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Red Wine, White Wine… Big Yellow Wine?

Published 20 March 2010

London isn’t short of wine courses and tastings, but West London Wine School’s setting is unique – a Big Yellow Self Storage Centre in Fulham…

The location of this new wine school isn’t quite as random as it seems. It is in fact the latest addition to The Wine Cellars – one of London’s best kept wine secrets. London is officially crammed and there’s no space going spare. Just as that table that’s too big for your new flat can be securely stored in Big Yellow, so now can an overflowing wine collection be kept in the cellar below.

It’s not just a matter of freeing up some space, either. Wine lovers enthusiastic enough to lay down a few bottles have often had to settle for a garage corner or that little nook in the kitchen. These often warm, humid conditions can be the kiss-of-death for good wines. The Wine Cellar’s temperature and humidity controlled units provide optimum conditions to help your wine on its way – and they come highly recommended with TV’s wine guru Oz Clarke joining a host of Masters of Wine in storing their wines there.

If you’re not quite on a par with Oz in terms of your wine knowledge and wouldn’t have a clue which wines would age well, then perhaps you should get yourself down to the brand new adjoining West London Wine School which launched in early 2010.

Run by Jimmy Smith, an ultra-enthusiastic wine buff with years of industry experience, the school offers a course for everyone. Two hour themed evening tastings, with an emphasis on fun, sit alongside more in-depth on day Saturday courses four and eight week courses. They even offer Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) certified, government accredited diploma courses designed for industry professionals, or indeed the very enthusiastic – rumour has it there is grape dissecting involved!

A less demanding two hour Viva Espana Spanish Wine Tasting session was the first the Wine School had hosted and certainly lived up to the school’s goal of dispelling the myth that wine tastings are too formal. It was all about enjoying a range of wine, discovering some unusual varieties, learning how to spot a bargain and finding out where the different tastes in wines come from. Yes, there’s more to Spain than Cava and Rioja – and pairing a couple of sherries with food was Jimmy’s way of proving they are not just for granny. Who would have thought Tio Pepe sherry, apple and sardine went so well together..?

Even if not for such eye-opening combinations, West London Wine School is worth checking out just to say you’ve been to a wine tasting in a Big Yellow…

Office Address: West London Wine School, 2B Silver Crescent, Chiswick, London W4 5SE
Wine Tasting Address: The Wine Cellars, Big Yellow Group Storage, 71 Townmead Road, Fulham, SW6 2ST
Enquiry Tel: 020 8144 2444
Website: www.westlondonwineschool.com

Article written by Ben Norum.