How has it taken me so many years to visit one of the most celebrated by both wine pros and oenophiles wine bar (with a top selection of natural wines) is beyond me! Especially when it’s so close to Redchurch street in Shoreditch – a road you’d usually find me on weekends looking for my next coffee spot.
A dear colleague and friend from Vinifera Euromaster, Isabel, took her first sans-bèbè trip outside France with her husband, so I thought this would be the prefect occasion to go to this cool, relaxed place with great music and a fabulous wine list!
The place looks great! Like a proper bar (it’s difficult to find those in London) with great music filled with some of the most exciting wines. I really liked the smart, urban vibe and its industrial decoration approach blended with romantic touches.
It was a really sunny, warm evening and I craved something really crisp and zesty for my aperitif . The Kosmopolit wine by Jutta Ambrositsch from Vienna caught my eye! I don’t think I ever had a Viennese wine before but I did know that the winemakers there have been traditionally making “field blends”; wines from several plots and grape varieties fermented together, “Gemischter Satz”. Sarah from Sager + Wilde explained that the winemaker made a big career change recently by leaving her graphic designer job and focusing on small vineyard plots and making very limited production wines.
Kosmopolit is a field blend made by mainly Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Blanc, Neuburger, Welschriesling, all co-fermented in stainless steel tanks. Jutta is a natural winemaker, meaning that she prefers to use minimum intervention both in the vineyard and winery, in order to allow her wines to fully express their terroir, to have a distinctive sense of place. For Kosmopolit, old and young vine grapes were fermented coming from the two districts of Döbling and Floridsdorf.
The wine was an excellent aperitif with juicy lemon and grapefruit notes jumping out of the glass with every swirl. Hints of peach, white flesh apricot blended with an appetising spicy mouthfeel made Kosmopolit the perfect match to my summer evening!
George knows very well the wines that excite him: natural, cloudy and herbal. Offer him a wine that is close to style to Jason Ligas’s Barrel fermented Roditis and he will be delighted!
The orange wines onby the glass list that day were two – both made by Rafa Bernabé in Alicante, southeastern Spain. Fear not its cloudy appearance or its unusual colour, as it truly smells like sunshine. Made from organically grown Moscatel on sandy soils close to the sea , this is a gorgeous wine with vibrant aromas of dried peach and apricot, dried white blossom and mango with hints of glazed lemon peel. The colour is so rich because of a 6-month period of skin contact in clay amphorae (tinajas); this time developed an appetisingly dry, tongue-hugging palate with kisses of tropical fruit making this 2015 Tinajas ‘Benimaquía’ even more charming! Its texture will surprise you (it’s very dry in the nicest way!) as it is much fuller and generous that a white wine, but if you are on a wine exploring trip, it will fascinate you! Quantities produces are tiny, so do give it a try as soon as you find it!
Naturally, I got wine-envy and wanted to try an orange wine myself, so I went for the 100% Moscatel ( Muscat of Alexandria), 2015 “El Carro”. Moscatel is a highly aromatic grape with vibrant aromas of fresh grapes and white blossom and is usually made into off-dry to sweet wines but “El Carro” is reassuringly dry and refreshing with wonderful purity of fruit with delicate spicy, ginger-like hints and both fresh and dried rose petals! It spent 4 months in contact with its skins in previously used oak barrels. Both wines fermented naturally by wild yeasts.
I f you want to learn more about Rafa’s wines, check out Jamie Goode’s post.
We quickly became hungry so we thought try a little bit of everything to satisfy both our uraniscus and appetite! The sharing plates worked wonders.
The Cheese platter consisted of delicious cheeses that you can find at Androuet, Spitafields, a master cheese-maker since 1909. A delicious selection of Brillat-Savarin, white, creamy and white-crusted from cow’s milk; Tor, an unpasteurised ash coated goat’s cheese in distinctive pyramid shape from White Lake; Blu di Bufala, a blue buffalo milk semi-hard cheese and First König from whole unpasteurised milk & washed in a light brine. All were delicious and disappeared rather quickly!
The Charcuterie selection from Black Hand Food was equally exciting with Pork Collar, Pork Loin and fennel salami! Utter yumminess!
The spring onion cheese toasty was as juicy and rich as one would have hoped and surprisingly not too messy! We enjoyed it a lot and asked for a second round.
Candlelight makes everything magical and relaxing.
It was a lovely night filled with reminiscing, catching up and joy paired beautifully with exciting wines, delicious nibbles and the loveliest of staff teams! Special thanks to Sarah, who is fantastically knowledgeable and friendly!
Can’t wait to come back! Pay them a visit this weekend and let me know what you think!
Do you have a favourite wine bar where you live?
Fun fact: The bar is founded by Michael Sager and Charlotte Wilde, so the ladies’ sign reads “Wildes” and the gents’ “Sagers”