“To take wine into our mouths is to savour a droplet of the river of human history.”
Too many times have I peered down at a wine list and after a few minutes of glazing over at seemingly foreign content, muttered the stale sentence “a glass of your house please”. In a city, and in fact a world that offers such a broad, eclectic and complimentary range of wines, it was time I started bucking up my ideas and got to know my own taste buds.
The Humble Grape have teamed up with wine mogul Tim Hanni to conceive a new sort of wine tasting: Vino-Typing. Vino-Typing is centred on the premise of understanding your sensory palate to be paired with your perfect wine, and how this sensory palate can be understood and in-fact moulded by your personality, traits and normal everyday preferences. The human tongue is home to over 10,000 taste buds which differ person to person, and it is on this fact that the Humble Grape have concluded four vino-typing tiers; Hypersensitive, Sensitive, Sweet and Tolerant. Understand your taste, pair it with a wine, prepare for magic. Truly Experiences offer a broad range of wine tastings in London, but this one is certainly one for somebody looking for a fresh new approach.
Tucked down a quiet back road, I was expecting Humble Grape of Fleet Street to be a small and intimate restaurant, however we opened the doors to a spacious yet atmospheric, authentic candlelit venue, filled with the buzz of Thursday night chatter and clinking wine glasses.
With a warm welcome at the door, our wine connoisseur for the evening welcomed us with a handshake and walked us to our table. We received a light-hearted and well explained background story to Vino-Typing and how and why it came to be, and then as if he read our minds, had a bottle popping and a glass of sparkling rose being poured for each of us and a platter of meats and cheeses set down to truly set the scene. Our first tipple was a Allimant-Laugner Rosé Crémant d’Alsace – a creamy and sweet blend of strawberry, raspberry, redcurrant, blossom, lemon and pink grapefruit. Verdict = leave the bottle.
Next, it was time for a white – a Winzer Schup Rotgipfler to be exact. This golden nugget Austrian splendour has truly won the place as the best white I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. It’s embodied with cooked rhubarb, oranges, honey, gooseberry and sugar snap peas and was so smooth and delicate. Wine heaven.
I always refer to red wine as my drink of choice – a safe bet. However, during this experience my mind was swayed. We tasted a 2014 Domaine Balland-Chapuis ‘Le Chatillet’ Rouge, which was enjoyable but slightly too much of harsh and strong flavour for me. My +1 however, was more than happy to finish off my glass for me.
Last but not least was Allimant-Laugner Pinot Gris Selection de Grains Nobles, a sweet desert wine which made my face screw up like a kid sucking a sour lollypop (in a good way!). Chock-full of high-impact flavours such as raisin, dried apricot, marmalade, apricot jam, honey, pineapple, peach and greengage, my taste buds are still recovering from this delicious hit.
Vino-Typing at the Humble grape was a truly unique, vibrant, exciting and new experience. Totally different from the sort of wine tastings you might be used to, this is definitely a must-try for an anniversary, birthday, or … Thursday.
Oh, and just in case anyone ever wants to send me a bottle from The Humble Grapes cellar, I’m ‘sensitive’ palate 😉.
Cheers to that!