2017 London Wine Week
Whether expert or novice, anywhere you might be headed through Sunday, there is a venue, a booth, a popup or a goblet full of vino just waiting for you.
Simply grab yourself a festival pass – only a tenner – and spend the week visiting bars (see the full list of all 125 venues here) serving delicious £5 wine flights and “sip + snack pairings”. Which means, even if you’re broke or especially if you’re hungry, you can find something to tickle your fancy. In this time of social need, the city will be teeming with smart wine bars and little temporary bistros where you can use your pass, all full of fellow friendly plonk-drinkers, so you’d be foolish not to grab one and get out of the house. As they are saying on the official site: treat yo self.
The event PCB is most excited about is called Drinkup: The Wine Edit. (Hey, LWW, no need to get bossy, you had me at hello.) This is a first for the 2017 London Wine Week: a huge three day pop-up in Bethnal Green, East London, where you can pretend you are in a big vineyard representing the best wines from all over Europe – an Epcot Center of vintages, without the annoying kids.
That’s at Oval Space (not to be confused with the cricket ground), 29-32 The Oval, London, E2 9DT
DATES: Thursday the 8th and Friday the 9th, from 6pm til you get kicked out at 11pm
Saturday has two sessions: daydrinking, for those brave enough, from noon til 5pm, and the second shift goes 6pm til 11.
To make your wine-tasting experience easier to manage, here is a day-to-day guide to London Wine Week 2017:
MONDAY – Here we go
Kick off LWW in style and learn ba bit of what makes a sommelier earn their wages at a pairing dinner with WSET (that’s the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, in case you didn’t go to college there). Dine on a meal of beautifully crafted Thai cuisine at the Covent Garden hotel while learning how the major flavours in your food affect your enjoyment of wine. You’ll also learn how to decipher a wine list, not just choose the second cheapest. Grab a ticket here.
TUESDAY – Pop-Up Tuesday
Head over to the LWW base at Devonshire Square after work (yes, cut out early, the rain will be done by 5pm) and explore all the fantastic wine pop-ups. You’ll see the Freixenet Vintage Van, serving its brand new prosecco as well as the Viva Portugal Bar celebrating all wines Portugese, the Container Bar from Wines of Argentina channeling Latin American vibes and the Vins de Provence Pop-Up pouring delicious rose wines from the south of France. Once you’re done making teheb rounds, head out to explore the many local Aldgate-area bars serving wine flights and sip + snack pairings.
WEDNESDAY – You should eat something
Wednesday night is Plan Your Own Adventure. Pick an area of the city (dartboards are acceptable) and plan your evening around what you’d like to sip on. Why not head to the City and try wines paired with artisanal cheeses and meat at Searcys at The Gherkin, a Spanish wine flight at Humble Grape Fleet Street, fried oysters and Reisling at Hawksmoor Guildhall or (and?) a trio of white and red wines and little-known grapes from Slovenia, Croatia and Lebanon at Bread Street Kitchen. And that’s just one area! The New Zealand Cellar in Brixton is an option, Bouverie road Wine bar in Stoke Newington – your app will guide you.
THURSDAY – Warm up for the Weekend
Start your Thursday off with free glass of fizz at Honest Grapes Unfiltered pop-up inside Oliver Sweeney’s flagship store in Covent Garden. Simply flash your festival pass for your freebie and you’ll also get a goodie bag to take home. They’ll also have a selection of their favourite wines to try, buy and discuss as you meet the Honest Grapes team in-person and on tour. Once you’ve had your complimentary aperitif, there are two dinners tonight for you to pick from, just ask for details
Treat yourself to a beautiful Champagne dinner with Pol Roger as they serve up a number of vintages in magnums, jeroboams and methuselahs all paired with a dish from The Beast menu, offering guests a unique gastronomic experience, featuring Norwegian King Crab and hand-selected dry-aged Nebraskan Angus Beef. Grab a ticket here.
Alternatively head over to Vintoteca Marylebone for a #Loiremoments evening and be transported to the beauty of rural France, joining Loire Valley Wines at for a food and wine pairing, starting with Muscadet, and moving through Saumur, Chinon, Vouvray, Touraine and Crémant de Loire. Book yourself in here.
FRIDAY – The Wine Edit
It’s finally the weekend and time to head to The Wine Edit. No, we don’t know exactly what the namje means, but it’s going to bge a blast and PBC will be there with bells on. Tonight and all day tomorrow LWW takes over The Oval warehouse space and is building a giant vineyard complete with four wine bars pouring Ribera Del Duero, Loire Valley Wines, sherry from Jerez, as well as a Rogue Terrace serving vermouth cocktails al fresco. What’s not to love? You don’t have to get up early.
If you’re coming to The Wine Edit tomorrow then LWW advice is to spend your Friday night drinking Fino sherry straight from the barrels (or an ice cold “Cervezas” on tap) with two sets of DJs at SACK Bar’s Sherry Disco Fever.
SATURDAY – it’s all about the brunch
Prepare to eat your way through the morning – Regal Rogue aperitifs, pastries, fresh fruit, coconut soy mushrooms, miso aubergines, baked eggs & crisp halloumi – brunch is served. Get yourself into the Ultimate Rogue Brunch to feast and make merry before spending the afternoon in the Wine Edit (which your ticket includes!).
Came to The Edit last night? Then head on over to King’s Cross where Wine Car Boot is taking over for the day. Local wine merchants from across London rock up with their current favourite wines and you get to taste them, buy them, drink them right then and there or take them home and enjoy whenever you fancy.
SUNDAY – Almost there
Round off the London Wine Week festivities with a spectacular Sunday brunch as wine-expert Lindsay Oram hosts a bespoke Loire Valley Wines meal on Sager+Wilde’s mezzanine on Paradise Row. Get yourself a spot at the table here.
… and that’s it. By now you’ve shaken off the recent sadness, tried new things, supported the burgeoning English wine industry, and had a hell of a week in the greatest city in the world. And if you missed out, Cocktail Week is a mere four months away.
London Wine Week takes place across various London venues from 5th to 11th June. For tickets, more information and the full lineup of activities and partners, check out their website here
A former ABC National, Dallas and Atlanta radio personality, Martina O'Boyle is now making movies and covering culture in London, Dublin, and as far in Europe as the cheapie flights will take her, for Pop Culture Beast.