In A Nutshell
An opportunity to spend about 4 hours learning about and tasting a number of small production and artisan wines from a certain region, in this case, Italy. There’s also some food paired with the wine
Various spots in London, this was held near London Bridge
£45 (inc VAT)
Wine newbies, wine nerds, wine connoiseurs and everyone inbetween – you don’t need to be an ‘expert’, but if you are it doesn’t look like it’d be a problem
People who want to meet new people & people who want to do some business networking (probably a great idea if you’re in the wine industry)
Does what it says on the tin
In Vino Veritas
Last week I headed down to The Haciendas Club in Broken Wharf to see what wine education startup, Humble Grape, were all about.
In a nutshell, they arrange events dedicated to specific regions or kinds of wine. This one was about Italy, dubbed the ‘Grand Turismo’ – a grand tour of wine.
As you’re probably aware, it’s not possible to fully cover Italy’s wine in an evening. It would probably take many evenings and you’d probably miss a few and then you would be sad :(.
However, they picked out some of the more popular wines, and matched them up with an array of mainly Spanish foods (think chorizo, jamon serrano, various cheeses, etc). There’s also a few complimentary glasses of Prosecco for sharing before everybody’s sat down for the tasting. (FYI: Ghisolana Prosecco Over 100 Extra Dry 2012 Veneto 11%)
The Haciendas Club itself provides a magnificent view over the Thames as the sun goes down…
I am not going to write any tasting notes for said wines as I’m…
1. Not really a good enough wine taster to do so
2. Not able to write about this without using words like ‘ballsy’ ‘goddamn mouth party’ and ‘goddamn mouth explosion’ (especially/always in reference to Barolo)
I shall instead list them for your convenience…
1. Podere Ruggeri Corsini Langhe Bianco 2011 Monforte d’Alba Piedmont 13.5% £15.00
2. Vecchie Terre di Montefili Vigna Regis 2011 Panzano Tuscany 13.5% £30.00
3. Vecchie Terre di Montefili Chianti Classico 2009 Panzano Tuscany 13.5% £21.00
4. La Colombina ‘Palpito’ Sant’Antimo Rosso 2009 Tuscany 14.5% £15.00
5. Podere Ruggeri Corsini Barolo Bussia 2008 Monforte d’Alba Piedmont 14.5% £33.00
6. Vecchie Terre di Montefili Anfiteatro 2005 Panzano Tuscany 13.5% £45.00
My favourite was, of course, the Barolo (#5). This is because Barolo is never not absoloutely delicious. Despite being good, #6 didn’t feel like it justified the price. #2 was also pretty far out there, a very memorable and completely unexpected taste…
At the end of the event you’re also given the offer to buy a case or more of the ones you like (I think it’s a 6 order minimum). As they don’t stock all that many, some of the more popular cases run out pretty fast.
The ‘education’ bit is facilitated by James (the founder), Cameron and Sofia (who is Italian and therefore expert). There’s a slide presentation about each wine, where it comes from, why they chose this one and what you might get when you taste it (hint: swallow and ask for more – ooooooooooooooooo he went there).
The presentation starts off well, but inevitably as the night goes on and the mean blood alcohol level rises, each subsequent presentation is interrupted a little sooner by noisy attendees (this bit reminds me of unruly classes at school). You also get to Q&A the guys about the wine – which is great if you’re a wine nerd like me.
They don’t overfill your glasses, perhaps providing a little less than you’d like (which is probably a good idea, an entire room of drunken people doesn’t sound all that great). They’re quite generous with the food though, there were at least 2 plates of delicious goat cheese left at the end of the night, despite the fact that they continually restocked people’s tables, multiple times, with each wine course.
My main gripe (humble gripe?) was that they missed out both of my favourite Italian varieties (Amerone, Primitivo). Just sayin’.
The night ends with most people at various levels of merry (but not drunk) and an informal drink at a nearby bar, where you can hang out with the ‘Humble Grapers’ (who are all super friendly and excellent) and maybe get to know that person you were sitting next to at the event a little better (if you haven’t chatted enough already…)