As a long standing customer of Virgin Wines, we’d got some tickets for their first tasting event in Leeds. I’ve long been a fan of Virgin Wines and I love the different wines and hard to find vintages they have on offer. So we planned a full Troffers outing (apart from Jill who was in London seeing Julie Andrews, don’t ask) to give them all a try.
We knew it was going to get messy. A full afternoon, tasting the very best Virgin Wines had to offer?? We needed sustenance before we headed down to The Loft, where it was all happening.
So proceedings kicked off at The Reliance, which proved to the perfect place to fill up on great food (and beer, rather ominously). As you know, Reliance is one of my staple restaurants in Leeds and most of the Troffers hadn’t been before, so I was very pleased to introduce them to its chilled out pleasures.
Saturday lunchtime is as good as time as any to eat at Reliance (is there a bad time?) and we all got stuck in. Fish & chips, chicken livers, ploughman’s, gammon & eggs and welsh rarebit all delivered in terms of taste and were as ever, generously portioned.
The Reliance won many more converts that afternoon – the food was excellent – simple and well cooked. The service was attentive and considerate and the Reliance Bitter was on top form.
The wine tasting was a pretty impressive affair and much bigger than we were all expecting. The Loft is a bar/club space that’s pretty sizeable and the place was packed to the rafters with a huge cross section of wine slurpers – from in the know foodie types to gaggles of women hell bent on a great afternoon out. There were literally hundreds of wines on offer and it would have been impossible to try them all, so we all pursued the tables where our favourites were on tasting.
Complete with glass, pen and booklet we set about the wide selection of vino with missionary zeal. The Chilean section was of particular interest to me and it seemed that they had cornered the market in massive reds, toothsome roses and spanking fresh whites. The girls hunted down the prosecco table and hogged the rose wines until they were satisfied they had tasted them all. After a while it all predictably became a bit of a blur (literally) and the afternoon ended most satisfyingly with the announcement via mobile that Leeds United had gained promotion. More wine drunk in celebration!
To cap things off, we adjourned to Anthony’s for a glass of wine (I kid you not!) and to stock up on cheese and delicious goodies for an outdoor supper around the fire in D&G’s garden. The evening carried on back in New Farnley and the treats purchased from Anthony’s were of the highest quality – the Epoisses cheese was monumental, as were the cured meats. Special mention has to go to the posh version of the old sweet shop favourites: cinder toffee and snowballs. Amazing both!