Pairings, an independent wine bar run by two sisters on Castlegate in York, is one to watch. It has recently introduced an extensive new menu, been shortlisted as a finalist in the York Tourism Awards and will be capitalising on a successful start up by adding a new cellar level for an extra 30 covers by September 2017.
The concept behind Pairings is to provide a relaxed environment for guests to try an interesting assortment of wines from around the world and pairing them with charcuterie, light bites and local delicacies. In addition to wines, the new menu features a European gin flight, a sherry flight and an aperitif flight as well as cocktails, locally sourced beers and ales.
The food menu has also changed, drawing inspiration from around the world while championing local suppliers and producers. There’s now a vegetarian board, as well as Spanish, Italian and Yorkshire boards offering a range of cheeses, deli meats, dips and nibbles. Those with a sweet tooth can pair dessert wines with a selection of delicious sweet treats.
‘Many people want to learn more about wine or spirits, but don’t like the stuffiness that can come with formal tastings. We have created a space where people can simply pop in with friends and enjoy a selection of wines that they might not have tried before,’ explains Kate Latham, co-owner of Pairings which she runs with her sister Kelly.
An experienced Sommelier, Kelly believes their relaxed approach to learning about wine works.
‘Customers particularly enjoy our flights in which they get three small glasses of wine or spirit, with tasting notes and nibbles to match. This lets them experiment with wines they might not have tried before. It’s especially popular with groups of work colleagues or parties who want something a bit different,’ Kelly explains.
Pairings also holds monthly-ticketed events to celebrate a specific wine or region and to give people a chance to learn more about it. Their next event falls on May 24th, where they will host a Chardonnay tasting event to celebrate International Chardonnay day.
‘Many people say they don’t like a Chardonnay because they think it’s too oaky. But there are many varieties of Chardonnay and this event will let them taste the difference in a fun, relaxed environment,’ says Kelly.
Their approach, which includes live music once a month, is obviously a hit as Pairings has been named a finalist in the Best Bar Category in this year’s York Tourism Awards, to be announced on the 22nd of June.
‘As a growing number of chains move into the York dining and bar scene, we are proud to be independent and completely home grown,’ Kate says. ‘Our aim is to become the venue for wine in the North.’
To find out more go to: www.pairings.co.uk. You can find Pairings at 28 Castlegate York, YO1 9RP, just behind the newly reopened Jorvik Viking Centre at Coppergate.