This week I got to experience wine tasting for the first time. If you know me at all you’ll know that I’m pretty narrow minded when it comes to what I drink and I only ever really order a Pinot Grigio rosè blush or a Prosecco. I’m not proud of this though so I was delighted when I got the invitation to taste wine at Vinopolis and decided to take one of my favourite people with me as a birthday treat.
Vinopolis is tucked under the Victorian railway arches of London Bridge and is the perfect place to spend the day learning all about (AKA drinking) wine. They offer extremely reasonably priced self-guided tours where you can wonder round drinking alcohol in the middle of the day with absolutely no judgement from others whatsoever. It’s brilliant.
You have the choice of going for the 7, 12 or 16 token packages which range from £27 – £38 (except at the moment because it’s Christmas and everybody ups their prices!) – We were given 12 tokens each and were nicely tipsy about 20 minutes into the whole experience.
We started off with a 15 minute ‘introduction to wine’ where we learnt to slurp, swish and guzzle instead of just swallowing. Our tour guide was delightful. He put up with us being silly and with Bint (birthday boy) nearly downing the taster glass before being taught how to taste it. He was also the friendliest French man I’ve ever come across. Once we were fully educated and ready to explore on our own we were set free to enjoy the wonder that is Vinopolis.
The building is filled with wine vending machines that squirt out little 25ml samples of wine into your glass. GENIUS. It’s on average 1-4 tokens per sample depending on the type of wine you choose. There are red wine rooms and white wine rooms as well as a Canard-Duchêne champagne lounge and a tapas bar. You can get steak, pizza, meats and cheese to accompany your wine and if you’re not hungry (AKA crazy) they have interactive quizzes (that Bint got 100% on), interactive maps and an interactive wine globe for you to play with.
The whole experience is extremely fun and educational and perfect for anyone that either really likes wine or wants to learn about wine or just wants to drink loads of wine during the day and have nobody bat an eyelid.
As well as all the wine they have a selection of Absinthe, that we sampled, set on fire at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. A Bloodshot Vodka station, Whitley Neill Gin and Element 29 Vodka for experimentation. It’s like Disnleyland for alcoholics and I highly recommend it!
We ended our experience with mulled wine and a mince pie and wondered round the shop (HUGE off licence) for a bit before we left…
We went on a stroll round Borough Market afterwards as it’s just round the corner and we treated ourselves to a Rare Str’eat meatball burrito which was SENSATIONAL. It’s worth making a day of it and walking along the river as the sun sets. It made me realise how lucky I am to live in London and how stupid I am that I haven’t made the most of it before. Get over to London Bridge before its too cold to leave the house and make sure you seek the warmth of Vinopolis some time soon.
Thanks Vinopolis and happy birthday Bint!