Get your corkscrew at the ready and prepare for some grape times ahead as next week sees the return of London Wine Week.
Run by the same boozy team who bring us London Cocktail Week and last year launched London Beer Week, the celebration of all things vino is only in its second year but has managed to get almost 100 bars involved in its tastings, offers and events.
You need to buy yourself a London Wine Week wristband for £10 and then you’re good to go, with access to all the week’s events and goings on, as well as special offers around town.
You can buy it online and collect it from the wine week hub at Devonshire Square at any point throughout the week — here are four reasons to fork out:
Or more accurately very good wine at reasonable prices, from more than 90 participating bars around London. At each of them a fiver will get you either a glass of something pretty special or a flight of three interesting wines to try. Venues taking part include Bar Pepito in King’s Cross, where your fiver will get you a flight of three sherries; Hawksmoor’s Spitalfields bar; Mission in Bethnal Green; and branches of Corney & Barrow, Vivat Bacchus and Vinoteca around town.
Not content with all of London’s great wine bars, the organisers have laid on some specials for the week. These include ones dedicated to Italian sparkling wine Franciacorta, the best of Portuguese wines, and much-lauded English fizz Nyetimber.
There are a lot of them to pick from, ranging from free to £125. Highlights include the option to try your hand at being a wine buyer at a one-off Honest Grapes tasting at Brunswick House in Vauxhall (£20, 18 May); a vermouth-fuelled Sunday brunch barbecue at The Gunmakers in Clerkenwell (24 May) where you’re encouraged to dress up and chill out with disco beats; and an evening of wine stories (and tastings) at Waterstones on Oxford Street where you’ll learn why different grape varieties are like rugby players, ballerinas, goddesses and ladyboys (22 May).
Dine with wine at the many top restaurants across London which are offering special good value deals on wine pairings, corkage or set meals. Those taking part include Ducksoup, Foxlow, The Quality Chop House and Wright Brothers.
So, what are you waiting for? Don't bottle out.
Visit the London Wine Week website for more information, to buy wristbands and to book events.