In Italy, it’s commonplace to find enomatic machines in wine shops but the trend is still catching on here in London. There are only a few places I know of that have those machines on tap, so to speak. The Sampler in Islington and Kensington Wine Room being the two I can name off the top of my head. And now I can add Bottle Apostle to the list.
Bottle Apostle is in East London. I’d heard of these guys but it wasn’t til I moved north of the river and just a hop, skip, and jump from Victoria Park, that I had a chance to visit. A very cute little corner shop in the village of Victoria Park, I met owner Andrew Bakin one rainy afternoon. Andrew was inspired to open Bottle Apostle because he wanted a wine shop that was non-intimidating and comfortable but with a good selection of wines, a place where customers could walk in without feeling lost and maybe even learn a bit about wine.
There are 4 enomatic machines,2 whites and 2 reds for your wine elucidation. I really liked the selection of wines that were on offer. Andrew prefers to stock the more interesting wines, ranging from German rieslings and Italian falanghina to Lebanese and Portugese reds, all of which are available to sample from the enomatic machines. He also has more traditional wines from smaller producers, Meursault to Haut-Bages Liberal as well as some quality Italian wines and a healthy selection of California wines as well as New Zealand, South Africa and a small contigent of South Americans.
I’m not going to list any of the wines from the machines because they change frequently. As soon as one runs out, it’s replaced with something different. That’s one way to keep you coming back, you never know what’s going to be in the machines. The prices are also reasonable for the 30ml samples, most ranging in price from 50p to £1.75 depending on the wine. There were a few for £3 or £4 pounds but you can try most of the wines if you put £10 on the smart cards that the shop provides to use the machines.
In keeping with the theme of wine education, Andrew is a big proponent of wine tastings and has frequent wine tasting events. Ranging from the Introduction to Wine to Fishy Nights (small demonstrations of how to prepare seafood and the wines that go with them) to Sunday Lunch as well as Meet the Winemaker nights, there is something for anyone who wants to learn about wine. The shop has a very roomy and light basement where the classes take place. For more information on their wine tasting events, visit their website.
So, if you live in East London, there is now a great little wine shop to visit, sample and buy great wines. And you might even run into The Winesleuth, if you see me, don’t forget to say Hi!
Bottle Apostle is located at 95 Lauritson Rd, Victoria Park Village, London E9 7HJ
Tel: 020 898 515 49