I love opening an e-mail and reading ‘I would like to invite you to join us………’. That’s exactly what happened when I was contacted by Veeno, The Italian Wine Cafe asking if I would like to attend ‘a complimentary wine tasting at our press & bloggers event on the 7th March’……Italian…….wine…….yes please, thank you!
I headed to York excited to try a number of beautiful authentic Italian wines and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I found Veeno The Italian Wine Café in the centre of York on Piccadilly. I walked in and was warmly greeted, handed a glass of prosecco (great start) and pointed in the direction of the wine tasting table. I took a seat with other bloggers and waited patiently for our wine tasting to begin. Nino one of the founders of Veeno came and sat with us and explained how Veeno came to be. He explained that he grew up in Italy but moved to Manchester to follow his studies where he met Andrea, his co-founder, also an Italian living in Manchester. They discovered that they had a joint passion for quality wine and authentic food.
He went on to explain that in Italy there is the culture of Aperitivo which means nibbling and drinking in a relaxed and informal atmosphere with friends and family – right up my alley! So that’s what they set about doing, creating a place were people could chill out, have a snack and enjoy a glass of good quality wine and thats how Veeno was born. All wine in the cafés are from their family vineyard in Marsala, Sicily making the experience truly authentic. They opened the first Italian wine café in Manchester in November 2013 and now have cafés in Leeds, Nottingham, Liverpool and of course York with more planned in the near future.
On to the wine tasting. Massive boards of breads, meats and cheeses were placed in the middle of the table together with bottles of the five main wines we would be tasting. *Disclaimer – I am in no way a wine connoisseur, even though I do drink a lot of it 🙂
“House White Dry”
This was my favourite of the wines that I tried. It was very light even though it is classed as dry. It is 12%, priced at £10.90 a bottle and was paired with Altamira bread and family produced oil.
2. “Our Fruitiest”
Another white wine. This one tasted stronger to me and was a firm favourite of the group. It is 12.5%, priced at £14.90 a bottle and was paired with olives and bruschetta with olive paté.
3. “Our Smoothest”
The first of the reds, I’m not particularly a red wine drinker but this one was lovely and I found it very easy to drink, It is 13.5%, priced at £14.90 a bottle and was paired with Salame Milano.
4. “Our Classic”
Again, as not much of a red wine drinker this one was probably my limit of strength as it is quite rich. It is 13.5%, priced at £14.90 a bottle and was paired with 18 month seasoned Parma ham slices
5. “The Elegant”
The richest red which was just that bit too rich for me, saying that after 4 other glasses I still drank it 🙂 It is 13.5%, priced at £18.90 a bottle and was paired with Parmigiano Reggiano (which was lovely).
By this point it was quite evident that we’d all had a bit of wine as conversations were in full flow at the table and we were all really into the experience. That’s why we were all surprised when we were presented with a sixth glass of wine!
6. “Marsala Superiore Riserva”
Very sherry like, strong and sweet – a great dessert wine. It is 18% (and boy you can tell), priced at £18.90 a bottle and paired with delicious homemade Tiramisù.
I had a great night – thank you Veeno especially Nino, Alex and Jane. I feel I now have a better appreciation of wine and what should accompany it. I liked it so much I intend to visit the Leeds branch with friends for my birthday in May and introduce them to Veeno and their fabulous wines. If you sign up to the Veeno newsletter you too will receive a free wine tasting on your birthday 🙂 With further branches opening in Harrogate, Bristol and Edinburgh soon, why not try Veeno for yourself? Or order a bottle from their website to try at home?