This was thanks to the South African managing director and co-owner Gerrie, who explains, “South African wine was really starting to make waves globally – many winemakers had backgrounds in French winemaking techniques and that was starting to show with the quality of the wines coming through.”
Vivat Bacchus has over 15,000 bottles of wine in its cellars and these are something to behold.
Gerrie says, “If we come across something great we like to get it in good quantities into the cellar and age it, so whilst we have loads of wines on the list to drink right now, there are hidden gems down there that are waiting to be drunk when they’re ready.”
To spread the word about wine, they came up with the idea of the Vivat Bacchus Wine Club which started in 2005. There was no membership fee or structure to the club, it was really a way of bringing like-minded people together at wine tastings, with the chance to taste up to 300 wines a year. Held every Monday* at both branches, the wine club has become part of the Vivat Bacchus life.
The VB wine, cheese & general knowledge quiz is an off-shoot of this.
General manager Gentjan loves the vibe at the quiz: “It’s on at both branches and it’s become so popular that booking for this is essential! Everyone seems to have lots of fun, a complimentary glass of wine on arrival and there are blind wine and cheese tastings as part of the quiz. It gets quite competitive for the prizes of fizz or cheese boards for the top two teams.”
Gerrie also noticed that some of the Vivat Bacchus customers were interested in wine but didn’t feel comfortable working their way around a wine list so he started ‘Confidence in Wine’, a low-key wine course aimed at entry level enthusiasts, with different topics each month. The topics for the month of August are Champagne and Burgundy – with wine tastings along the way.
*Please note, the London Bridge quiz is every second Tuesday of the month. All other events are on a Monday.
Click here for further information and to book events. Attendance also gives you 15% off your food and drinks bill if you eat and/or drink on the night!