After we attended the launch of Veeno's new menu there was no doubt in our minds that we would soon return. However, we didn't realise it would be so soon, until an invite popped up on my Twitter feed for one of Veeno's AperItalia Guest Wine Tasting evenings. Well, of course, how could I refuse? With a quick check to see if Ryan wanted to join me, we were booked in on Wednesday 25th May and headed down with childish excitement.
I must confess that I was a little nervous heading in to Veeno this time. When I was younger, I drank a lot of white wine. When I met up with one of my best friends it was always my drink of choice, and ever since those days, I often find myself finding myself incapable of having a glass. Even the smell is enough to repel me with certain bottles, and I didn't want to be in a position where the staff thought that it was the wine's fault, and be put in to a "it's not you it's me" situation. It's pretty clear when I don't like a certain taste (if you've seen the taste test videos on my channel you'll know what I mean). And if I pulled any faces whilst tasting the wines I would be mortified.
After settling in, and soaking up the atmosphere, we were introduced to the evening by one of the staff, and talked through the wines we would be sampling. This night, they were from Sardinia. One white and one red were placed before us, accompanied by a board of nibbles that complemented the wines. For the white it was bread with aubergines, and for the red, Pecorino Sardo.
It was with initial hesitation that a sampled a sip of the white wine. At first, the taste seemed very sharp, and I think this was mainly because after so long, I just wasn't used to the taste. The after-taste of honey was very apparent, and really mellowed out the wine. After a few more sips, and a little bit of food, those initial harsh flavours went away, and I found myself really enjoying the wine. It is the best I have had in a long time, and I really hope it makes an appearance at Veeno again, because it really would make the perfect summer tipple. I can just picture myself sitting outside the wine bar, basking in the sun, people watching, and with a glass of this in my hand.
In between wine tasting, the manager of Veeno popped over to say hello, and engaged in conversation with us. It's something I like a lot about Veeno, and noticed last time. The staff really take time and effort to look after their customers, and you can tell that there is customer loyalty because of it. We all must have talked for about twenty minutes, and it was fabulous to have that interaction, because you could tell the manager was incredibly dedicated to his job, knew his wines, and wasn't there to lead you down the wrong - and very expensive - path by serving you a wine you wouldn't enjoy. He'd clearly picked up that we love our full-bodied, rich red wines from our last visit, and did warn us that the red on this occasion was very smoky and may not to be our taste.
However, over the course of our conversation, I had let my red wine air. And I think this worked in my favour, because by the time I took my first sip, the wine tasted smooth, and rich, and lovely. It did smell very dense and smoky, but it went down very well, especially with the cheese. Ryan sampled his early on, and said that the difference in taste was clear.
Once we had finished our two glasses, the manager came to see if we wanted anything else. Ryan, being more in the know when it comes to wines he likes knew what he wanted to order. I left it in the hands of the manager and ordered 'Our Smoothest' - a less intense flavour compared to the first red, but absolutely beautifully tasting. Ryan also ordered a small bowl of olives to accompany his wine, which he said were a revelation. I was completely satisfied after our initial nibbles, so just sat back and let the wine go down.
I believe the AperItalia evening was just under £10 each. Which, for two glasses of wine and a board of nibbles I don't think is bad at all. It made a great little weekday date night, and would make the perfect event to go to as an after work treat. The temptation is there to order a few more glasses of wine, especially combined with the amazing interior and welcoming atmosphere, but if you're working to time restrictions or have an early wake up call the next day, the evening gives you everything you could want, tied up in a lovely rustic style bow.
Will we be back? Oh yes! With AperItaia nights taking place the 2nd and 4th Wednesday there'll always be something new to try, and after this visit, it would be a shame to miss out!
To find out more about Veeno and their events, click here.