‘Wine’. You automatically hear ‘French’, don’t you? Or at the very least, Italian, Spanish or New Zealand. But English wine is finding its time to shine too, as chic new Shoreditch pop-up The English Vine is proving.
Propping up the bar a ten-minute walk from Old Street station, this wine-tasting-with-a twist is situated in a pared-back, cool industrial space with a laidback east London atmosphere. As London’s first bar dedicated to English-grown grapes, think low-hanging lamps, trestle tables that don’t distract from the experience with mellow background beats – and none of the pretentious swilling, smelling and note-guessing.
From there you can sample 28 different types of wine (with new additions each week), all from vineyards based right here in the UK. The list is curated by Neil Walker, who turned his hand to hosting wine tastings after 15 years in banking. ‘We look to bring English Wine to a new generation of wine drinker’ he explains. ‘We wanted to break the rules and get everyone into the magic of wine and get people comfortable with asking any question’. One not to miss Forty Hall’s Ortega: in addition to producing great wines, the London-based vineyard runs a unique ‘ecotherapy’ project aiming to boost physical and mental wellbeing as part of their volunteer program.
Nor will it be boring foodies; meats sourced from the Duchy Estate in Cornwall, and cheeses by the Tottenham’s Wildes Cheese are on offer and a packed calendar of events will be a particular hit. Different Chefs (including Valentino Nigro on 15 December) are hosting wine pairings, and you can expect fun additions like street wine cocktail evenings and England vs The World of Wines every Monday. Open from seven days a week until mid-December, the closing party on 14 December with a resident DJ and free nibbles from local producers is one for the diary.
Until 15 December 2019
The English Vine, 46 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3EP
Bottles range from £20-£100 with wine tasting options starting at £12. For further details visit theenglishvine.co.uk or check them out on Instagram @TheEnglishVine