A couple of weeks ago I went to a lovely wine tasting at Veeno in Nottingham. Veeno is an Italian wine cafe, offering quality Italian wines and Spuntini appetisers with chains across the UK.
I’d never heard of it until they invited me along for a wine tasting, so I was intrigued to see what it would be like. I took Craig along with me whilst he was over in England and we did the ‘Selezione’ wine tasting experience, which features some of their more premium wines, and includes trying two whites, a rosé and two reds. You also get a big sharing platter filled with their authentic spuntini (appetisers), which complement each of the wines. Lastly you get to taste a sweet wine and enjoy the homemade Italian tiramisù.
Veeno began in the spring of 2013 when two Italian guys in their twenties met in Manchester to find out that they shared a unique passion; they both loved and missed the Italian Aperitivo, the ritual of drinking, nibbling and relaxing after work.
“A daily occasion to share moments of happiness with friends and family.”
They created Veeno – a place where everyone could enjoy great wines and the most authentic Spuntini – platters of meats, cheeses and other appetisers imported from strictly selected Italian producers. Their wines all come from Caruso & Minini, their family vineyard in Sicily.
We were seated at our table in the cool but cosy bar and were greeted by our ‘host’, Jess. She explained how it would all work and that she would tell us about each wine and the food it would best match with, and then she would leave us alone to enjoy it, until she thought we were ready for the next one. We loved the way it worked because there was no pressure in between learning about and trying the wines – you can just relax and enjoy the wines and food with whoever you are there with. It’s all very relaxed and fun. The whole thing takes around a couple of hours, depending on how long you spend on each wine, and how many there are in your party, so it could be quicker if you wanted it to be.
We both thought that Jess was absolutely brilliant and lovely, and I loved how passionate about the wines she was. She made us feel really comfortable even though we were pretty clueless, but this isn’t a stuffy wine tasting experience that you might imagine if you haven’t done one before.
It was really interesting finding out about the wines and I actually liked them all. One of the wines was really different and had notes of elderflower in it and was so unusual but I really liked it (Craig wasn’t so keen, but we can’t all have a well-developed pallet now can we?). It was also so fascinating to discover how different a wine could taste after eating certain foods. Jess encouraged us to taste the wines before and after trying the spuntini they had matched it with and it was crazy how different they could taste.
Speaking of spuntini; I loved that you got the platter as part of the wine tasting – cured meats, cheeses, and wine are three of my most favourite things in the whole wide world – so it was a perfect experience for me, and I loved it. I even managed to get Craig to try a sundried tomato for the first time (I know!). The food was all amazing and you got plenty of everything – I was worried it would be token tastes just for a bit of something extra, but it really is a big part of the wine tasting. We even asked if we could buy some of the ‘Speck’ (a smoked, cured Italian ham) that we tried and took loads home with us – it was bloody amazing and I might have accidentally stolen Craig’s!
The Selezione wine tasting costs £26.90 per person and it’s a really lovely experience for a treat, or special occasion. I think it’s really good value for money – you get so much included and it’s a really lovely way to spend a couple of hours. But the wine tastings start at £19.90 per person for their ‘Classic’ wine tasting if you’d rather spend a bit less. Veeno also offer a fun ‘Blind Wine Tasting’, which involves splitting into teams and guessing what the wines are – I think that would be perfect for a hen do for someone who likes wine.
At Veeno you can also just go in for a glass of one of their Italian wines or some spuntini, and there were lots of people doing that when we were there, including some Italians – so you know it must be good!
Our host Jess was amazing and really lovely, but all of the staff seemed really nice and chatted to us even after they had closed up for the night! They also have amazing limoncello which we rounded off our great evening with!
We had a brilliant time at the Selezione wine tasting and woulld really like to do it again sometime. I can also imagine giving one of the wine tastings as a great gift to someone who I know would love it too. I’ll definitely be back at Veeno Nottingham either way – even if it is just to buy more Speck!
I was invited to a Selezione Wine Tasting at Veeno Nottingham, but all words and opinions are my own. See my full disclosure policy here.