Thursday, 12 November 2009
Terroirism...Wine bar in Covent Garden
Well, not so much Covent Garden as, behind the Strand, diagonal from Trafalgar Square, a spit from the National Portrait Gallery and in front of the cop shop; 5 William IV Street WC2 to be precise. Very handy in fact and rather tucked away. Not that this prevents it from being crowded. The first time I went, on weekday, we were only just squeezed in front of the zinc bar, on a Saturday the bar remained packed but there was the odd table. I was taken by a wine obsessed friend from University days, now a top barrister and we proceeded to drink the best part of 3 bottles of wine, leaving us just capable of getting off our bar stools. In my case I did manage to flag a cab, and turned up, very merry at the bearded one's home waving the remainder of a bottle of red (which the staff insisted I take) around like a captured roman standard. My companion was found by his wife, the following morning, fully dressed on the sofa.
The reasons for this were, in no particular order: the quality of the wine, the chumminess of the staff and the moreishness of the nibbles. I visited it again and was once more impressed. It sells by the glass, and the bottle an interesting range of wines, largely by small growers in France and Alsace. Unsurprising as it is owned by the wine merchants Caves de Pyrenes who supply many famous restaurants. For those avoiding the dreaded sulphides or of an ecological bent many were organic. But the wines are clearly chosen for taste, rather than trendiness. They are served in simple yet not too sparse surrounding in stylist unusual glasses. My champagne came in something that seemed to be a compromise between a flute and a balloon. Snack wise I recommend the fresh anchovies on toast, the duck rillettes and the duck scratchings (I like eating quackers). There is a fuller menu that looks tasty but so far being the lusch I am I have not been able to tear myself away from the zinc bar.
It is nice to have a choice other than the redoubtable cork and bottle in the area if you want some decent wine, something that the pubs in the area rarely supply. It has a friendly relaxed atmosphere. When you go the staff castigate you for leaving, telling you that wherever you are going the wine won't be as good, they are probably right.
Terroirs Wine Bar: