I made the most of my first birthday freebie last week at Veeno, the Italian wine cafe. If you’ve read my last post about birthday freebies you’ll know that Veeno give you a free wine tasting experience on your birthday which is usually £19.90 per person. Here is everything you might need to know before booking yours!
I think people assume wine tasting will be a bit pompous or boring – and in some places it might be – but not at Veeno. I’ve been three times now and the delivery of the experience has always been relaxed and interesting. The waiter brought us each wine in turn, briefly spent a few minutes explaining the flavours of the wine, how it was made and what food it went well with on the platter. Then we were left to enjoy this wine until it was time for the next. The whole experience should last for about an hour and a half, but if you’re anything like me, my mum and my sister it will be more like two and a half hours because of all the chatting we did in between drinking and eating!
The wine tasting prices start at £19.90 per person for the Classic tasting (this is the one we did in last week). You can opt to spend a little more and go for a Selezione tasting costing £26.90 per person – this has higher quality wines and food compared to the Classic tasting. The prices are really reasonable for what you get but if you make the most of your birthday freebie it can half the cost! As long as you book with one full paying guest you can enjoy a complimentary wine tasting, £19.90 for an afternoon tasting quality wines and nibbling on authentic Italian food is amazingly cheap! Shane and I took advantage of this whilst the two of us were in York for a few days last year and treated ourselves to the selezione tasting – it did not disappoint! You can claim you free wine tasting by signing up HERE.
I went to Veeno’s Chester branch for my wine tasting but there are branches in lots of major cities across the U.K. We chose Chester as it’s not too far from where my mum lives and it’s a beautiful city for a bit of shopping and sight seeing. I met up with my mum and younger sister for an early birthday treat for me and a belated birthday treat for my mum, not that we need an excuse for a bit of midweek drinking! This particular branch of Veeno is in a prime location. It is in an amazing spot right next to Chester Cathedral with amazing views. We were seated in a lovely big bay window which was ideal for a bit of people watching. The windows were adorned with lovely little fairy lights which I imagine, in the evening or during the colder months, make for a very cosy atmosphere. The cafe was a good size and set out in a large L shape with plenty of seating both inside and out. It’s my favourite Veeno location I’ve been to so far…
We chose to do the classic wine tasting and loved the selection of wines; they were all great quality and absolutely delicious. There were two crisp whites and three smooth reds to taste along with a tiny glass of dessert wine. Before you get too excited thinking you get five full bottles of wine, you don’t. You get a taster size of about 75ml-100ml but trust me, it’s enough! I felt a tad sozzled after we even though we ate whilst drinking. On the selezione menu you get to taste a selection of premium wines; two whites, a rosé, two reds and a small sweet wine. When Shane and I did this wine tasting last year he wasn’t much of a wine drinker but everything was such good quality that he really enjoyed it. It was also at Veeno that I discovered proper red wine. Me and some friends went to the Manchester branch shortly after it first opened; they had run out of the normal red so gave us a premium one – I’ve been hooked since!
The wine tasting comes with a platter of authentic spuntini (much like a plate of antipasti or apitisers). The platter we were served was piled high with copious amounts of meats, cheeses and a variety of breads. Each element had been specifically chosen to compliment each of the wines that we were tasting. There was plenty of food for us to nibble on throughout the afternoon and the waiter was happy to bring us more olive oil and balsamic vinegar whenever we ran out. After we had tasted all fives wines and demolished the spuntini, we were presented with a little plate of homemade tiramisu to share along with the dessert wine. I was told on my visit to the Manchester branch a couple of years ago that the tiramisu is a made using a secret family recipe.
All of the wine sold at Veeno comes from a family run vineyard in Sicily. All of the wines are of amazing quality and you can tell there is a lot of pride in what they produce. The foods and other products they sell are all carefully selected and imported directly from Italy which helps to maintain a truest authentic experience. A lot of the products that we enjoyed on the day of our wine tasting were available to buy in the cafe and there is also an online store. Once you sign up to the Veeno club you will sometimes receive invites to their 50% off days on the website!
I hope I’ve inspired you to take a trip to your local Veeno and experience all the other amazing things they have to offer!
Happy wine drinking,
Thrifty Clair x