Monday, 7 June 2010

Laithwaites Summer Tasting

By Naheen Madarbarkus

It was on to London Bridge and the latest event at the central Vinopolis winery as Laithwaites came out to celebrate their summer selection at a wine show with a difference.

The vast white room of the Gallery, found deep in the winery maze of the Vinopolis building was the perfect blank canvas for this celebration of wine. Projected images were shown on the wall as owners, buyers and production team members could be seen enjoying a tipple or two next to a barrel.

Now, I’m no wine connoisseur but I know a wine party when I see one. And the spacious gallery lined with a dozen or so tables, covered in crisp, white tablecloths certainly made it feel like heaven. On the tables were carefully placed bottles, each with their own placard displaying their origin, percentage, price and content. There were just over 150 types of red, roses and whites, with a sprinkling of sparkling, port and whiskeys to make the set complete.

To keep up with the vast selection of Laithwaites, a very useful wine guide was given to each guest at the entrance. Each page displayed more detailed information plus the all important wine bottle number that helped me pick and choose my tasters. Needing some help, I made an effort to speak to the experts about what they thought.

My first advisory was a fine gentleman who discussed his opinion about sparkling wines and champagnes. Suggesting that the pink Salmon number may be a little girly for my liking (even though I am a woman), he suggested that the Marlborough might be more for me. And he wasn't wrong – the New Zealand offering was very smooth and fruity (especially for a non-Aussie tipple). Proud of my discovery, I wondered on to the nibbles table and found a delightful spread of cheese, bread and olives (together at last). The Laithwaite people also pointed me in the direction of the recommended reds, where I soon found a Chianti with my name on it. I also tried the Bird In Hand collection, Domaine, Laithwaites own and Hunter's brands.

Wine heaven for some, it was an eventful taster with expertise on hand and some bottles that have now been earmarked for those upcoming BBQs. Forget France and head to the London Bridge wine shop and taster sessions at Laithwaites for some of the best wine in the capital this summer.

Looking for wine inspiration? Check out the Top 10 Wine Bars in London.

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