In my nine years of living in the Bermondsey Street area, nothing had quite matched my joy at stumbling upon the lovely fresh bread at the Ticino bakery, sold only to those knowing members of the public who bothered to enquire.
Well, I am happy to say I have just made another discovery, which I think could be of the same joy-enhancing proportions!
It is a wine and spirits merchants inside the Bermondsey Street tunnel, just past the junction with Crucifix Lane. It's a smallish door which is usually open during the day and says m and c on the front.
I wondered in on Saturday and was warmly welcomed by a Colombian guy called Jorge. He offered me a few mainly Spanish wines to sample and a Peruvian beer, which is very tasty. There are also a couple of Brazilian wines which they have high hopes for, although I didn't taste them. Oh yes, and a delicious grape juice from Brazil which tasted almost as smooth and dry as a wine.
I ended up buying a six-bottle case of his most expensive (red) wine (£7.50 I think it was, although he told me it sells for at least £33 in restaurants), called Monasterio de San Miguel. Don't be put off by the slightly naff label, this is wonderful stuff. It's got that expensive restaurant aroma and velvety body.
I'm no great wine buff but I do know how underwhelmed I've been by most supermarket wines and the occasional delivery from Virgin Wines.
Anyway, this place is apparently open during the day and also does deliveries. I don't think they're allowed to sell individual bottles but you can buy a case of six - plus they deliver and have room in their tunnel cave to park a few cars.
Apologies if this sounds like an ad, but I am genuinely excited to have such an interesting supplier on my doorstep which is happy to sell to me at wholesale prices.
Would be very interested to know if others have discovered them!
I spoke to the owner last night, he is a very nice man although he doesn't know much about cider. Their site http://www.mandcwines.com contains this intriguing snippet regarding the use of lepidoptera in the production of one of their wines, "Dark red ruby. Light violet fresh fruity, smooth round taste, aromatic tones. Aged 6 months in American oak barrels and 8 moths in French oak barrels."
After many days of passing, disappointed that they were closed, they were open this afternoon and I wasted no time. Jorge (Pron. Ho Hey) is very charming and it didn't take a great deal of persuasion for me to arrange a pre-Christmas delivery for next week ( which means there may have to be another pre-Christmas delivery!). Jorge said they needed to get on top of the Opening Hours, they're nice guys and I guess are missing out on a lot of passing trade with the door always being padlocked.
Hi Paul, yes I had the same problem with it looking dead as a dodo! I've since told them to put a notice on the door to let people know they're in! I'll remind them when I next go in. I'd be interested to know what you think of the wine. I'm still in love with the Monasterio de San Miguel - never tasted anything quite like it. Happy drinking!
Sounds great. Not that I would like to deprive these new traders of customers, and I will definitely check them out, however I usually get my wine from Majestic Vinopolis. Minimum order 12 bottles, but you can put together your own mix, and they have loads of discounts. Apart from having been a happy customer for 4 years, no connection.
Majestic at Vinopolis was handy for that but I got out of the habit once I began Tesco.com'ing - but with M&C prices (c£3 a bottle), free delivery and the fact that they'll sell you a single case if you ask nicely (normally it's five case min. order) I couldn't resis getting a bit spendy. Can see myself as an aspiring George Best.
Kevin B Wrote:
> In the past I have bought single bottles at
> majestic vinopolis. I thought they are the only
> branch to allow this.
> But it could have changed as I am practically
> teetotal now!
Nope you're right, i often go in and buy the odd bottle or two, have never bought a case!