Recently I enjoyed Birmingham Wine Weekend, so today I have a quick read for you about some of my favourite venues from the three day event.
I popped a post up earlier this month to about the lineup, with 23 venues taking part including bars, hotels, restaurants and even a museum. The deal is simple: with a BWW wristband you can try a selection of wines or wine-based cocktails for £4, many of which come with food pairings at a small additional cost.
First up, a polite reminder that I’m no wine expert. Like most people, I know what I like and I know what I don’t but I’m always eager to learn and try new things. One of the reasons I actually return to BWW is that it’s an inclusive event that makes wine accessible rather than elitist, and I’m all for that. Below you’ll find a few of my favourites from the weekend – let me know on Twitter if you had a favourite yourself.
We kicked off the last day with a gorgeous Malbec and a surprisingly delightful 2017 Sauvignon – probably my favourite wine of the weekend. So much so I immediately ordered another. Really enthusiastic bar staff and a relaxed Sunday vibe in the bar itself. Also, I highly recommend wine for breakfast – I left feeling super.
Perhaps wrongly, I always associate this Jewellery Quarter bar with beer, but these guys served up two delicious Spanish wines on top of an existing decent list. The Verdejo white Rioja had notes of tropical fruit and paired nicely with the mini omelette canapés. On a totally irrelevant side note, I like that everyone who works there seems to have lovely curly hair.
Chung Ying Central
Forever underestimated at wine weekend, this Chinese restaurant had a lovely Pinot Noir available. Bao snacks and dumplings ahoy too.
Hotel du Vin
Being that this hotel is a) one of my favourite places to get smashed drink sensibly and b) is the hub for BWW it made sense to start at the hotel’s Bubble Lounge bar. I was recommended the Honoro Vera, a juicy and lively red I could’ve easily sunk a bottle of. The white was equally nice and I did sink a bottle on the last day.
We took a quick detour to this hotel for the Orin Swift Abstract – a ripe and fruity number packed with cherry. Very mellow vibe to this venue and a water feature that made me constantly need a wee, but the wine was spot on.
Next up, a 19% fortified wine from turkey at my beloved Arch 13, recommended by the girls behind the bar. I thought I’d dislike this because I’m not into super-sweet things but it was gorgeous. Like a port mixed with dessert wine. Well done for thinking out the box, too.
I didn’t try many of the wine cocktails, but I did enjoy the pornstar martini with rose wine instead of vodka at Mal. Incredibly sweet but quite pleasant, and a nice change from red or white.
Hilton Garden Inn
Full disclosure: the only reason we actually bothered with this hotel bar (the only one in Brindleyplace included) is its vicinity to our apartment. But actually I’m really glad we did, because the wine available was delicious. I slurped a jolly nice Rioja and listened to some live music.
Honorary mention to Marco’s in the Cube for the worst wine, service and experience overall. Bravo. It really takes some skill to be that awful at all three.
You can read my review from last year here too.
Disclosure: I paid for all drinks and all words and photos are mine.