Champagne, top wines and fine food all under one roof at The Square Meal Tasting 2013


Square Meal’s annual wine tasting has always been a highlight of our year – but for 2013, we’re shaking up the status quo and offering readers the opportunity to be involved in a truly special event.

in association with BMW

Now in its 10th year, The Square Meal Tasting 2013, which this year takes place on Wednesday 20 November, promises a roaring night out with friends, colleagues or clients: with five esteemed Champagne houses, top wine producers and a plethora of the capital’s most prized restaurants taking part, plus live entertainment, we guarantee you a good time.

What’s new for 2013?

Perhaps the biggest new development for the all-new Square Meal Tasting is the venue. For 2013, the tasting will move away from London Bridge and into the City; the chosen venue is Moorgate’s Prince Consort Rooms at the HAC (Honourable Artillery Company), a historic building jam-packed with character and tucked away in five acres of picturesque grounds – a rarity for a central-London venue.

What’s happening on the restaurant front?

A lot. We’ve expanded the range of well-established and well-respected restaurants that will be serving mini versions of their signature dishes to accompany your wine odyssey.

This year, 10 restaurants will be feeding guests into the night, including City favourites such as fine-dining Indian The Cinnamon Club, French group Galvin Restaurants, Hakkasan offshoot HKK, Mark Hix’s perennially cool City favourite Hix Oyster & Chop House, and Italian star L’Anima. Restaurants from elsewhere in the capital will include gourmet fine-dining destinations such as Tom Aikens and Outlaw’s at The Capital, while standout West End restaurants will include Peruvian star Lima and Spanish gem Iberica. Plus, the Gordon Ramsay restaurant group will be bringing even more culinary sparkle to the proceedings.

Which wines can I taste?

This year, five of France’s best Champagne houses will be adding a dash of sparkle to the evening, with chilled flutes of bubbly from top brands – Gosset, Louis Roederer, Mumm, Pol Roger, Ruinart – available for fizz enthusiasts.

Wine-wise, 2013 is proving a good year, with a variety of top names showcasing some of their best styles and vintages. If your heart lies in the wines of the Old World, then make a beeline for Joseph Drouhin (one of the biggest names in Burgundy), Castello Banfi (experts in making five-star Brunello di Montalcino), Marchesi Antinori (one of the oldest and most respected wineries in Tuscany), Beronia (producer of one of the world’s most popular Riojas), or Marqués de Cáceres, which will be unveiling its newest Albariño from the fertile terrain of Galicia.

If you want to broaden your New World wine knowledge, there is plenty to tempt your palate. Try tantalising Latin American exports from Cheval des Andes (billed as the ‘first growth of Argentina’) or Santa Rita (one of the oldest wineries in Chile), or compare the cream of the crop down under, where big-name wineries such as Penfolds will be pouring samples of its top wines, and Yalumba – Australia’s oldest family-owned winery – will be showing off its genre-defining Viognier.

For a nip of something harder, head to the spirits stands, which will feature something for everyone. Rich, honeyed Hine Cognac; flavour-packed, full-bodied Scotches from Glenfarclas and Talisker; and carefully aged dark rum from Zacapa will allow you to test your wine nose on different and equally complex products. Meanwhile, smooth vodka from Grey Goose and fragrant gin from G’Vine represent the premium side of the light-spirits market.

What’s more, guests who want to know more about the wines they’re tasting can sign up for wine walks, or simply chat to the experts on hand during the course of the evening. Everyone else can soak up the atmosphere and enjoy music from a live jazz band, plus a free raffle drawn on the night.

And, of course, at the end of it all there will of course be a Nespresso stand serving top-quality coffee to prevent your stamina from flagging.

About BMW

BMW is generously sponsoring the Square Meal Tasting 2013. Famed as a brand that consistently brings quality, high performance and style to the fore, it is a perfect match with Square Meal's flagship event.

How do I book tickets?

The Square Meal Tasting 2013 is taking place on Wednesday 20 November from 6-9.30pm.

Tickets for Square Meal’s flagship event cost £48, including generous pours of all wines, Champagnes and spirits, plus nibbles from the 10 participating restaurants, expert tuition, wine walks and entertainment. Click here to book your tickets.

We look forward to seeing you there!