Last week I visited Veeno in Manchester with a friend to try their Selezione Wine Tasting Experience. Veeno is an Italian Wine Café which first opened in Manchester in 2013 and now has 15 cafés across the UK. We went along to try one of their wine tasting experiences, but what did we think?
The tasting experience we opted for was their Selezione wine tasting which costs £26.90 per person. This features five wines from their family vineyard in Sicily. Each wine is paired with a range of spuntini appetisers; an array of meats, cheeses and other appetisers imported from strictly selected Italian producers and presented on a sharing platter.
We arrived at Veeno Manchester and we were shown to our table by Sam, our wine guide for the afternoon. We were offered a glass of prosecco (£6 each) and we chatted and looked at the list of wines we were going to try during the next two hours. All of the Veeno “family wines” come from Caruso & Minini, the family vineyard in Sicily and the wine list is extensive and well considered.
Sam soon came over with our Italian nibbles. He explained that each element on the platter would be paired with a wine, so we resisted the urge to eat the whole platter in one go. A remarkable show of restraint on our part.
We began with a small glass of Grillo, a soft, buttery white wine which paired beautifully with the mozzarella and was dangerously easy to drink. Next up was a glass of Zibibbo, a delightfully and surprisingly floral wine which reminded us both of Turkish delight, which was a good thing. This was one of my most favourite wines from the afternoon. Again this was matched with a cheese, this time a delicately smoked scamorza affumicata.
Moving on to the Syrah Rosato Tasari, I’m not a great fan of rosé. I worry that all rosé is cheap, nasty pink stuff made for people who don’t really like wine. I need to get over that prejudice and this helped. The Syrah Rosato Tasari was matched to the parma ham; which as a veggie I couldn’t eat but made an approximation from the mozzarella and olives.
Our next tipple was a glass of Perricone, a hearty but not heavy red with beautiful black cherry flavours. This was matched with some bresola, which again I couldn’t sample but nibbled at the cheese and olives instead.
Last of the wines was the Nero D’avola which I described as “not shy”. This was rich and fruity, almost like Christmas cake fruits. This was paired with Gorgonzola and walnut which was almost a revelatory experience. The Nero D’avola was so intensely flavoured, it felt like it needed to be sipped in front of a roaring fire. What a find!
To finish off our Veeno wine tasting experience we were given a large portion of tiramisu to share and a small glass of Marsala wine each. The tiramisu was a great end to the meal and the Marsala sent us out into the cool autumn chill with a nice warm glow.
The experience took around two hours. It was nicely paced without either of us feeling pressured into downing our drinks to move on to the next one. Each glass was a 70ml measure, which was plenty. The experience costs £26.90 per person and we felt it was a fair price; especially given the quality of food, drink and expertise on offer.
Sam was excellent, very helpful and knowledgeable. He took us through each wine; explaining about the grape, how the wine is made, what kind of things we should be getting when we taste the wine and also what foods work well with each wine variety. The experience was excellent and all the better for having Sam talk us though it all.
We had a very pleasant afternoon at Veeno. I tried some excellent wines and ate some lovely food. I learned a few things about wine and wine making and we managed to have a gossip and a catch up whilst watching the world go by. We liked it so much that we’ve booked to go again next month!
For more information about Veeno and their wine tasting experiences, visit their website.