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Need a bottle of wine for a dinner or just fancy an evening out? Then why not head to Leytonstone's Theatre of Wine?
Opening their first Theatre of Wine in Greenwich in 2002, and now having three across the Capital, wine tasting is at the heart of this quirky wine shop's business model. So we headed down to the Leytonstone branch to try it out!
Given a glass to start us off as soon as we walked through the door, you can already tell this is going to be a good night. There's a table lined with a selection of sparkling wines as we're here for the 'Wines that sparkle' themed evening and before we get down to the serious business of the evening, I have a read through the information sheet to see what's on the menu tonight.
There are Proseccos, Lambruscos, sparkles in white, rosé AND red... and even a Sake on the menu for tonight - leaving me frantically topping up my water glass to make sure I'm not under the table by the halfway mark!
Sarah, from Theatre of Wine, tells us, "It's like a performance - our big tasting table is the stage and the wines are our actors. The idea is that since we plan to show many new and rarely seen wines on our shelves, we have to find ways to bring the audience on a journey of discovery, so our weekly tastings are the passport to that journey."
Sarah told us, “We've all met people who want to keep wine an exclusive club, hidden behind jargon and prejudice, but that's not what Theatre of Wine is about. As pioneers in Greek, Portuguese and Bulgarian wines (to name just a few), we pride ourselves on embracing everything from fine wine to a broad range of affordable, well-made bottles under £10 that we work just as hard to source.”
This is reflected in our tasting, with many wines around the £10 mark and only one (obviously the one that's my favourite!) over £20. But for the price, the taste and quality is fantastic. We decide to make the tasting more fun by marking them out of 5, and it's an Austrian Rosé, a Portugese Vinho Verde and a delicious Italian dessert wine which take top marks from me, and which I decide to take home.
Sarah and Sebastiano talk us through the flavours of the wine before we taste each one and lead discussions on which we prefer, as well as providing generous amounts (or maybe we were just greedy?) of charcuterie alongside our drinks, carefully paired to enhance the flavours.
Overall, it's a great interactive experience and a way less pressured way of deciding which wines you prefer and would like to take home than a visit to the local supermarket offers. It's also a fantastic opportunity to try different flavours, from different countries, and find some really unique wines - as well as topping up on your wine knowledge and jargon!
Want to get in on the action? See what wine tasting events you’d like to join. They are every Thursday at 7.30pm and the team offer a themed tasting of 10 wines accompanied by quality cheese and charcuterie. There are also craft beer and small batch spirit events from time to time so keep your eye out.
Grab yourself two tasting seats for the price of one by calling Sarah at Theatre of Wine Leyton, quoting Portico and bringing your card on the night - happy sipping!