A new kid has appeared on the Old Brompton Road block. It can’t be described as anything other than a wine boutique. A shrine for people that love design as much as they love their Claret. Or Chianti. It was for a long time a building site and I wondered whether the shop would ever open. But then there it was, Vini Italiani.
It brings most wine shops to shame.
I have already tried its service and the staff (sommeliers the lot) are incredibly friendly and eager to part knowledge. I on the other hand, parted with a decent amount of cash for an excellent bottle of red vino. I even spotted the Italian’s Christmas present in the shop window, a decanter which looked better than all decanters thrown together in Selfridges. Luckily, the Italian approved of it too.
There are more than 500 invididual labels in the shop and they are displayed in a way that makes you desire every bottle on very shelf. Dangerous indeed. The Italian first stepped through the doors and said with half delight and half worry, “I could make some serious damage in here.” He was referring to his wallet’s size, not his clumsiness.
The space is dedicated to Italian wines only, and on my visit the staff announced that there were to be wine tastings and events in the future. Vini Italiani wants to be an interactive wine cave, where oenophiles gather, drink and obviously return for more wine. Seasonal specials such as handmade Panettone also make guest appearances and will undoubtebly lure in more customers.
Although it’s mostly about wine at Vini Italiani, there are beers and grappas for sale too. I won’t be coming back for either however, but looking through the windows will definitely make me dream of a bottle of Super Tuscan. Vini Italiani’s next door neighbour Mr. Wine Merchant should definitely be afraid. Very afraid of its new competition.