Last month, the Little Shop teamed up with Fat Unicorn, Wildfire Pizza and The Ship Isis to create a cheese and wine night. There aren’t many nights like this in Sunderland so I absolutely had to go!
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Let’s get on with it!
Overview of the Cheese and Wine Night
I absolutely don’t have a great deal of knowledge about good wine. Cheese however I do know, so I was mainly here for the food. There would be a total of 6 wines and 7 dishes, followed by a desert.
The cheeses and produce were supplied by Fat Unicorn which is a delicatessen in Mackie’s Corner. I had never been before, but, after the event, I will absolutely be going again! The different cheeses were amazing. You could taste the quality and the freshness of them.
The wines were all supplied by the Little Shop and were all sourced from women ran vineyards. The different ones were all paired with the various dishes and ranged from white to red to orange! For anyone who doesn’t know, The little shop is a coffee shop, famous for homemade stuffed doughnuts. They also sell wines and beers from independent vineyards and breweries too.
And finally, the venue itself played a part as it was hosted by the pub The Ship Isis. I have been here before as this is the home of Wildfire Pizza, which is one of the best pizza places in the city!
The event was held upstairs in the Vaux room, which is an upstairs function room which allowed for a really cosy and intimate setting.
With each course, Sophie, who runs Little Shop, would come around and explain each dish and accompanying wine. For novices like me, this was an ideal situation and she told us the process of each wine and the flavours we were to expect. There was also a really helpful guide on each table with details of each wine on it.
At the end of the night, all the wines were for sale so you could buy any of them too. For wine lovers, this is an ideal setup!
The Cheese and Wine Night
The night started with a refreshing lemonade courtesy of the Little Shop themselves before the first dish came out. This was a really delicious bruschetta on what I thought was sourdough. It has some garlic in it too which really finished it off.
With every dish, came a different wine which was paired with the dish’s flavours. Now then, I don’t pretend to be a wine expert, by any stretch. However, going to this event gave me a great chance to try a load of different ones!
The first wine that came was red Zweigelt from Austria. Typically this was my favourite of the whole night! I did take a photo of all the bottles, and this one I could easily sink a full bottle of this. It was a very fruity red and wasn’t as heavy as some of the other ones I have tried before.
The next dish was the first of the cheese dishes. It was creamy ricotta-style cheese topped with roast broccoli and drizzled with honey. We were given one each but I could have eaten a whole plate of them.
Paired with this, was another red, this time a pinot noir. This one however was heavier than the first and was actually the wine liked the least of the whole night. But that is mainly because I am more of a white/pink wine gal.
Following this, we had a spinach and artichoke cheese dip with some toasted bread to dip into it. The dip itself was really good, but we could have definitely done with a few more pieces of bread to go with it.
Paired with this was a very light red wine which looked closer to a pink one called a Grolleau, and tasted like it too. Because of how heavy the cheese dip was, this light red wine went perfectly with it.
The next dish was my favourite of the night, the cheese board (and charcuterie for Tasha). There were 4 different kinds of cheese on it. A blue, a brie, cheddar and another hard cheese. These went amazingly with the different crackers and picks that came with them. I think my favourite of the four kinds of cheese was in fact the blue cheese which is surprising because usually, I’m not that keen on it!
Paired with this was a white Patapon blanc. By this time, I was a few wines deep so I completely forgot to take a photo of it. However, it was delicious and very fresh. It went perfectly with the cheese board!
By this point, we were absolutely stuffed and couldn’t finish the cheeses. We both ended up taking a whole load home which I had for lunch the next day with some homemade tomato soup!
The night wasn’t over yet though as we had our dessert still to come. From the little shop, we had a chocolate brownie with cream. It was a little heavy following all the chees and wine we had just eaten. But who can say no to chocolate brownies?!
This was all washed down with an orange wine. This is still made with white grapes, however, the skins and stems are left on which is what gives it the golden orange colour. Sophie explained that it’s becoming more popular so you might see this about more often. I did enjoy it, and it was a great way to finish the night!
The first red wine was defiantly my favourite, followed by the white Patapon. The next photo is all the bottles that we had, in just about the right order starting from left to right.
Overall, me and Tasha both had a great night and it is something I would absolutely do again! Sophie from Little Shop is such a lovely person and pulled off an amazing night. Everything ran smoothly and the cheese and wine were all so incredible.
The event cost £35pp that night, although the most recent one did cost £40. I do think that for what we paid, it was worth the money. And even if it was £40 I still think that. For 6 different glasses of wine, 3 small plates of food, a full cheese board and dessert it is an absolute bargain!
As a self-proclaimed Sunderland Expert, I don’t think there is anywhere else currently offering an event like this in the city (please correct me if I am wrong). That makes this an even better event and will continue to be very popular. Everyone they have run has sold out instantly!
They will be announcing the dates for their next one very soon so keep an eye on the Little Shop’s Instagram for details of that coming soon. But you need to get in quick as it does sell!
When it does go on sale you can buy your tickets from their website HERE
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Stay Safe and Happy Adventuring!
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