Tuesday, 17 October 2017

VEENO | The Italian Wine Café

Hey Everyone! 

On Sunday the lovely folks at Veeno Wine Bar invited me down to try their Selezione wine tasting experience at one of their new branches in Reading. This branch has only been open for 6 weeks but i can already see it becoming an incredibly popular place to go with friends, family and partners. They have a gorgeous al fresco area out the front, which would be perfect for a social gathering in the summer with a glass of wine in hand!
We were greeted at the door by the friendly and warm staff and shown to our table, the decor is very light and bright with fantastic fittings matching the wine bar perfectly. The bottle lights, corks in the tables and the rustic looking tasting room made a lovely touch.

After we had got settled and enjoyed a glass of prosecco and an aperol spritz - Maks our lovely, chatty and very knowledgeable waiter gave us a background about the Veeno chain. Started in 2013 by two Italian friends in their twenties, they wanted to bring the Italian way of life (drinking, nibbling on yummy Italian food and relaxing) to Manchester. 

By the end of the year Veeno was created and now authentic Italian wines and Sputini can be enjoyed all across the UK. From what i could tell, they are only improving and expanding! So, if Reading isn't close to you, don't panic.. they are opening a new branch in London in a couple of weeks! 

The Selezione wine tasting included 6 wines all from their own family owned vineyard back in Sicily - Caruso & Minini

Maks started of by bringing all the bottles of wine over to to table. He also brought over
a wine guide which had in depth details of each bottle inside, this was a really lovely touch and a great thing to takeaway! We where then brought the biggest sharing board i have ever layed my eyes on filled with authentic Italian Spuntini. It was absolutely incredible, it included a mixture of cheeses, meats and breads which all paired beautifully with the wines that we where about to try. It was all freshly cut and prepared in house and brought to us within about 10 - 15 minutes of sitting down. Being the little piggy i am, it was so so hard not to eat it all in one go..!

On to the wines.. 

The Sicani Timpune, was the first white we tried and my favourite out of the two. The taste was incredibly clean and easy to drink, leaving a nice fresh taste on the pallet.
The sub-label Timpune means 'Top of the Hill' where the grapes for this wine are used and grown. It was paired perfectly with the creamy Mozerella di Bufala, which really brought out the oak flavours within the wine. 

The Sicani Zibibbo.. the 'wine of love', was next on the list. Even though this wine was drinkable, it wasn't really to my taste, i found it very strong. The wine itself offers a wide variety of scents including spices and fruits. This was paired with the Pecorino sheep's milk cheese.

The Tasari Syrah Rosato was the one and only Rosé we tried (and I'm very glad about it).. I'm not sure if it's just me, but i get bad vibes from Rosé. It reminds me of being a teenager and having it before a night out and waking up with a smashing hangover! Even though i expressed my fears to Maks, i still gave it ago.. It was better than i thought but i still wasn't keen. This cherry coloured Rosé had a very intense fruity bouquet that had notes of strawberry, cherry, raspberry and pomegranate. This was paired with the Speck, smoked ham from Trentino.

The Sicani Perricone was the first red we tried, i was excited when he brought the reds out as (i can't believe I'm saying this..) but a nice red is definitely my choice knowadays - i think i must be getting old! The beautiful wine had hints of red fruits and liquorice - which could be strongly tasted and smelt. It was served with the most amazing Bresaola I've ever had, and when paired together my glass emptied very quickly! This wine was my absolute favourite and if i wasn't saving for a house i would of snapped up a few bottles for myself!

The Selezioni Nero D'avola Cutaja was the last red we tried and boy, did this pack a punch! At first i wasn't sure, but after a while and whilst pairing it with my favourite Gorgonzola cheeses it soon disappeared. This red is very complex and mature with scents of cocoa - it left a lovely spice on the palette! 

I have linked all the above wine to their online shop so you can read a little more in details about each one!

After we had finished the last red, we where served a delightful home made tiramisu. This was paired by the final family produced desert wine Marsala Doc, they use the same grapes they use in The Sicani Timpune to produce this. The bouquet is balanced with scents of fruits and flowers and notes of honey and cinnamon which are perfectly paired to the deliciously creamy tiramisu.

I would like to give a special shout out to Maks our incredible server for the afternoon, he had so much knowledge and explained everything with great detail. It was very enjoyable  learning about Veeno and the wines they produce. We played a few games with the wines to see if we could guess the flavours and what wine they where similar too, it was a fun added touch. Overall, a very successful and slightly tipsy Sunday afternoon!

The Selezione wine tasting experience was priced at £26.90 per person and worth every yummy penny! I will be going back 100% and i can't wait for the London branch to be up and running!

I hope you enjoyed reading this a much as i enjoyed eating and drinking the wines and food.. 

Do you love Cheese & Wine.. Have you ever visited Veeno?

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*Veeno invited myself and a guest along to try the 'Selezione Wine Tasting Experience' in exhange for a honest review

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