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London Wine Week 2014A whole host of events is scheduled for London Wine Week (2nd – 8th June 2014). Plenty of opportunities for sampling at various bars and restaurants plus a few other wine activities that caught my eye, the pick of which are detailed below

London Wine Week 2014

A unique seven day celebration of the capital’s emerging and passionate wine scene; London Wine Week aims to decode the wine list. Buy a wristband for access to the self-guided Wine Tours and enjoy fantastic wine by the glass or flight for just £5 each in more than 130 of London’s best bars and restaurants.

Message on a Bottle: design your own wine label at Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor Food Hall. Available for customers who purchase a bottle from the acclaimed Harvey Nicols Own Label wine selection.

And talking of Harvey Nics, who as one of the main sponsors and one place to buy the wristbands from, they have plenty of events throughout the week, the highlight for me being the Cloudy Bay Chelsea Garden Terrace. This is the Cloudy Bay RHS Chelsea Flower Show Sensory Garden recreated on the fifth floor Terrace. A full range of the New Zealand producer and a special menu to complement them.

In Greek Street The Churchill’s Port House pop-up have collaborated with chocolatier, Paul A Young to create a paired port and chocolate tasting. The wines will include a Churchill’s dry white port, 10 year old tawny, LBV, Quinta da Gricha 05 Vintage and the 1997 Vintage port. Chocolates include a cigar leaf caramel and a honey and roasted almond truffle.

Portuguese wines also appear at Canela Restaurant in Earlham Street with Torre do Frade from the Alentejo (see video below), Pesqueira from the Douro and, I believe, Oscars latest vintages too.

The Providores and Tapa Room is opening its wine list – they boast the largest premium New Zealand wine list in Europe – Monday 2nd June the restaurant will open around 85% of its wine list for a ticketed public tasting. Guests will be able to sample these wines as well as experience Peter Gordon’s fusion cuisine canapés. Sessions are from 5.30pm to 7.00pm or 7.30pm to 9.00pm at £15.00 each.

On the Saturday are Wine Sessions at The Apiary (458 Hackney Road). These see speakers sharing their most interesting wines, from ‘top-end burgundy to biodynamic thrillers, and many cult producers in between’. Ticketed tastings cover everything from the basics of wine discovery to rad food matching.

Already confirmed are sessions from The Guardian’s Fiona Beckett, Doug Wregg of Caves de Pyrène, critic Jamie Goode, Telegraph and Olive wine writer Victoria Moore, The Independent’s Anthony Rose, Richard Hemming of jancisrobinson.com, Michael Sager-Wilde, Charlie Young of Vinoteca, Courtney Stebbings from Lyle’s, Mayfields chef Matthew Young and Jack Lewens of Skye Gyngell’s Spring, set to open this autumn.

Tickets for all talks are all £20, except for Rad Food Matching at £40. First talk starts at 12pm, and the bar opens at 12.30pm. Entry to the bar (Quality Chop House, Passione Vino, Noble Fine Liquor) and bookstore (Material Gallery) is free.

I’ve a ‘thing’ at the moment with Electro-Swing – music from and inspired by the tunes of the 1920′s and 30′s given a modern take. So an evening of tasting the range of Ayala Champagnes – the wine of choice of the ‘Bright Young things’ and paired canapés sounds ideal to “bring to life the music, glamour and effervescence of this gilded age”. Roux at Parliament Square on the Thursday, £25.

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