I was lucky enough to be invited to the recently opened Traders Wine Bar to experience the location, atmosphere, food and wine that they have on offer. It was my first time to St. Katherine’s Docks, and I have to say it was quite the beautiful area. Especially by the wine bar. The bar itself has windows that open up onto the water, and the atmosphere itself lent an element of romance and charm to the venue.
Upon arrival, I was given a glass of Digby non-vintage English sparkling wine. Funnily enough, I actually know the owners of the wine, as they are quite good friends of some of our friends back in the states. Then I promptly got the story wrong about the name of the wine. Oops. I’ll blame it on old age. (Forty is old right?) We were then presented with a lovely array of oysters from North Wales and Northern Ireland. They were sourced from Wright Bros., and they were absolutely lovely. Plus nothing says romance like a giant plate of oysters! I can definitely imagine myself here with my husband on a Saturday afternoon sipping on bubbly and scarfing down the plump oysters that are available.
Next we got to try two French wines, one white Burgundy and one Cotes du Rhone. I started with the Burgundy, and (once I warmed it up a bit, it was definitely served slightly too cold for my taste) it was a very lovely wine. Not too rich and buttery, but a nice combination of acid and the malolactic fermentation that gives Burgundy it’s characteristic flavors. The Cotes du Rhone was also a fantastic wine, with that smokiness and earthiness I love to have in a red wine. I enjoyed both of these with the fantastic cheese and charcuterie board that they supplied us with next. And what else says romance like a selection of European cheeses and meats? (Well maybe it doesn’t say romance to everyone, but for me, there’s nothing more romantic than a picnic of wine and cheese and meat with a great view.)
The selection was great as well. My favorite was the soft, French cheese (because I can’t get enough of soft, stinky French cheeses – sadly something I will have to hunt down after moving out of Europe). There was also a great Comte and an Italian truffle cheese (and you can never go wrong with a truffle cheese in my book). The final cheese was a Camtal from France. It was nice to know there are still cheeses I’ve yet to try, and it had a great butteriness to it. The meats were also great, with both the cured duck breast (with that lovely layer of fat) and the rillettes being my two favorites on the board.
Our final two wines were a bit more unusual with a Spanish white and a South African red. Since South African reds hold a special place in my heart (due to us serving one at our wedding), I quickly wanted to give it a try. It was full-bodied and fruity, and a great after dinner wine (or probably even a during dinner wine). I decided to check out the rest of the venue and see the wines that were on offer. There’s a great mix of wines (and you can drink them there or take them away, if that’s your preference), and I even caught a glimpse of a 2010 Stag’s Leap Cellars wine (which in case you didn’t know is the winery that won the original Judgement of Paris in 1976). It’s also one of the wineries in California that has a very gorgeous outdoor tasting area if you ever get the chance to go! I also talked a bit with one of the sommeliers about the winery, and how we were there which included discussions about how Napa Valley had a bad year in 2013. (I love talking wine even though I know far less than my husband!) They’re not even limited to wine as they had a fairly decent beer and spirit selection too.
Sadly, the night had to come to an end. But not so sadly, I know I can come back. Traders definitely ticked all the boxes for me. It has a small selection of food, but I will never say no to cheese, charcuterie and oysters. I will also never say no to nice wine, and Traders seemed to have it in spades! The next time we need to kill a few hours on a Saturday afternoon, I’m going to be wrangling my husband over to St. Katherine’s Docks to get his opinion of it as well, but I definitely approve of this lovely wine bar on the water. (When this was posted, Google shows it in the middle of Soho. It’s definitely not there.)
Traders Wine Bar
Ivory House, Central Katharine Docks, E1W 1AT