[Flickr: Alex Brown]
Good news, grape guzzlers – today is the first day of London Wine Week (May 18-24). You may still be getting over your weekend hangover, but our advice is to bosh a Berocca, line your stomach and get back out there to take advantage of some awesome vino-centric happenings. Here’s our pick of the week’s highlights.
Pair your plonk with some pétanque
L’Entrepot in Hackney will be turning the French vibe up to 11 toward the end of the week, with aperitifs from Regal Rogue vermouth (a fortified wine, so it counts) and the opportunity to pretend you’re a Parisian nobleman by playing a bit of pétanque. Never played pétanque? It’s a bit like boules. Never played boules? Just grab a drink and wing it.
Fri May 22, 7pm-10pm. Free. L’Entrepot, 230 Dalston Lane, E8 1LA.
Pretend you’re in an R&B video
London Wine Week’s big closing party takes place under the railway arches at Mission in Bethnal Green, where, as well as a barbecue and a line-up of DJs, you can get stuck into a selection of rare tipples, all served from 1.5 litre magnums. Snapping a picture with a gigantic bottle either side of your head is definitely a good idea.
Sun May 24, 4pm. £25. Mission, Paradise Row, E2 9LE.
Boost your pairing powers
At some point in your life you’re going to need to know what kind of wine to serve with grilled salmon or blue cheese or a mint Viennetta, so you’re going to have to either A) get very good at bullshitting or B) learn about wine pairing. And who’s better placed to teach you than the magnificent French dudes at Le Cordon Bleu? Nobody, that’s who.
Thu May 21, 7pm and Sat May 23, 11.30am. £25. Le Cordon Bleu London, 15 Bloomsbury Square, WC1A 2LS.
Hop on a flight
If you do nothing else during London Wine Week, be sure to bag yourself a wristband (you can get two for a tenner with our exclusive offer) and drop into the sort of bar you’d only traditionally frequent after inheriting a large sum of money. Among our favourite venues offering tasting flights or similar offers throughout the week are London Cocktail Club, Sager & Wilde and Riding House Café.
Throughout the week, various venues. Use Time Out’s exclusive offer and get two wristbands for £10.
Try before you buy
Are you destined for a career in the wine business? Find out by popping along to the Honest Grapes Wine Challenge, where you’ll sample around 15 different drinks and then slur some opinions as to which ones you reckon are best. Cue embarrassment as it’s revealed you’ve rated a cheapo bottle of table plonk above a ferociously expensive vintage.
Mon May 18, 6.30pm-8.30pm. £20. Brunswick House Cellars, 30 Wandsworth Road, SW8 2LG.
Get tickets for London Wine Week here.