During our long weekend in London Joe and I visited Vinopolis* for an afternoon of wine and champagne tasting near London Bridge and we had such a fantastic time! For his 30th i whisked Joe off on a surprise trip to Edinburgh where we took part in a whiskey tasting class and it was great fun so when the opportunity arose to learn about one of my favourite tipples i jumped at the chance and we both got stuck in.
Vinopolis is tucked away under the Victorian railway arches near Borough Market with exposed brick walls, super high ceilings and a very warm welcome. We checked our coats into the cloakroom and were greeted with an ice cold sample of wine and our tutor before being led into our wine tasting group lesson. Our tutor gave us the low down on the basics of wine tasting in an interactive and very informative session which Joe and I found fascinating. After 20 minutes of sniffing, slurping and identifying flavours we were let loose into Vinopolis with our new found knowledge of the good stuff and began our wine experience.
Vinopolis is split into different sections – White, Red, Spirits and Champagne – with sub-categories in each such as dessert or rose wines. Your wine is dispensed via machines around each section which you control using your Vinopolis credit card and depending on the package you choose you will have a certain number of tokens to spend. Simply slot your card into a machine and press to dispense the wine you want to try – it pours your 25ml sample into your personal glass and you can slurp and sniff away to your hearts content! We went for the Classic Package* with 12 tokens each and found this ample. Each sample of wine varies between 1-8 tokens with the majority of those we tried not going over 2. There’s also a Canard-Duchene Champagne Bar where you can try a range of delectable champagnes ranging from 2-3 tokens each which we ended up sitting in twice…for research purposes of course. You can also top up your tokens at just £5 for four if you feel like tasting even more wine throughout the day. Alongside the interesting wine and champagne collections there’s also a spirits bar with various bottles to wet your whistle and a tapas restaurant in the middle if you fancied a bit of something to nibble on before getting back to the job at hand.
There’s plenty of information up on the walls to read and learn as you go round and the Vinopolis staff are all on hand if you need a bit of extra help. We tried so many interesting wines that really opened up our taste portfolios ad it turns out i’m a natural at wine tasting nailing every description in just one sip – i think i might be in the wrong job! I found a Pinot Gris that i instantly fell in love with despite the description being completely the opposite to what i would have normally chosen. We left with a head full of knowledge, a new found fascination in wine and a warm feeling in our tummies – what a way to spend an afternoon!
You can take a look at all of the events being held at Vinopolis and book your experience on their website here – packages start from just £27.