Social Eating House
58 Poland Street, Soho, W1F 7NR
WLC Rank : 271
Glass from : £ 4.50 (125 ml)
Really rather good. Social Eating House is part of Jason Atherton’s Social Group, for which Laure Patry is the very capable wine director (all of the Social Group sites score highly on WLC). Here at the Poland Street Soho site, head sommelier Jon Kleeman has been given the freedom to play within the constraints of a slim list.
Former somm Boris Poliakov left Kleeman with plenty of space to introduce his own preferences when he upped sticks to Essex to open Wine & Kitchen a year or so ago. You’ll notice, for instance, his enthusiasm for mature vintages – so rare on a list of this size. At the time of writing, Taurasi Radici Riserva 2006, Gilles Barges ‘La Solaire’ Condrieu 2008 and Kalin Cellars Cuvee W 1995 all stood out, while there’s an excellent spread of vintages among the clarets and Burgundies.
The sparkling list is original, and includes two English fizzes by the glass (Gusbourne Rosé and Nyetimber Classic Cuvée), while having 30 wines by the glass (125ml or 175ml) on a list with fewer than 200 references is commendable.
Diversity is the over-riding theme here, in fact: Oregon Pinots, skin contact Burgundy, Georgian Saperavi, Lombardian Nebbiolo and Croatian Riesling will pique the interest of the wine geeks; wines from Domaine Lucci and Tom Shobbrook will please the natural wine crowd, while well-chosen vintages of claret and Burgundy will satisfy the expense account contingent.
The Antique range of Sherries from Fernando de Castilla are well worth dipping into too. Loads of fun – it’s remarkable how much Kleeman has managed to pack in.
By Darren Smith