It is customary after a few drinks to tell old friends how much you love them.
"Vinoteca, I looove you! You're my best friend...."
The Peanut Gallery's birthday week continued last night with a wine tasting spectacular at Vinoteca in Farringdon. The bargain sum of £10 bought us 20 tastings each, and doubled as a soothing massage for the soul after a long day at the office.
We tried 20 of Vinoteca's "Customer Favourites" from around the world, including the following hits: NV Prosecco dei Conegliano-Valdobbiadene from Bernardi Refrontolo, Veneto, Italy (almondy and delicious, £9.95), 2008 Sauvignon Blanc Vin de Pays du Val de Loire from Vignerons Valencay, Loire Valley, France (nettley flavours, £6.95), 1997 Muzealis Chardonnay from Hilltop Winery, Aszar-Neszmely, Hungary (honey, truffles, £9.95), 2006 Nine Popes from Charles Melton, Barossa Valley, South Australia (a big one, £25). All topped off with a Piemonte Moscato d'Asti and good old Pedro Ximenez El Candado from Spain.
And what better way to sober up on a rainy night than back in the main wine bar/restaurant over a heartwarming bowl of Vinoteca's muscle, clam and leek chowder with home baked wholemeal bread (for me) (£7) and the char-grilled bavette steak, mustard butter, fat chips and salad (for The Peanut Gallery) (£14.50).
Surrounded by the dark wooden furniture and wine laden shelves, Vinoteca always has a buzz and that Melbourne wine bar feel (for the sentimental expat).
The wine tastings are held regularly and there's a South African "Wine Makers" Dinner this Monday 12th October, featuring the wines of Quion Rock. At £70 for 5 courses and 7 wines, it is rumoured to be fabulous (there's a South African chef in the kitchen). Alas, the Greedy Diva will be in KL... If anyone else makes it, let me know how it goes.
Vinoteca, 7 St John Street, Smithfield, London, EC1M 4AA