Wine studio launches at Netil House
PUBLISHED: 16:21 14 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:24 14 January 2019
A wine specialist has opened a studio in Hackney where she’ll host tastings, workshops, dating events and more.
Claudia Bastiaensen wants to make learning about wine a fun and accessible experience for everybody.
Fed up of wine-based events filled with specialist language and stuffy atmospheres, the 33-year-old was inspired to create Winecdote; a multi-purpose wine studio now open for business at Netil House.
“There are a lot of wine-tasting events and courses around, but most of them are old-fashioned,” she explains.
“There’s often something snobby about them and wines can be complex and explained using really technical vocabulary, which doesn’t exactly put younger people at ease. I felt that there wasn’t anything for a younger group – those in their 20’s and 30’s – who want to learn about wine but are not interested in these outdated tastings.”
Originally from a small village in the south of the Netherlands, Bastiaensen moved to London eight months ago after a seven-year stint working in Paris, where she “really fell in love with wine.”
“I ended up working for different drinks companies and started learning more about wine five or six years ago. I studied for a professional degree, working in a Parisian champagne house and then decided what I would really love to do is share my passion and knowledge – to really create a conversation about wine.
“Londoners are so creative and love experiences, and I thought I could do something professionally here.”
Winecdote is now open for wine-tasting masterclasses and private events at Netil House’s Studio 001. Classes, which typically take place on Thursday evenings, will cover introductory sessions focused on Italian, French, vegan, rare grape and even alcohol-free wines over the next couple of months. Bastiaensen also plans to teach certified wine courses and host informal wine clubs from around March onwards.
“The wines I work with come from small, independent producers,” she adds, “I don’t want to work with commercial brands.”
“There needs to be a story behind the wine; I often work with wines from lesser-known regions or different grape varieties, whether they be organic or completely natural.”
It’s clear that Bastiaensen feels Winecdote is perfectly suited to the Hackney community. “When I thought ‘where am I going to open it?’ this was the place for me – I live in Stoke Newington and I wanted to be in the centre of Hackney, alongside so many other creative businesses and people trying to start new things.
“For me, Hackney stands for creativity and doing things differently. It’s a part of London that is unpretentious and relaxed, friendly and welcoming.”
Winecdote is at Studio 001, Netil House, 1 Westgate Street, E8 3RL. For more information, click here.