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It's a win win at Wino

7 September 2015
It's a win win at Wino
Tucked away in the financial district, husband and wife team, Ben and Sakina, have brought Leeds a breath of fresh air in the form of their vibrant, independent bar, Wino. Set to become one of Leeds’ leading lights for outstanding wine and great food, Wino is borne out of Sakina’s own desire to find somewhere she could relax with some cheese, charcuterie and a decent glass of wine.

Wino Review - Article

Those venturing down to Wino are able to peruse Sakina’s outstanding choice of wines, offering a good balance between new and old world varieties, either leant up against the beautiful Barcelona-inspired bar or nestled away at one of the tables basking in the glow of the candles. One of the most refreshing aspects of Wino’s menu is the option to have more high-end wines also available by the glass. This unpretentious manner of bringing great wine to the fine people of Leeds extends to all bottles on the menu being available to take away at attractive prices. This means that if you don’t have time to sit down and soak up the Anglo-European fusion that Wino has to offer, you can still take a little of it away with you to soak up the soggy English summer in your own time.

Wino offers a tipple for all tastes. If you are new to wine, then fear not, as Sakina proved herself more than capable of sharing her wealth of wine knowledge with people unsure of which bottle to dive into. Lovers of red will enjoy the smooth elegance of the Douro, the surprisingly full-bodied and cherry tinted Beaujolais, along with the gently spiced Chilean Carmenere, beautifully carried by its rich notes of dark berry fruits. The first of my two favourites of the whites on offer is a Taringi Sauvignon Blanc, bursting with all the rich gooseberry flavours of a great New Zealand wine. Second is an outstanding Warwick Estate Chardonnay, due to appear in the next James Bond film, that blasts clean out of the water any preconceptions that Chardonnay belongs back in the eighties along with aerobics, garish fashion and Jane Fonda. The Spanish Viognier and the Elk Cove Riesling are also not to be missed. However, of the wine list on the whole, the winner has to be the Verso Rosso Salento, Those ordering this wine can expect an extremely rich, full bodied experience, filled with ripe and dried fruits. This is one of the best wines I have tasted and certainly the best that I have found on offer in Leeds. The wine menu is extensive and requires a few visits to do it justice.

While Sakina has been the architect of the wine menu, Ben is the mastermind behind the delectable cheese and charcuterie boards available. With a focus on light, high quality ingredients Ben’s boards are a gourmand’s delight comprising of hams, cheeses and even stretching to Octopus. During my evening in Wino all boards were flying out at quite a pace, yet, Ben still found time to talk me through each of the ingredients. Cheese fiends will be happy to know that there is a three-cheese selection on offer, served with celery and quince alongside the essential sliced apples and grapes, all drizzled in a tantalising truffle honey. My favourite, however, was the Mediterranean Board. I was spoiled with a presentation of Manchego, delightfully meaty, melt in the mouth anchovies, and a mini Greek salad, topped off with the pièce de résistance, sliced octopus, giving the Board an extra ounce of exoticism. Those in search of a gastronomic treat and excellent service, look no further.

In a city where street food has swarmed in and taken over, Wino offers rest and respite from the craze. Perfect for a quick bite for lunch, a catch up over a bottle between friends or even enjoying some evening drinks as a group, Wino is a diverse and versatile venue whose proprietors and stylish interior welcome wine aficionados and newcomers alike.

By Joseph Birch
Joseph is a Volunteer Writer for Leeds Living covering events all across the city, on topics such as eat/drink, retail therapy, music/dance and culture.