Wine in bars is far too often bland, uninteresting and overpriced. As such, we've been drinking wine at home, and going out for cocktails, where artisanal spirits can be found more easily.
But, I'm a wine lover first and foremost, so around my birthday in August, I really wanted to find a place for a few friends to experience a selection of wines, but where we didn't have to keep getting up to enomatic machines every few minutes. That really does tend to break the flow of a group, even if I do enjoy the chance to experiment, and encouraging everyone to try something new.
And what a night we had. Starting off with a glass of Fino was perhaps not the wisest when beginning the night at 6.30 but it had been a tough day at the office. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Mr Purple Teeth loved his Amontillado and my tipple was perfect.
Learn more about orange wine here. While it's an acquired taste, it's also exciting to think we can try wines made in much the same way Georgians invented wine over 7000 years ago.
I blame the Orange wine. With almost 20 orange wines on the list and 5 out of 7 orange wine virgins, I thought it would be a good chance to try something very different. Billed as "whites emulating reds" (while the 6 roses are "reds cavorting as whites"), there are more orange wines here than I've ever seen before. Sticking to the lower price bracket, we chose one from Alicante. It's fair to say it wasn't popular. Even as I suggested they think of it as being like cider, I knew I was onto a loser. I much preferred the handcrafted, unfixed and unfiltered GruVe, but felt duty bound to sup up most of the orange wine rejects. Luckily it was a mere 11% abv, as only one other drinker could be convinced.
Most of the party preferred progress to tradition, but if you're willing to experiment, there's a £9 orange wine from Georgia in a Marks and Spencers near you...
The Primitivo was an instant hit with all 7 of us. Foolishly, we ordered a second bottle. At around this point, we found ourselves laughing hysterically. And yes, loudly. We were actually asked to keep the noise down! By Americans! Seriously.
This could not take the shine off our evening. We'd had great charcuterie, cheeses, monkfish, chorizo, frittata and all kinds of other things. And we were having a great time. I cannot share any pictures of my companions for fear of incrimination. Suffice to say it was a great evening. And perhaps, we ought to have ended it there.
But no... When you've been presented with a wine list this extensive, going home after the reds feels like failure.
In retrospect, that probably wasn't wise, but from what I can recall, it was a fairly magical experience.
You may not want to trust my judgement at that point, however!
#AwesomeAugust was official. My birthday celebrations off to a fine start. The hangover, miraculously minor (no I have no idea how either!). Friendships made, fun had, and a new favourite bar added to my list.
The Remedy has cured my dependence on cocktail bars for Friday night entertainment.