Veeno is located on Duncan Street (the street running below Briggate) in Leeds. It has a rather unassuming frontage but inside there is delight to be found. Veeno serves Sicillian wines alongside authentic Italian spuntini (sharing platters). The wine served is specially selected from the founder's (or one of) family vineyard bringing the grape straight to your glass, in their words not mine. Intrigued by the family vineyard I've had a curious glance over some pictures and to me it looks like the Italian dream, fields of vines and white buildings casting shadows in the sunset. I can imagine sitting outside drinking away many a summer evening... perhaps why I shouldn't own my own vineyard.
Veeno started life in Manchester when the passion of two Italian's met and decided to bring a piece of home to Britain. Their concept has since grown and spread to Leeds and York, it's still relatively small in the bar world but it offers something niche and being a northerner I quite like the idea that we have something the south doesn't.
Most who visit Veeno come for wine and nibbles, sorry spuntini, the wooden boards filled with meat, cheese and bread flies out. Once you've caught a glimpse it's hard not to order one yourself. The spuntini is specially sourced and approved by the founders, if you know Italians you know that this is a good thing.
One of the most popular options for people visiting Veeno is to take part in the wine tasting, most folk I've spoken to have visited Veeno for this reason. Veeno invited myself and a few other bloggers along for a wine tasting night and although shying away from bloggers events these days I couldn't resist accepting this offer, and I was not sorry I did.
|The House White - Tasari|
The wine tasting menu consists of six wines and each wine is paired with the spuntini, there is a helpful handout on each table to guide you through when things start to get a hazy.
I won't go through each individual wine, mainly because I'm no wine expert (despite this being my third or perhaps fourth wine tasting I'm still not even at beginner status), and also because I wouldn't want to spoil the experience should you wish to go yourself (you should go yourself).
The first two wines are white, followed by three reds and then a dessert wine. The first wine you try is their house white, it's a dry but palatable wine and it only gets better from there (I believe this to be true despite progressively becoming more drunk through the night).
Of the two whites the second was my favoured of the two, it was fruiter and slipped down the throat a little easier. The reds for me were the stars of the show, I find it much easier to drink red in the evening.. I prefer to save white for summer afternoons when you need something cold to cool you down.
|Second Wine - Inzolia|
By the fourth and the fifth wine everything started to merge in to one for me and you'll probably note my pictures are on a slight angle too. The group had been fairly reserved up until the last wine, carefully sharing out the spuntini aware that it needed to pair with each wine, with the finally wine poured it was time to hover up the remains and attempt to soak up some of the wine.
The final wine, the dessert wine, was not to my taste but I am yet to find one that is. I'm also not a fan of tiramisu, I love coffee but not to eat it... maybe it'll come to me in time.
The spuntini was great and I was introduced to some great breadsticks (I'd love to know where they find these) and also some odd little cheerio bread biscuits that tasted doughy yet crunchy? They left our table divided as to whether they were favourable or not.
|One of the three reds|
Overall it was a great night, friendly informative staff, brilliant atmosphere, delicious wine and the some categorically marvelous company too. The classic wine tasting is £20 per person (includes spuntini and 6 wines) and if you want to take it up a notch you could try out the blind wine tasting where you compete against your party to guess the wine or for a more premium experience you could opt for the Selezione experience which includes some more premium wines. Both the blind and Selezione experiences cost £26.90 per person.
Many thanks to Veeno for the invite!
Many thanks to Veeno for the invite!