Almost everyone’s wine journey looks the same: one day you’re forcing down £3 whites at pre-drinks, then all of a sudden you’re booking in wine and cheese nights for the girls, or ordering an expensive glass with dinner because it’s your ‘favourite’. At some point along the way, it’s practically mandatory that you attend a tasting so you can learn what bottles tickle your taste buds. For Leeds residents, there’s no better place to do this than at Veeno.
Sat in Wellington Place, Veeno is a well-loved Italian wine bar that offers up pours from their family vineyard, as well as guest bottles sourced from independent producers in Italy. While there's no shortage of watering holes around these parts, few have the floor space that this place boasts. It’s a spacious den with various nooks and crannies that make it suitable for all occasions, from intimate dates to large gatherings. The décor is simple but sophisticated, lending itself well to a low key atmosphere where the focus is on the menu, not the frills.
Of course, we weren't here for the décor, but for the booze – more specifically, the Trip to Sicily (£34.95 per person) experience. This is their top tier wine tasting, which saw us drink six glasses, eat one of the biggest charcuterie boards I’ve seen, and even finish off with a dessert pairing and tiramisu, all while learning a little bit about each sip.
The white wines were first; Inzolia and Grecanico. I won’t spoil the surprise of what flavours these glasses gave, but I will tell you they were the creamiest I’ve had the pleasure of drinking. We paired these with salty speck (a lesser-known Italian ham from South Tyrol) and smoky scamorza, where each bite complemented the drinks beautifully.
Those finished, we were onto the solitary glass of rosé; the marmite of the wine world – people either love it or hate it. The one in question here was Tasari, a nice, crisp vino that would appease even the non-pink drinkers. We had this with spicy nibbles, which came in the form of the most beautiful sausage and cheese-topped bruschetta. I honestly could not get enough of the nduja e stracchino, a solid 10/10.
Last but not least were the reds, Cusora and Cutaja, served with high-quality meats and huge chunks of parmesan. Some can find wines of this colour tough to drink, but they're just not having the right ones. These were seriously smooth and truly delightful. We finished off by delving into what was arguably the best tiramisu I’ve ever eaten – a light, creamy texture alongside a rich coffee flavour - and the sweetest dessert wine (nice, but definitely couldn’t drink a bottle of it), before leaving the bar full yet merry.
The DesignMyNight Digest
When you’re looking for something a little classier than bottomless brunch, the Trip To Sicily experience is a great option that combines fine wine and food in a sophisticated environment. If six glasses are a little too much for you, this place is still worth visiting for a couple or to try the same bruschetta, meats and cheeses on the main Veeno Leeds menu.
💰 The damage: £34.95 each.
📍 The location: 5 Wellington Place, LS1 4AP
👌 Perfect for: Dates, catch-ups and special occasions.
⭐ Need to know: There's a vegan version of this tasting too.
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