Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Sampler Wine Merchant and my quest for Vin Jaune

All my plans were thrown out of the window last weekend, thanks to Raymond Blanc. Well, his new TV programme that is. I got so caught up in his delicious description of Vin Jaune , that i made it my mission to hunt a bottle down. And i love a challenge! Now, he also said the combination of Vin Jaune and Comte was (to be said in a French Accent) ''ze must evvenly match on urse. Even a five year old boy would enjoy it''. Any wine and cheese combination that appeals to a five year old boy, MUST be good! I was sold! So after a few strategic phone calls, the man and me finally located the prize at The Sampler Wine Merchant, in Highbury and Islington.  
This place is awesome! There are hundreds of wines to choose from, but the best bit is you can try before you buy! The sample is proportionate to the price of the bottle and with prices starting at 30p, you can really get stuck in! It was actually really nice to try wines that i would never normally go for, especially the expensive ones... 
If you need any extra advice, there are loads of wine related books, to sit and peruse at your pleasure, plus the staff are super friendly and knowledgeable.
The vibe was good too. It was rather amusing to see the place slowly fill up with Arsenal fans, who had obviously just made their way, on a high, from the match that afternoon - a subsequent check on the old iphone revealed they had thrashed Blackburn Rovers 7-1! A much more sophisticated celebration than a pint in the pub...maybe that's how they do it in north London!
 Another plus... i love any establishment that has a resident dog! Say hello to Ivy...