As I walked out of the ingenious Wine Car Boot into the very apt, crisp, fresh, blue skied November Saturday that was yesterday, three thoughts struck me. First:
“Ahh, isn’t this whole new London wine movement great: wine bars and restaurants like Sager and Wilde, 40 Maltby St and the Quality Chop House putting superb, interesting wines within reach of interested mortals; and the fact that Wine Car Boot offered, in one handy, quirky location, the opportunity to check out and buy the wares of 10 of London’s independent wine stores – all of whom demonstrated that they are a (much better but similarly priced) alternative to the supermarket.”
“Hmmm, wait a second. It was pretty good chatting with a few of the sellers, but, to be honest, I’ve still got loads of questions about wine. Like: which London restaurants do really great house wines? Which lesser wine regions would Über-mutter-oeno-goddess Jancis Robinson personally recommend to me? What, oh what, would a bearded, slightly eccentric but very knowledgeable wine chap suggest I quaff if I said to him “Tom, hit me with some big hitters”? You know, fairly generic stuff like that.”
How I chuckled as I remembered
“Oh silly me, all these questions and more will be answered in a week at the inaugural London Wine Sessions, set up by food writer and wine lover Sophie Dening and event organisers Toast. I just need to book into a talk (or three). I have a feeling Sager and Wilde and Tutto Wines are setting up a pop-up wine bar in the venue too, which will be great, so it’d be easy to stay all day. Hah, What are the chances?!”
And then one of my friends swore at me for being slow, told me we were going to miss the start of the rugby, and demanded I bought the first round of extremely gassy, cheap (but overpriced) lager from the scuzzy bar we were headed to.
London Wine Sessions runs from 11:00 till late next Saturday (23 November) at the Crypt on the Green, Clerkenwell, EC1. They’ve curated a killer set of tasting sessions for the wine-curious – read more about them and book tickets here. Entrance to the bar is free and open to all throughout the day. Proceeds go to charidee.