Saturday, 26 May 2018

Wright's Wines, Cardiff wine bar and restaurant review

Hidden away on the first floor of one of Cardiff’s Victorian arcades is a true gem.

Wright’s Wines is the dinky offspring of Carmarthenshire’s legendary Wright’s Food Emporium.

There’s no passing trade to speak of so unless you're in the know there's no way you'd stumble across it.

Much like its parent gaff, Wright’s Wines' focus is very much on brilliant produce and big flavours.

With seating for barely more than fifteen people, half of the place is given over to shelves of creatively labelled wines as well as a few beers, ciders and chutneys. 

Prior to my visits to Wright’s Wine, I’d only experienced one or two glasses of natural wine. Whilst I was a bit sceptical about them due to rants I’ve read in the media, I’ve been massively won over by the compact selection available by the glass at Wright's.

On the latest visit, I drank a summery and easy drinking Le Vendangeur Masqué (£6 - below second left) as well as a big berried fizzy Julien Pineau Bocca Di Rosa (£6 - below left). 

To accompany the lush wines is a brief menu of cheese, charcuterie and a couple of more elaborate dishes. 

Thin slices of uber-tender and fatty coppa (£6) were topped with a celeriac remoulade made with creamy mayonnaise thwacked with the savoury hum of anchovy and vinegary punch of gherkin. 

A crisp-crusted quiche (£9.50) was laden with sweet golden onions, sliced courgette and tangy feta. It was heated up in the weeniest of mini-ovens in the tiniest of kitchens. Accompanying it was a hefty mound of comforting potato salad coated with red onion and dill flecked mayonnaise. 

Wright’s bread (£2.50), crisp of crust and light of crumb, was served with grassy olive oil. 

A plate of whopping cantabrian anchovies (£6) was perfect wine food; meaty, umami-rich and not too salty. 

Stichleton (£4.50), the daddy of unpasteurised stiltons, was served as a big wedge with crisp homemade oat biscuits with a slight sweetness. 

A big dollop of tangy homemade tomato and red pepper chutney balanced the richness of the cheese and biscuits. 

On another visit, a plate of fatty spiced Zivieri mortadella (£4.50) was the finest example of this luncheon meat that I’ve ever eaten. Wright’s have sourced one of the few rare breed versions of this sausage in the world. It was served with homemade piccalilli with crunchy veggies and a punch of mustard. 

Both my visits to Wright’s Wine have been lush and it's well worth tracking down if you want some interesting wine and flavour-packed nosh. This is a marvellous addition to the city.

The Details:

A note about opening hours, Wright's are currently only open till 9pm on Thursday nights and 12pm - 6pm Wednesday to Saturday.

Address - Wright's Wines, The Balcony, Castle Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1BU
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