Who are they?
This second branch of Theatre of Wine (the first is in Greenwich) is located about halfway between Tufnell Park and Archway tube stations. They have a huge selection of wines, with a particular focus on Eastern Europe, Hungary and Bulgaria.
Why do we like them?
So they’re definitely on the quirkier side of the wine world; there’s no stuffiness here. They’re super friendly, too — within minutes of our dropping in for a nosey of a Saturday afternoon they had a glass in our hand and proceeded to convert us to the joys of cream Sherry (it’s not just for your Auntie any more). The manager also spent the best part of 10 minutes helping us choose a wine to go with dinner.
What should we buy?
The first of two wines under a tenner that are worth trying is Zagreus St Dimitar Mavrud. Yeah, we’d never heard of the grape variety before either, but this bright, juicy, dark cherry-scented red properly captured our attention. Honestly, there can't be many better ways to spend £7.70. Try it lightly chilled, ideally while tending to a BBQ.
The second wine is Saladini Pilastro Falerio. From one of the lesser-known parts of Italy, this white wine made mostly from Trebbiano (see, we were paying attention) was delicious with some fillets of sea bream, although any white fish would be a lovely match. It's crisp and dry with a lovely pear-like fruit character. At £8.90 it was also well within our £10 budget.
For a special occasion or treat, we absolutely adore the Guillaume Flute Enchanté, a French sparkling wine that is quite simply excellent value for a bubbly. It’s only £12.90 yet it’d happily pass for proper Champagne.
Theatre of Wine, 124 Junction Rd, London N19 5LB