I am not a wine aficionado by any stretch of the imagination, leaving the wine list and choices to others at every opportunity. When circumstances force me to make a decision alone I usually end up lost and bewildered in the supermarket wine aisle. I do have my own checklist of requirements, but it is one that would make a wine expert wince - white over red, but rose wins if it is sunny; never Chardonnay; screw-top preferable (I struggle with a corkscrew), a nice label/name is what usually swings the final decision, preferably coupled with a special offer or discount. I know there is a whole world of wine out there to be discovered, but I am aware of the fine line between being a wine buff and a wine bore and therefore relatively happy remaining blissfully ignorant. That was until I visited the first boutique 'try before you buy' wine shop in Balham, South London. The brainchild of Julia Michael an ex-British Airways hostess, The Wine Tasting Shop provides a platform for her to champion the boutique, natural and organic wine producer and change the average wine drinkers buying habits. While the formula of offering wine to sample before buying is tried and tested, no other wine shop offers the unique eclectic mix of personally chosen wines and champagnes from small producers around the world, some of which can only be found on the wine lists of the very top restaurants in the country.
The wines found at The Wine Tasting Shop provide an alternative to the boring/samey wines that are found at all the major supermarkets, aiming to offer an eclectic, interesting range, with the emphasis on small production, non-intervention in both the vineyard and winery. The majority of which are organic, bio-dynamic with a few being totally natural.
We think this is the perfect place to head for a few pre-dinner drinks, sample glasses of wines and champagne are available at 50p and £1 respectively. It really is the perfect excuse to try a few of the rarer wines that you can’t sample anywhere else and learn a bit about them, great for a wine novice like me to pick up some tips and start making better informed wine choices!
Check out the website here.