery expressions, Miyagikyo and Yoichi, to their more experimental Coffey series, and everything in between, these whiskies truly live up to the hype.
Meet the Brewer: Signature Brew - £10
Sunday 19th November - 2pm-4pm - Greenwich only
With reports showing that three breweries are opening every week in Britain, we are completely spoiled for choice. And while we've seen many examples of breweries collaborating, we had not – until now! - heard of a band and a brewery coming together to make great beer. Tom Bott and Sam McGregor are two Leyton-based cousins who were tired of going to gigs and seeing only mediocre beer and so they decided to do something about it. Founded in 2011, Signature Brew initially established a core range designed for festival drinking, but now they have taken it a step further, working closely with bands to create collaborative brews with the creative licence handed over to artists who decide on the recipe and labelling. Having collaborated with artists from Professor Green to The Slaves, you can be guaranteed that this afternoon will show off an eclectic range of beers along with loads of good music!
Theatre of Wine & Craft London present Dine with Bordeaux at Craft, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0SQ - £85
Thursday 23rd November - 8pm start
Greenwich may be known for its pubs, but there are more ambitious culinary options once you escape the riverside. Craft restaurant on the Peninsula is one of those highlights. With other successful restaurants such Dock Kitchen, Rotorino, Palatino and Sardine, there is no doubt that owner Steve Parle is one of London's food heroes. We have long enjoyed a great relationship with Craft, and their general manager Michael Burke has become a friend. We are working with head chef Anna Cortes to create a menu to celebrate the wines of Bordeaux. The focus of the evening will be the extraordinary collection of properties owned by Andre Lurton and his family, principally around Pessac-Leognan, the appellation closest to the city of Bordeaux and famed for first growth Chateau Haut Brion. Tonight's special event starts with a tasting and snacks at the bar, then a four course menu and tasting of mature wines from the Andre Lurton portfolio of chateaux. We will be updating you with the full menu soon, but book now.
Hearthside: Wines to Light your Fire - £40
Thursday 23rd November
Winter's chill is drawing in, so tonight we'll make our offerings to Vesta, goddess of the hearth, with a selection of unashamedly comforting libations to warm you from the inside out. Warding off the encroaching darkness is the name of the game here, so expect big flavours, wintry spices and luxurious textures. From the fruitcakey wines of Chateauneuf to the perfect red to go with that wintry stew or ragu, tonight is all about fortifying ourselves for the winter. It's central heating for grown-ups.
Meet The Winemaker: Wiston Estate with Dermot Sugrue - £20
Wednesday 29th November - Leytonstone only
The Wiston estate in the South Downs is perhaps the most glittering jewel in the English wine crown. Their sparkling wines are linear and taut with a dignified luxury that is uniquely British in character – mostly this is down to the singular vision of head winemaker Dermot Sugrue. After studying at Plumpton College, he worked in the winery at Nyetimber in its heyday before moving to Wiston. He has a great perspective on English wine, from its early days to its current fashionability, a fascinating approach to winemaking at Wiston, and a lot more to say besides. Come along to chat to him, learn about the estate, and taste some of the best wines England has to offer.
Harlequin's Christmas Tasting - £36
Thursday 30th November
Christmas is nearing, and Harlequin is here loading up his pantechnicon and getting ready to stuff your stockings with festive goodies as we speak. Our full Christmas wine offer will be up in lights tonight, so come along this evening to preview the delicious drinks he'll be slipping down your chimney and tiptoeing along your hallway with, ready to slake thirsts from breakfast through to collapse. There'll be fizz and light whites to kick things off, hearty reds to transform any dinner into the finest feast, and sweet treats to keep the carnival going into the small hours.
Nightcap: The Spirits of Christmas - £35
Friday 1st December - 8pm start
Nothing is better than a bottle of wine or two over dinner, but sometimes we crave something a little stronger... Thanks to the ever-exciting London cocktail scene, we've never had a better range of spirits, from triple distilled Irish whisky, fine aged rums and locally made gins, not to mention the armchair decadence of fine malt whisky, mellow Cognac and spicy Armagnac. A world away from the mass produced supermarket brands, these are spirits made with every bit as much love and passion as the wines in our range, with complexity, flavour and value to match – and then some. Tonight is a great chance to discover the world of small batch, handmade spirits, and to replenish your liquor cabinet ahead of the rigours of Christmas entertaining!
Methode Traditionelle: Champagne & its Rivals - £50
Thursday 7th December
The sheer Pavlovian joy I feel at the sound of a popping cork is surely a universal emotion: nothing says the party's started quite like it. Champagne has never been so much fun to drink, as the number of smaller growers making exciting, delicious bottles of Champagne seems to be ever on the rise, offering lower dosage, more terroir expression, and heaps of authentic flavour. Champagne is not the only fizz these days, however. All around the world, the 'traditional method' of winemaking is used to make amazing, long ageing, top class wine, from chalky, cool-climate England to sunny California, all giving the Champenois a healthy bit of competition for our hearts and glasses.
Icons: A Fine Wine Event - £100
Friday 8th December – 8pm start - Tufnell Park & Greenwich only
Places strictly limited to 12 tasters
Every art form has its icons and to really understand the heights of pleasure wine can reach you have to have drunk the very best. Tonight we give ourselves over the extravagance of some seriously fine wine. That doesn't mean putting these bottles on a pedestal or, worse, leaving them in the cellar until they are old and faded. No, with wine the only way to understand it is to open it, share it, drink it and talk about it. Tonight, after a thorough dig in our own and our friends' cellars, we'll be decanting wines that will have every wine lover in London liking your Instagram. From grand cru Burgundy to classed growth claret, mature Barolo to the icons of Napa Valley, not forgetting vintage Champagne, we'll revel in the aspirational, the marvellous, and the unforgettable.
Theatre of Wine's Office Party - £35
Thursday 14th December
Few things add to the frisson of Christmas like the office party. If you need some light relief after getting trapped in a conversation about fishing with Richard from sales, or the flash of the photocopier strikes fear in your heart, then look no further than the alternative ToW office party. This close to Christmas, we'll be cracking out our favourite feel-good wines to get you through the party season, and perhaps even a stocking filler or two as well. We reckon by this stage we'll all have earned a bit of fizz, and maybe a magnum of something to boot. To help keep the good times going until the new year, we'll be offering a discount on all wines taken away on the evening, so unlike the office party, you can take home something you like...
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