One of the reasons I like Cantina Vinopolis is due to its decor, or maybe lack there of, as the atmosphere is purely derived from the massive exposed brick Victorian arches (used as storage facilities back in the day) within which the restaurant is situated. It is lavish.
Upon receiving an email from Vinopolis about a wine tasting night (Old and New world wine, tasting four wines), and a three course meal, for a mere £35, how could one say no!?
New world wines are referred to those wines which are produced outside the "traditional wine growing areas of Europe", such as Argentina, New Zealand, Chile, Australia etc.
The "New World" wine night therefore consisted of:
- Sauvignon Blank, Iona Wines, West Cape, South Africa
- Leyda Chardonnay, Falaris Hill vinyard Leyda Valley, Chile
- Glaetzer Wallace, Barossa Valley, Australia
- Tomero Malbec, Valle de Uco, Medoza, Argentina
(Sorry, I do realize that he was just getting to the interesting bit, he was genuinely very interesting to listen to)
Normally a Malbec fan, I actually preferred the Barossa Valley red (which was more a Shiraz), as it was a deeper and smoother flavour, less acidic, coming from an older vine.
The contrast in the white wines was interesting, and we all liked the Chardonnay over the Sauvignon as it was aged in barrels for a 12 months period, and therefore not only had a smooth oaky flavour, but also had a lower acidity level due to this fact.
Each of these bottles ranged from between £30 and £40 on the wine list, and being our favourite, we ordered the Chardonnay to have with our meal (£30)
Although a set menu, it was vast with impressive choice and big portions.
The spiced grilled squid with Panzanella Salad, green olives tomatoes and Chorizo was also a hit.
|Rump of Lamb|
Overall, it was a big size portion and it was hearty. The ingredients were well seasoned and balanced. The semi dried tomatoes added a great zing and burst of flavour in every bite.
Now for desserts (it is part of the set menu after all)
The cheese platter, as my friend put it, "was an irresponsible amount of cheese for one person". However irresponsible, 95% of the cheese was too hard, and was either cut too soon in anticipation of serving, or has been in the fridge too long, and therefore could not be eaten with joy. Dissapointing, especially since Vinopolis has such a large selection of good wine!
|Cheese Platter dessert|
The service was good, if not slightly over attentive to begin with (with two seperate waiters coming up to our table ready to take our order within 2 minutes of eachother).
The idea of the wine evening was for us to experience the wine, but we did not get the wine menu straight away and expected to order our food first (twice with two different waiters, this stressed me out, but only slightly).
The staff were happy to help with the wine and food menu and knew it well. The bill came to £56 per head, which is £29 for the food, £5 for the tasting and £60 for two bottles of Chardonay.
It was a good evening, and the wine tasting added to this experience. Good food, good wine, good atmosphere.