Roll out the barrel for tastings at Tannin & Oak
- Credit: Archant
Run by Avie Yiangou, the wine shop and bar opened two months ago on the site of Brooksby Wine as a logical extension of his existing wine import business
West Hampstead’s latest foodie destination is Tannin & Oak in West End Lane.
Run by Avie Yiangou, the wine shop and bar opened two months ago on the site of Brooksby Wine as a logical extension of his existing wine import business.
On the night I dropped by, the genial host of this local independent was eager to share his extensive knowledge and passion for the grape.
A shareholder in the Hampstead Butcher, he stocks fine wines by quality producers, but if you pop in for a bottle, you may find yourself staying all evening.
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Select a bottle from the shelf, and you can enjoy it, perched on stools at zinc-topped counters, for just £5 corkage. A further £10 buys you a delicious meat or cheese platter served with bread, crackers, pickles or quince jam.
Avie’s idea of hosting “friendly gatherings where people come to enjoy a glass of wine with cheese and charcuterie” was in evidence at a sell out event with winemaker Rodrigo Zamorano from Chile’s Caliterra vineyard in the Colchagua Valley - the first of such regular such evenings.
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Starting with a glass of prosecco, the £30-a-head crowd were talked through Chile’s geography and Mediterranean climate – hot, dry but cooled by sea currents – which is perfect for wine-making.
The Spanish Conquistadors brought vines with them, but Chile’s wine industry has developed more recently with a broader range of grape varieties such as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenere.
Caliterra itself was only planted in 1997 and Zamorano is among those trying to elevate the country’s wine offer above its reputation for cheap and cheerful. Raised in France he favours the flavours from French oak barrels to produce quality reds.
Making sure we all got a decent taste of three reds and two whites, Avie says he hopes locals will come in, browse and taste with “no obligation to purchase anything.” But it’s unlikely you’ll leave without a bottle of something.
“Sharing our knowledge with others is what we do best. We sell wines that we believe in and offer our customers what we ourselves truly enjoy.”
Tannin & Oak, 278 West End Lane tanninandoak.com 02037954550. caliterra.com