For this coming week only, Selfridges’ up-market and comfortable Wonder Bar in Oxford Street, London is offering a great deal with 25ml tastes of a range of 52 Decanter Trophy winning wines. At the launch I enjoyed sips of a Castillo de Molina Sauvignon from Elqui, Chile; Wild Earth Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand; Chianti Classico Sinosa from Italy; Viña Chocolan Maipo Carmenère from Chile, Justin Isocoles 2005 – a Bordeaux blend from Paso Robles, California; and Jackson Triggs Riesling Icewine from Canada among others. It’s just a fantastic opportunity for wine lovers who can get to London’s Oxford Street to taste a few top wines in ideal conditions from an Enomatic machine.
If you’ve never used an Enomatic, they are help-yourself wine dispensers where wine is kept in temperature controlled conditions with Nitrogen automatically injected to protect the wines against oxidation. You purchase a type of credit card and help yourself – for this week, for just £10 you can purchase either a) 10 samples of wine for £20 or under or b) five samples of wine £20 or over. It’s a good deal for this quality of wine.
The irony is that the local authority Westminster Council does not approve of the 25ml tasting sample as was reported by Decanter last year here. After this coming week, servings will go back to the normal glass sizes of 125ml or 175ml instead of what sommelier Dawn Davies of Selfridges would like to offer – the more civilized tasting samples of 25ml/50ml/125ml. This is an entirely bizarre situation in a country that is concerned as many are, with cracking down on excessive drinking. Here is a chance for wine lovers to taste a range of top-class wines in a modest tasting sample size and it is technically illegal. Governments and local authorities would be better expending energy on outlawing the ridiculous ‘large glass’ of 250ml (a third of a bottle) available in nearly all pubs and wine bars.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: an official consultation programme is now taking place. See this article in Jancis Robinson’s website.
Selfridges Wonder Bar is open 12 – 8pm (9pm on Thursdays) – the entrance is on Orchard Street. The Decanter Trophy Tasting Event runs only till Friday 17th October.
If you can’t get down to Oxford Street for this little wine tour of the world, why not consider subscribing instead to Wine Travel Guides to plan your own wine tour in 2009.