Wine bar crawling: Sager & Wilde, The Laughing Heart, Brilliant Corners

Michael Sager

Michael Sager

There is so much fun to be had in London these days. It has become a great wine city. On Friday night I joined up with PR person and emerging wine writer Christina Rasmussen. We did a tour of three of east London’s wine bars, two of which were new to me. I’m a wine writer, based in London, and I haven’t been to all the really good wine bars yet. It’s shameful, but my excuse is that I’m travelling more than I am at home these days.

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The Tahona

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Bergamot Negroni

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Bijou

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We started off at Sager & Wilde Paradise Row, where we caught up with Michael Sager. Here we delved into the world of cocktails, with some incredibly bold but intelligently assembled flavours, courtesy of drink maker Marcus Dzelzainis. We had a beautifully complex bergamot negroni, and then a pine negroni made from distilled infusion of pine. Then a bijou, made with chartreuse and gin, and a pretty pink aperol sgroppini. And also a Tahona, which was mescal, roasted pineapple shrub, lemon and agave caramel. Such good flavours.

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Then it was a short walk to The Laughing Heart, which is a wine bar, wine shop and restaurant, and which stays open very late (always good to know somewhere late when an evening has momentum and you don’t want to call it quits too soon). It was bustling and cheery, and Charlie Mellor found us some space downstairs, where we drank an excellent bottle of Jura Savagnin.

Les Dolomies ‘Les Gradvaux’ Savagnin 2015 Côtes du Jura, France
Intense and mineral with a lovely saline edge. Textured and fine with sweet citrus and pear skin fruity notes, but also amazing saline, mineral complexity. This is quite profound. 95/100

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The final stop of the evening was a 20 minute walk away. Brilliant Corners is a natural wine bar, a Japanese small plates restaurant and a music venue, all in one, depending on the time. It was heaving when we arrived just after 10 pm, but we still managed to find some room, and ordered a bottle of Pet Nat. It was delicious on a hot evening. It was the Jean-Pierre Robinot L’Opera des Vins L’As des Années Folies, Vin de France, a blend of Chenin Blanc and Pineau d’Aunis. Pink, precise and delicious with lovely weight and focus.

 

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