10 months ago

Want to try before you buy? Head to the Balham Wine Tasting Shop

Want to find some new wine? The Wine Tasting Shop in Balham is the perfect place to go. We recently went to a tasting evening and had a ball.

The Wine Tasting Shop is located in the beating heart of the foodie Mecca of Balham; Hildreth Street. It’s nice to have it there; offering a respite from the saturated brunch scene and a place to roll towards after your ham and cheese toastie at Blackbird Bakery next door. But the Wine Tasting Shop is much more than just a ‘shop’. They stand strongly next to their tagline ‘try before you buy’ and offer loads of wine tasting events too.

We went down to experience one such evenings. This time they had a special guest appearance from Giorgio Viberti “Ballerin” who provides some of the Italian wine for the shop. Straight from the Cuneo province of Italy (Piedmont area for those who know), this was a wine tasting for 6 of his favourite wines thoughtfully paired with some delicious food. Here’s what went down:

To kick off the evening we had the the Piemonte Spumante Brut Chardonnay (2015), a light and sparkling number which came with robiola rocchetta; a really buttery traditional Italian goat cheese. Second was the white. A Langhe Bianco (2021) paired with Pont l’Évêque, another soft and creamy cheese. This was an early favourite. It was a strong 95% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Grigio composition, but according to the experts, that 5% adds a honey like texture to the wine, making it a little more interesting and very delicious. 

Credit: @thewinetastingshop

Then the reds! First was the Barbera d’Abla (2021) served with Pecorino Sardo, followed by the Langhe Rossi Ultimi Grappoli (2015) which came with some porky Speck Del Trentino, which was sort of like prosciutto but a little redder in colour and firmer to bite into- really good, especially between mouthfuls of the red to counter the saltiness. A glass of the Barolo Bricco Rocks (2017) came with some Comte- who’s ever gone wrong with Comte? We could eat that all day long, and to finish you was the extremely elegant Barolo Bussia (2016), alongside Cecina de Vacuno, some thinly sliced, cured beef.

We aren’t wine experts, so it was nice to have someone (who had produced the exact wine we were drinking!) to come and explain his thoughts and feelings around the wine. It added so much depth to the evening to have the real life stories come straight from the source; which is something that this little wine shop does so well- the owners of are always travelling around the world looking for the best wine to show off in their Balham-based shop, and we love that they invite the producers to come and talk about their story, and their passion for wine. 

Credit: @busylizzyearlsfield

The wine tasting shop also hosts lots of other events. There’s a BYO Babies on Tuesday lunch times; a popular event for new mothers or fathers to learn about wine, take a little break, and meet some other new parents too. They host live music every Friday night and keep your eye on their website for their up and coming tasting evenings too.

Charming, un-intimidating and a lot of fun. The Wine Tasting Shop truly is a Balham gem.


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