This summer, there’s an unusual new way to find city centre venues serving great wine – and help keep the tills ringing mid-week at some of our best-loved independent bars and restaurants.
Working with two of my creative pals, Will and Sam, I’ve launched a Cardiff Wine Passport – a physical, 16-page keepsake booklet which costs £25, and entitles you to claim a ‘wine flight’ from six different bars and restaurants around the city centre.
I created it as a way to support and champion Cardiff’s brilliant independent hospitality businesses, who have all had such a rough ride over the last couple of years. Oh, and because I really bloody love wine!
How does the passport work?
The Cardiff Wine Passport is your invitation to spend six weeks swapping passport stamps for 175ml glasses of wine at six city-centre venues of your choice (there are 11 to choose from):
- Bacareto: A relaxed and informal café bar, inspired by the small bàcari of Venice.
- Curado Bar: This Spanish deli bar in Westgate street serves beer, wine and pintxos (a small snack, traditional to bars in northern Spain)
- Kindle: A sustainability focussed, outdoor-only restaurant serving natural wines and food cooked over fire.
- Bar 44: A lively tapas bar in the heart of the city, serving classic and seasonal small plates and sherry poured straight from the barrel.
- Daffodil: A modern gastro pub, serving quality seasonal food with a focus on local Welsh produce.
- Gin & Juice: An all-day destination, serving healthy breakfasts, lunch and light supper, – and by night, over 350 gins alongside beers, wines and spirits.
- Scaredy Cats: This casual café-bar in the heart Cardiff offers board games to play whilst you sip craft beer, coffee & wine.
- Vermut: A cosy hole-in-the-wall bar which specialises in the sale of Sherry, Vermouth, and wines from Montilla-Moriles.
- Asador 44: This restaurant serves impeccable ingredients cooked over an authentic Spanish grill with a modern touch.
- Rum & Fizz: Bringing the spirit of NYC to the Welsh capital, here you’ll find speciality rums, prosecco and wines.
- The Chilled & Tannin pop-up at Little Man Coffee: This coffee shop by day will open late on Thursday evenings, curating a wine list especially for the passport.
Each venue has allocated a specific number of glasses to offer as part of the passport scheme; therefore, I’d recommend visiting your top picks first, as places will eventually ‘sell out’ of their pre-allocated glasses.
But if a venue has ‘sold out’ or is too busy at the time of your visit, just pop along to the next one on your list – the aim of the passport is to help people to discover new venues – and wines – they might not have considered before.
Valid from the 7th August for six weeks (from Sunday to Thursday), the independent hospitality businesses signed up to the Cardiff Wine Passport scheme are among some of my absolute favourite places to eat and drink in the city.
Is food included?
The passport will offer a choice of two different wines at each venue, but for an extra cost, you can add a suggested food pairing – matching your glass of wine with a seasonal small plate or bar snack. I had the tough job of sampling them all, and think my fave match is the the Txakoli Aretxaga from Curado, paired with their white pickled anchovies dressed with extra virgin olive oil. So good!
Becca Thomas from Bacareto, a Venetian wine bar and restaurant on Church Street, captured everything I hoped the passport would be when she said:
“A very special part of Venetian culture is the ‘Bacaro Tour’, the custom of hopping from one bar to another, enjoying a drink and a bite to eat at each. We hope the passport will mean that Cardiff can enjoy a little bit of this tradition – and people can discover some new favourite haunts along the way!”
If successful, it’s my hope that the Cardiff Wine Passport will grow to become an annual fixture in Cardiff’s calendar. With a limited availability of only 1,500 passports for the first run, you can grab yours now at www.cardiffwinepassport.co.uk.
Finally – I have of course, designed this passport with sustainability in mind; the intention was for it to be something you would want to keep. But if not, the inner pages are made from 100% recycled paper, and are 100% recyclable in your green bin. The drip-proof cover is the only part which can’t be recycled – you can keep this as a memento of all the fun times you’ve had!
I really hope you love the idea as much as I have loved putting it together 🙂
The creation of the Cardiff Wine Passport has been supported by For Cardiff’s City Ambition Fund, which was set up to help support external projects which contribute to the future of the city.