Put away your passports and pop your guide book back on the shelf: here’s a York experience that will take you away from the everyday without leaving the city walls. We were invited to try out the Wine and Food Pairing Experience at Pairings, the city’s popular independent wine bar, and jumped at the opportunity of a child-free evening out (sorry kids). We followed the clouds (hello, English summertime) towards Clifford’s Tower and the warm evening glow of Pairings. The welcome, unlike the weather was warm, as we were shown to a cosy corner table and introduced to Kieran, our sommelier for the night.
For the next two hours, we were introduced to five wines, each paired with something delicious to eat. We’re no wine experts but we know what we like and are guilty of just buying the same bottles again and again. What we loved most about the experience was that it nudged us out of our wine comfort zone. We tried – and enjoyed – wines that we would never have picked out from the menu, all brought to life by Kieran’s interesting facts and highlights about what we were about to taste. We were hurtled back in time to discover the connection between monks and Champagne, had an ‘aha!’ moment about the fizzy wine pecking order and sampled wine from across the globe. There was plenty of time for us to chat and relax between courses and, importantly, plenty of time to enjoy the wine and perfectly matched morsels.
In terms of food, we opted for one vegetarian and one meat version, and both were heavenly; beautifully presented, incredibly tasty and locally sourced where possible. The cheeses and chutneys were particularly good, and the humous was one of the best we’ve tasted (we’d love the recipe). A special shout-out must go to local bakery White Rose Bakes for the tip-top chocolate brownies to round it all off. We didn’t think we’d manage anything else (little plates are deceptively filling) but we’re glad we found room for these sweet treats that really hit the spot.
This wasn’t our first trip to Pairings – it’s such a buzzy place that we’ve often dropped in with friends for a quick drink – and it won’t be our last. Doing one of the experiences gave us more time to sit back and enjoy what Pairings has to offer than just grabbing a rushed glass. For a real corker of a date night in York, look no further.
Good to know
- – Although we love it for a grown-up night out, it’s great to know that Pairings also welcomes children until 6pm. Pop in for a daytime triple cheese toastie (we won’t judge if you treat yourself to a glass of wine while you’re there)
- – Pairings is popular: although you can just drop in and hope for a table, we’d always recommend booking in advance
- – Save 10%! Mention Little Vikings when you book and you can save 10% on your total bill (https://little-vikings.co.uk/family_card/pairings-wine-bar-york-discount/)
Pairings, 28 Castlegate, York YO1 9RP – Visit the Pairings website