Wine tasting at Veeno

The Boy and I were invited along to Veeno recently, to see what we thought of their wine tasting experience. We were clearly very pleased to oblige, as regular visitors to the St Martin’s Square wine bar.

We were treated to the Selezione tasting session – a range of five wines with an antipasto platter, followed by a sharing dessert and accompanying dessert wine.

The hardest thing is resisting the delicious nibbles laid out in front of you when you arrive. The platter is so tempting, but be warned – each element has been carefully picked to match with your wine so you need to keep some of each to enjoy at the opportune moment.

I really loved the Mozzarella di Bufala, matched with the first, driest wine, the Grillo grape in Sicani wine. All of the wines at Veeno come from the family vineyard in Sicily, Caruso & Minini and this tasting demonstrates the impact in the different geographical conditions enjoyed by their land holdings – this wine is grown on the tallest hill to give the best freshness and crisp acidity. It has a slight floral note to it which I found very pleasant and I enjoyed the match.

Next up was the Zibibbo, a big, rounded wine with some interesting spicy notes but an overall fruitiness which gives a delicious texture. This was paired with the pungent Pecorino al grotta – seasoned in the cave, with a earthy rind and strong flavour which cut nicely through the richness of the wine.

Veeno only have one rose, and it is made with Syrah, without the skins, but still holds enough tannin to give it interest over more commercial roses. This was a particularly good pairing, with the smokey speck giving a contrast to the light fruitiness of the wine and really bringing out the best in both.

After this we were on to the reds, and I’ll be honest, the pacing was a little slow for me. With 70ml pours and a tempting platter of food that you really needed to avoid eating until the allotted time, we found ourselves growing slightly impatient. However, this did give you the time to digest your food properly and so we found ourselves getting surprisingly full. The Perricone is a wine that I will often order at Veeno and the hint of liquorice on the nose is surprising and mellows into a light earthy flavour in the mouth. Matched with the slightly heavier, savoury flavour of the Bresaola – a preserved beef, this again was a beautifully savoury match that I would return to.

Finally, the Nero d’Avola Riserva gave all of its deep dark fruit and cocoa notes up to a beautiful match with the headiness of the Gorgonzola. The match I had been waiting for all evening, it did not disappoint, particularly as we had been there for several hours and so the gorgonzola had melted beautifully and was at a perfect oozing room temperature.

And finally, it was on to the Tagos and Tiramisu. Well, sort of. They’d run out of Tagos, so we had the end of the bottle, not quite a serve, with a glass of Marsala as a substitute. Which was a shame as the cinnamon notes in the Tagos made it an excellent match with the creamy coffee flavour of the tiramisu and the texture was a better match too. But there you are.

I found it a well thought out evening. All of the pairings are great – the food really brings out the best in the wine and vice versa. Apart from my reservations about the pacing of the evening, I would happily pay to do it again. It would be a great experience to share with friends, or as an intimate evening as a couple. Thank you to Veeno for giving us the chance to experience it.

PS – don’t miss the olive oil and balsamic for dipping your bread – they are both fantastic quality.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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