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Top 10 London Wine Week events

A seven-day celebration of the capital’s ever-evolving wine scene taking place between 2-8 June, London Wine Week, organised by the team behind London Cocktail Week, gives curious oenophiles the chance to taste an array of wines by the glass at some of the Big Smoke’s best bars and restaurants.

In addition, a bevy of events will be taking place in every corner of the capital throughout the week, from Champagne fuelled 20s-themed parties and the chance to blend your own wine, to a tasting comparing wines to the six different stages of seduction. Read on for our round up of the top 10 events taking place during the week when the town will be painted red, white and rosé.

10: Wine tours

From cobweb-laced wine vaults and chic hotel bars, to Michelin-starred restaurants and clandestine drinking dens, over 100 venues, including 10 Cases, 28-50, Antidote, Barrafina, Bedford & Strand, Boisdale, Drakes Tabanco, Hawksmoor, HIX, Fifteen, Kettner’s, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Quo Vadis, Rotorino, Sager & Wilde, The Ape & Bird, Village East and Vinoteca, are taking part in the inaugural London Wine Week and are offering top notch wines by the glass or taster flights for the outrageously low price of £5.

All you have to do is flash your London Wine Week wristband, which can be bought here for £10, on entry.

9: New Zealand wine tasting at The Providores

Kiwi wine fans need to mosey on down to The Providores in Marylebone on Monday 2 June where the generous owners will be cracking open almost every wine on their list.

Around 85% of the list, billed as the largest premium New Zealand wine list in Europe, will be uncorked at this ticketed event showcasing a some of the most exciting wines being made in New Zealand today paired with canapés created by head chef Peter Gordon.

Producers to look out for include Seresin, Trinity Hill, Kim Crawford, Te Mata and Craggy Range. To book tickets, which cost £15 each, email:

8: Wines From Rioja discovery masterclass

Spanish wine lovers keen to learn more about the country’s flagship region should head to Laithwaite’s in London Bridge for a Wines From Rioja masterclass hosted by Sarah Jane Evans MW. The class will take place on Tuesday 3 and Thursday 5 June between 7:30-9:30pm.

Taking attendees on a tasting tour of the region, Evans MW will highlight the diversity of the wines on offer, from the lesser-known whites and rosés to oak aged Gran Reservas, with wines served alongside a range of tapas highlighting their food matching capabilities. To book tickets, which cost £20 each, email:

7: How to start a fine wine collection

Keen to buy en primeur for the first time but not sure which estate to invest in? This seminar might be for you.

Hosted by Louis Roederer Emerging Wine Writer 2013, Ella Lister, Octavian’s strategy consultant, guests will be guided through the necessary steps to build a fine wine collection, including the pitfalls to avoid.

The event, limited to 28 people to ensure each attendee receives tailored advice, will take place at fine wine emporium Hedonism in Mayfair among cabinets of Château d’Yquem dating back to 1811.

It promises Pol Roger on entry, charcuterie and cheese throughout and a tasting that pits vintage Bordeaux against old Burgundy. See for further details.

6: Make your own wine at London Cru

London’s first urban winery opened its doors in Earl’s Court last summer offering tours, tastings and supper clubs to the capital’s oenophiles. In collaboration with men’s style website Mr Hyde, London Cru is giving all wannabe winemakers the chance to blend their own wine on Tuesday 3 June from 6:30-9pm.

Guided by winemaker in residence Gavin Monery, who made 13,000 bottles of wine at London Cru last year, guests will be given a masterclass in blending, with canapés provided by Gordon Ramsay’s Mayfair restaurant, Maze. Tickets cost £40 and can be booked here once you’ve subscribed to My Hyde’s daily newsletter.

5: 1920s-themed night with Ayala

One of the original 18 Grandes Marques, Champagne Ayala came into being when the grandson of a Spanish aristocrat fell in love with the Viscount of Mareuil’s niece. Visiting France as the Consul of Colombia, Edmond de Ayala was invited to Champagne by the Viscount to learn the business.

Falling for his niece, Gabrielle d’Albrecht, as the dowry for their wedding in 1860 he received a château in Aÿ and prime vineyards in the village, which lies in the heart of the Montagne de Reims. The Champagne went on to supply the courts of Great Britain and Spain.

Drawing on its glamourous past and the decadence of the Roaring Twenties, Ayala is hosting a 1920s-themed night at Roux at Parliament Square in Westminster on Thursday 5 June. With corks popping at 7pm, the Ayala range will be on pour at the event, paired with 20s-themed canapés and music. For the full Golden Age effect, don your tuxes and flapper dresses. Tickets cost £25 and can be bought via

4: Wine zero to hero

Scared of sommeliers? Married to Merlot? Brush up on your bottle confidence with this wine bluff to buff crash course, open to everyone from novices to wine enthusiasts thirsty to learn more. Held at the Wine and Spirit Education Trust’s HQ on Bermondsey Street in SE1 on Thursday 5 June at 6:30pm, the Wine Zero to Hero course promises to prep attendees with the skills to take on the toughest wine lists in the capital.

Hosted by WSET tutor Michelle Cherutti-Kowal, the course, which includes a tasting, will offer advice on how to decipher confusing wine labels and an A to Z of wine terms. Tickets cost £20 and can be bought here.

3: Wines of Rapture

Not for the meek hearted, Wines of Rapture takes place on Thursday 5 June at 6:30pm in the appropriately titled petting room of Quo Vadis in Soho. Exploring the union of Bacchus and Venus, the risqué tasting is hosted by the dashing, debonair and dangerous Tom Harrow, also known as WineChap, who, at a previous tasting of a similar nature explained to his captive audience that smell is the most powerful, underrated and sensuous of the senses.

“We’re drawn to potential mates by their smell – Napoleon went wild for the smell of Josephine’s unwashed body,” he asserts. With six wines on pour, each will be compared to a stage of the seduction process and paired with paraphernalia from erotic emporium Bordello in Shoreditch, from leather whips to lacy lingerie.

Billed as “an inner striptease to arouse all the senses”, Harrow will educate guests on how to best use wine as a seduction tool. Tickets cost £40 and can be booked via

2: London Wine Sessions

The main event on Saturday 7 June, London Wine sessions returns for a second year in the Apiary on Hackney Road, which usually serves as a space for fashion shoots and art exhibitions.

The one-day festival will feature talks and tastings hosted by some of the brightest rising stars working in the trade today.

Aimed at both wine lovers and complete novices, LWS embraces all kinds of wines, from natural, organic and biodynamic, to fine wines, cult cuvées and wines made from little-known grapes from emerging regions.

Highlights of the festival include The Unlovables, a talk on wines and grapes perceived to be naff hosted by Michael Sager-Wilde of Sager + Wilde in Hoxton (pictured), Charlie Young from Vinoteca and Courtney Stebbings from Lyle’s; a pop-up bar from the Quality Chop House in Farringdon run by Jancis Robinson MW’s son Will Lander; music from Daniel of the Clove Club in Shoreditch; and Radical Food Matching with Matthew Young of Mayfields and Skye Gyngell’s sommelier, Jack Lewens.

Tickets to the talks cost £20 each, save for the Radical Food Matching talk, which costs £40. London Wine Week wristband wearers who buy tickets will get a free glass of fizz at the bar.

1: Wine Car Boot

Launched by former fashion model Ruth Spivey (pictured) in Hackney last August, Wine Car Boot – London’s first wine car boot fair ­– returns on Sunday 8 June to close London Wine Week in style.

Independent merchants Bottle Apostle, Roberson, DVine Cellars and the Good Wine Shop will be pouring their wines from the backs of everything from camper vans to classic cars, with wine available to taste and take home.

Taking place at West Handyside Canopy next to St Martins College in King’s Cross, entrance to the fair is accessed via Granary Square.

Berry Bros & Rudd will be making its Wine Car Boot debut, along with Haynes, Hanson & Clark and Austrian specialists Newcomer Wines from Box Park.

Hoping to encourage consumers to taste their way out of the supermarket, a selection of street food will also be on offer to help mop up all the wine. Tickets, which cost £12 and can be purchased via, include five tasting tokens, a wine bottle carrier and a Govino tasting glass.

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