Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Wine Shop of the Month: The Tasting Room, Bath

Hello and welcome to a brand new blog series - and one that highlights something very close to our hearts - Vinspire's Independent Wine Shop of the Month! We've already explained why we champion the indie wine merchant in this post, but here's a brief recap of why we've started this series:

We all know supermarket wines often miss the mark, with sugar-filled brands and bulk-produced, low-cost blandness, and only a few real gems. The same can be said for some supermarket food, and so independent food shops are flourishing - I think we all at least sometimes go to the farm shop for some better value veggies, pop to the butchers for some tastier, locally-reared meat, or treat ourselves to a trip to the deli for that special cheese, jam or charcuterie. Right?

So why not do the same with your wine? 

Independent wine merchants are the UK wine industry's unsung heroes - they give us access to boutique wineries at reasonable prices, they don't do sneaky, misleading "discounts", and their range is diverse and adventurous enough that you'll always make new discoveries of delicious, memorable wines. Above all, the people that run them are utterly bananas about good wine, and you'll always find great service, helpful recommendations and fun tasting sessions. 

So each month, we'll be highlighting a different, brilliant indie wine shop, and they'll be bringing you Wine Wednesday recommendations that'll really hit the spot. We'll be choosing many of them based on word-of-mouth recommendations - so if you know a good one, let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

Let's get started!
Our first wine shop review is brought to us by the lovely guys at Social and Cocktail, and they've picked a cracker:

The Tasting Room, Bath

Bath is a beautiful city - with its cobbled walkways, impressive cathedral and ancient spas. Walk past Jane Austen’s old house and you’ll be greeted with a cheerful wave by a man wearing the period costume of a top hat and tails.

It’s also lucky enough to boast a fine array of independent retailers. The high-street is fending off competition from encroaching chain stores, and the indie merchant is a much-loved tradesman. Boutiques and delis offering artisan and handcrafted produce are everywhere.

One such place is the Tasting Room - an independent wine and spirits shop that sells speciality wines and liquors that are specifically picked by the owner Will Baber. After deciding to bring his skills as a sommelier directly to the customer, he opened this boutique, along with the cafe upstairs that serves tasty tapas bites and a grand selection of wine. These are selected and imported via rigorous tasting session from individual growers who also show innovation and passion for their roles.

Tasting Room recently won the Independent Spirits Retailer of the Year award, and they’re offering their expertise to Vinspire by selecting a favourite wine of the week. So, with no further delay, what should we be drinking this week?

Domaine de Millet Rose 2013, £8.95

One of our best finds in 12 years of importing wine - a rose with a lovely balance of crushed ripe summer berries, strawberries and raspberries along with a zingy crisp finish. It’s light on the palate and oh-so-easily drinkable.

Fish goes down a treat with this wine, and one of our tapas dishes that we would pair it with is the carpaccio of lemon-cured salmon and capers. If you’re serving a lovely large garden salad with goats cheese then this also makes the ideal accompaniment. Or simply enjoy the burst of flavour in a chilled glass.

Not only that but it’s made by the grape variety Egiodola, which for some reason is practically unknown, not even the very best of the British wine writers! Join some of the best restaurants in the UK and serve this up at your next summer event - even if that’s kicking off your shoes at the end of the day, twisting off the screw-top and enjoying in your sunny back garden.

We'll be back next week with a new recommendation from The Tasting Room - in the mean time, let us know what you're having for #WineWednesday on Twitter!

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