Exclusive Wine Tasting Evening

wine tastingI had a nice chat with local food-enthusiast and wine importer Carl Finn yesterday, who runs this new food blog. I’m happy to pass on the news of an exciting wine tasting evening coming up on the 17th May. Sounds like a fun evening, hope to see you there!

If you have a passion for fine wines or are new to the wine world, this evening is sure to inspire. Wine experts Diego Facchino and Mathew Beck will take you on a wine tasting journey where you will learn about the classic Italian wine region Piemonte, as well as the History and Passion of Facchino’s wine production.
During this experience you will taste a variety of quality wines being introduced for the first time in the UK. They will be accompanied by a selection of authentic canapés and live music played in a relaxed atmosphere.
Hosted at Hudsons coffee house, 122-124 Colmore Row Birmingham B3 2BU (Click here for directions). The evening will start at 7pm on the 17th of May and will last approximately 2 hours, tickets are £10.

To book your place and for more information contact Together4flavour@yahoo.com or call Carl Finn on 07886027301 / Brizy 07951200549

La Banca Review

Bill for four including wine
Bill for four including wine

La Banca is a brand new Italian restaurant in the heart of Cotteridge village. It’s home is the old bank (hence the name) opposite the corner of Pershore Road and Watford Road. Opening night was the 30th of June, and loaf was there to soak up the atmosphere…

La Banca has little competition in Cotteridge – the clean but classical decor is a far cry from Greggs or Subway – and provides a buzzing, excited atmosphere whilst loaf awaits it’s dinner guests. The welcoming and obviously experienced manager, belied a noticeably nervous front of house, with the understandable opening night jitters: uncollected cutlery, unpoured wine, bill mistakes, and longer than usual waits for orders etc. The menu is probably a bit too large for a single cuisine restaurant, but with a notable absence of pizzas – perhaps investment in a proper oven will come at a later date. Pasta predominates, but there’s an enticing range of non-pasta ‘secondi’ too – the tuna steak with cold tomato salsa was tempting, but at £13.95 (the most expensive item) loaf couldn’t stretch to it in these credit-crunch times.

The menu is spattered with seasonal treats – chard, peas, mint; but there’s no claim that this is intentional, nor is there any indication of where they are sourced. Nevertheless, the food was good – homemade canneloni was executed well and served in a deliciously fresh salty-sweet tomato sauce, and the tirimasu was smooth and luxurious, if lacking a little of the expected alco-kick. There were appreciative noises coming from round the table and the portion sizes were about right if you’re having more than one course. The wine list is excellent, and extensive, with great descriptions for those as ignorant as loaf!

Overall La Banca serves good, well presented, fairly priced food, in a nice environment, which is an overdue treat for Cotteridge. The owners also run Pangaea in Kings Heath which is also worth checking out for a posh curry. For address details and menu etc, see their website at: www.labanca.co.uk