This month, Mattia Bianchi will launch DIRT at Berber & Q Shawarma Bar, celebrating the diverse soil and climates in the wine world.
Once a month until December, Bianchi will take on two leading sommeliers from London and beyond, as they hunt in search of the best bottles from their chosen soil: Magma (Volcanic wines), Salt (Wines of the sea) or Peak (Mountain wines).
Showcasing and sharing the stories behind their bottles, from a few well known to the downright obscure, as well as others completely new to the London wine scene and sourced outside the UK, guest sommeliers will go head to head and whoever’s bins are emptied first, will come out on top.
Kicking off proceedings on the 29 October with the theme of ‘Magma’, Mattia will be joined by Ottolenghi’s Heidi Knudsen and Sandia Chang of Bubbledogs. Taking the helm in November, in search of ‘Salt’, will be Edouard-Charles Souchal from Copenhagen’s Manfreds and Nominoe Guillebot of Michelin Starred Lyle’s before Alessandra Saponara of Fera and Clément Jeannin from Vivant in Paris are welcomed to the field in December, tasked with the theme of ‘Peak’.
Bianchi said, ‘I’ve been wanting to host some wine events for ages, staying away from the usual tastings, masterclasses or winemakers dinners - I wanted something more fun, exciting and dynamic.
'As much as this might sound like another boring wine gathering, DIRT is the opposite; it’s a chance to meet some of Europe’s most exciting sommeliers in a relaxed environment, drink obscure bottles at entry level prices, have a banter, eat some food and hopefully get a bit drunk too!’
All wines will be available by the glass only and keeping everyone well fed, Josh Katz has devised a menu of ‘mezze’ including Tahini hummus, chickpeas, zhug, urfa chilli, Freekeh, broccoli, almonds, preserved lemon, Cauliflower shawarma, pomegranate molasses, green chilli, rose, all served with toasted cholla and ‘Meats’; including Harissa chicken thigh, smashed cucumber, pickled red onion, and Lamb shawarma, Tahini, harissa, bread and butter pickles.