South West London

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Best Local Businesses: The Wine Tasting Shop in Balham

Wine Tasting Shop

The Wine Tasting Shop in Balham

Tucked away along Balham’s Hildreth Street, the Wine Tasting Shop is perfect for novice and established wine connoisseurs alike.  The Shop is well known in the area for its wine tasting evenings, which invite budding sommeliers to learn the basics of wine tasting, compare old and new world tipples and experiment with food and wine pairings.  Wines are also available to buy or taste at any time in store.  Julia, Devon and the team are very happy to share their expertise and the James Pendleton team don’t hesitate to recommend the Shop for a guaranteed journey of discovery at every visit.

We asked Julia Michael, owner of The Wine Tasting Shop, about her experience of living and working in Balham:

1.  What is the Wine Tasting Shop’s ethos?

Our focus is on wines which have undergone as little intervention as possible in the vineyard and winery.  We identify small scale, non-invasive wine producers and aim to meet as many makers as possible.  Our customers can find out the background story of every wine-something you’d never encounter in the supermarket!  Another aim of ours is to encourage our customers to try new and unusual wines-it’s amazing how often people are pleasantly surprised!

2.  What for you is the most rewarding thing about your wine tasting evenings?

It has to be seeing people realise that anyone can be interested in wine!  We try to demystify what can be seen as an exclusive pastime, and it’s great when people begin to gain confidence and start to explore some of the very many wines out there.

3.  What one wine fact most surprises people?

Just how little money goes into making mass produced supermarket wines; for a £5 bottle of wine, the amount spent on actual wine production is between 2 and 5p, with the rest going on bottling, marketing etc.  We like to offer real, good quality alternatives to supermarket wine, where more than pennies has gone into what you will be drinking!

4.  What is your experience of working alongside Hildreth Street market in Balham?

Hildreth Street has a fantastic atmosphere-everyone looks out for each other and there is a strong community feel which is hard to come by in a city as large as London.

5.  What do you feel the future of wine is in South West London?

I can see a great future for wine tasting in South West London; we’re seeing a great influx of people of all ages and generations with a real interest in the subject, which is fantastic as our goal has always been to make quality wines more accessible.

6.  If Hildreth Street was a wine, what would it be?

Most definitely a natural wine with no additives, no pretentions and a fantastic flavour!

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