Grape Expectations

A wine tasting evening at Humble Grape leaves Jenny Conlon with a taste for the finer things in life.

On entering Humble Grape on Battersea Rise – T&L’s Best Wine Retailer of the Year 2016 – you really feel like you’ve stumbled into a secret rustic wine cellar, with the black wrought iron winding stairs and bottles of wine adorning the shelves top to bottom. On our visit, there was a buzzing ambience and we were welcomed by the knowledgeable and passionate staff.

We visited on a Tuesday which meant we could try the tasting Tuesday flight of wines, which I highly recommend. Not only do you get to taste some seriously impressive grapes, you leave the establishment feeling more educated. Our waiter Sebastiano explained the history and background of each of the wines we sampled. What makes this place stand out from the crowd is that it imports its wines directly from relativey unknown vineyards so the customer pays for the wine they’re drinking, allievating any unpalatable margins for agents, importers and distributors.

To start, we tried a glass of the white Roero Arneis produced in Massimo Rattalino’s small vineyard in Italy. The label itself expressed elegance and its taste was clean and fruity. The second wine we tried was called TEN Langhe Bianco and this wine was golden in colour with sweet and floral notes. We also ordered some tapas to accompany the tasting which included padron peppers (which were lightly sprinkled in Himalayan salt) and the seafood platter which consisted of oak-smoked salmon, homemade mackerel pate, Sicilian prawns, salted anchovies and samphire. These were the perfect sharing dishes to munch on while we relished each drop of wine.

We then moved onto a red wine called FIVE Langhe which is known as the big brother of TEN and this was our favourite. It was pure, silky velvet and far too easy to drink – I reckon there could be trouble if I was left alone with a few bottles of this! We also tried the Langhe Nebbioli which had quite a sharp kick with intense and distinctive notes. We enjoyed this over a platter of rosemary manchego, Teruel serrano ham and chorizo with home-made chutney.

A highly recommended win win wine situation!

2 Battersea Rise, SW11 1ED; 020 3620 2202

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