From Malbec to Merlot, Chablis to Champagne, it’s time to learn a little more about the wine you love so much.
Ever felt bamboozled by a wine menu? Want to expand your horizons and stop ordering the same old grapes? Then you should make the most of the city’s wine tastings. There are loads for you to choose from, with relaxed get-togethers, scrumptious wine-pairing dinners and day-long courses that will teach you everything you need to know.
Both Wine Unearthed and Yorkshire Wine School run regular tastings at Radisson Blu. The former have two one-day courses for you to choose from – The World of Wine is an introductory course that will give you the basic knowledge you need to understand what you’re drinking, while the Vine to Wine class will teach you why you prefer one wine over another, both starting at £85. And for the latter, a vino expert will lead you through a selection of new and exciting bottles, with a minimum of six wines, notes, tasting sheets and professional tasting glasses, as well as nibbles from the kitchen throughout the evening. Tickets start at £25 per person.
Wine Unearthed and Yorkshire Wine School at Radisson Blu, 1 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL.
If you need a quality bottle of wine, Latitude is the place to go. But what you might not know is that they host two big tasting events a year to introduce you to new labels. Every event takes place at a different venue in the city, but there are always 20 different tables for you to visit, each with up to eight tipples to sample. They have an array of wines from across the globe as well as a selection of spirits. Ticket prices vary for each event and they always sell out in advance, so keep your eyes peeled for the next one.
Latitude, 5 Cherry Tree Walk, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7EB.
To go with its renowned Italian food, Salvo’s has an epic wine list. You can experience both at one of their monthly wine tasting dinners. Each one focusses on a different type of Italian wine, whether it’s a certain region or a particular style. Hosted by owner John Dammone, you’ll spend the night in their intimate private dining room where you’ll sit down to a 5-course meal – each dish will be paired with a different glass of wine and they’ll give you the low down on how it’s made and why it tastes the way it does. Their tasting dinners take place on the final Friday of the month and cost £52 per person.
Salvo’s, 115 & 107 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3PX.
Once Upon a Vine
Once Upon a Vine is a wine shop and bar with a dedicated wine tasting room. Owner Simon Cocks invites top wine professionals from vineyards like Thelema and Boekenhoutskloof to come and talk you through their wines. Want a more personal experience? You can even book a private wine tasting for groups of eight or more on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings or on Sunday afternoons – it’s just £25 a head and you’ll get a wedge of cheese or charcuterie to pair with each glass.
Once Upon a Vine, 21 Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 5LJ.
Lazy Lounge is one of the best places to go wine tasting in Leeds. You’ll get an informal chat about the world of wine, followed by seven tasters spread across two and a half hours. You’ll start with a crisp white, like the Trebbiano D’Abruzzo from Caldora in Italy and finish with a warm spicy red, like the Honoro Vera Monastrell from Jumilla in Spain. Each glass of wine is paired with food, stories and Q&As, so you won’t be sat in silence. Tastings are held at 6.30pm on Tuesdays and 4pm on Saturdays and cost £20 per person.
Lazy Lounge, Unit D, West Point, Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4JY.
The Bottle Room at Harvey Nichols
The Bottle Room is a haven for wine lovers and it also acts as their event space. It’s here that Harvey Nichols hosts all its wine tasting events. They take place intermittently throughout the year, but you’ll normally get to try five or six different wines, from a particular vineyard, producer or region. They also often have a guest speaker who’ll be able to talk you through each glass, why they’ve been chosen and how to pair it with food, from £20 per person.
The Bottle Room at Harvey Nichols, 107-111 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AZ.
It’s one of the best wine bars in Leeds, so of course The Decanter hold their own wine tasting events. You could do anything from a Sparkling Wine and Cheese Evening to a Mystery Wine Tasting Session or a Bisol Prosecco Tasting. They also use their contacts in the wine industry to welcome experts from the very best vineyards, like Santa Rina and X6, to put on special tasting sessions. They take place intermittently throughout the year and prices change depending on each event.
The Decanter, 17 Park Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5JQ.
ThirtyFifty host regular wine classes at Browns for £39 a pop. It’s an introduction to wine tasting and will give you a basic insight into how to taste and understand the wine you drink. Across the evening, you’ll try seven different wines – two whites, two reds, a rose, a fizz and a dessert wine, each paired with a delicious charcuterie platter. As you drink, you’ll learn how to find the perfect tipple for your tastebuds.
Browns, The Light, 70-72 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8EQ.
Wayward is a shop-cum-bar that specialises in sourcing the finest natural wines from independent producers – and they invite them into their shop to tell you how they make their wines with as little intervention as possible. They’ve held evenings in the past with the likes of Tutto & Gergovie, Carte Blanche and Luc Sébille and the majority of them are free entry.
Wayward, 1c Regent Street, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 4PE.