The Westroom: A night of tasting

The Westroom Cafe and Bar is tucked away on Melville Street with a few seats outside that are a prime location to soak up the last of the warm evening sun. My flatmate had two tickets to one of many food and drink events hosted by the Compass Group across their different venues including The Chop House as well as The Westroom; we turned up curious and peckish.

We began with the Riesling ‘Vidal’ from New Zealand; grapes are collected from three vineyards in the Awatere Valley producing a sharp aromatic wine that went down way too easily. As this was my first wine tasting i did the whole shabang; swirling the wine round the glass and burying my nose in to deeply inhale the citrus and floral notes of the deliciously sharp first candidate.


With each bottle we were also given a small dish from their menu that had been paired specifically to compliment the wine and, my own theory, to slow down the inevitable effects of multiple glasses of wine.

To accompany the Riesling we were presented with rich crunchy black pudding fritters with a thick glossy chilli jam. The two worked perfectly together.


Our second contender was a 2014 South Australian Sauvignon Blanc titled ‘Starvedog Lane’. After i finished admiring the label i conducted the swirling, inhaling process; the wine had hints of asparagus and the distinctive note of fresh cut grass which made it a refreshing and crisp second glass.


To follow we were served a miniature twist on the classic prawn cocktail; plump king prawns nestle in baby gem lettuce leaves with a healthy dollop of home made marie rose sauce. The collective silence while everyone ate concluded another good match.


The final wine to be poured was the 2014 Chardonnay Fiano ‘Da Luca’ made in Siciliy. Being my third wine in the tasting i had near ‘mastered’ the swirl and inhale and this was the kind of wine that made your nose tingle. A complex multitude of citrus, blackcurrant and thyme makes your nostrils sing and mouth water. A definite must to try.


Our final nibble was flaky golden pastry with chorizo and spinach topped with creamy goats cheese which echoed the wines rich body in flavour.


As first times go The Westroom greatly exceeded my expectations on wine tastings and the whole evening flew by in a flurry of delicious wines and delectable canapes in the relaxed and friendly cafe and bar. We left happy and already planning our next trip to try more.