27 September 2007
By Douglas Blyde
I work and play within the wine trade. When I am not tasting professionally, I can be found with a deep glass, enjoying the soothing influences only fermented grape juice can provide...
I have a number of favourite wine bars across the capital. One of the most atmospheric, recently visited, is 'Wine Wharf', a split level former railway works facing Borough Market. With over 100 wines available by the glass and a tight-knit collage of staff eager to advise and divulge their personal favourites, this is a relaxed destination with the bonus of a faint emphasis on education. I sampled a pitch black wine there, from cult Australian producer, Heartland. Their Dolcetto, which is Italian for 'little sweet one' - meant mostly in affectionate terms, it being nearly always dry - is mixed with Lagrain, a relative of Syrah. This represents an unusual blend for the Southern Hemisphere; its components are more commonly found in Northern Italy. I liked its bold, lifted aromas of raspberry, dark cherry, mint and blueberry with a mild cocoa component on the palate and an initially raging alcoholic kick. This was thankfully absorbed by a freshly prepared Chorizo and Fennel Bake.
I compared it mentally with the Dolcetto my relatives produce at their little vineyard in Ovada, not far from Alessandria. Theirs is a much more docile, slightly frizzante rendition with brighter cherries on the nose and prunes on the palate.
The point of mentioning these wines is to show that there are rewards to trying something a little off-piste. By veering clear of generic oaky Chardonnays and just juicy, simplified Merlots, you can have much more fun, especially if the person serving the wine is generous with their knowledge.
Douglas will shortly be running tutored tastings on Saturday afternoons at 'Bedales' Wine Bar, Spitalfields.
RAILTON ROAD SE24,
Leasehold, For Sale
TEA TRADE WHARF SE1, £1,295,000 , For Sale
TOWER BRIDGE WHARF E1W, £550 , per week, For Sale
PROVIDENCE SQUARE SE1, £1,600,000 , For Sale