Originating as a small wine importing operation in founder James Dawson’s front room – hence the name, Humble Grape – they’ve since grown to include locations in Battersea, Fleet Street, Islington & Liverpool Street.
Canary Wharf is the fifth wine bar & shop to open in as many years and seeing the after-work crowds it had already attracted after only a couple of weeks, it was clearly the perfect next location.
All the staff are either sommeliers or studying towards their WSET’s with regular education on offer, including from the winemakers themselves. So whether you know absolutely nothing about wine or are a complete cork dork, you’ll be in very safe hands here with a rotating wine list featuring 30 by the glass and an impressive 400 by the bottle. All of which Humble Grape continue to import directly from the wineries, with a focus on sustainable, organic, or biodynamic practices. As such you can expect to find some real gems and totally new discoveries.
Located right on the water’s edge, there’s seating outside for sunny days but inside is a gorgeous buzzy space with a central pink banquette, hanging plants and rough wooden tables.
Of course, wine and food go hand in hand and the menu features small and larger dishes, ideal for sharing or nibbling as you make your way down the wine list. We kicked off with a glass of prosecco, a plate of chickpea fritters (which you might think would be veggie-friendly but no, they’d been wrapped in truffled lardo and served with a dollop of salty anchovy aioli for good measure. Fresh, chunky seabream ceviche topped our bitesize tacos, providing a kick from the pickled shallots, thin slices of red chilli and coriander.
Not to mention this deliriously creamy burrata on smoked confit tomatoes (which managed to clock up over a thousand views in just a few hours). Clearly, we’re not the only ones who can’t resist this Italian treat and what a treat it was with a glass of Kerner from Slovenian producer Matic Wines. Not a grape we’ve tried before,
The grilled octopus was some of the best we’ve ever tried. Exceptionally meaty and not in the least chewy, it had the perfect charred markings and was served with slivers of French green beans, in a well-flavoured gazpacho sauce with lightly crushed tomatoes. That had been paired with our favourite wine of the night, a surprising Tokaji which instead of being sweet as you might expect, was deliciously creamy, oaky and weighty.
More cheese was to follow, this time a straight-forward baked camembert, served with crisped shards for scooping and an exquisite pinot noir from Germany. A plate of truffles and one more glass of wine for the road left us vowing to return.
We’re told weekends will be filled with ‘a unique approach to bottomless brunch’ (we’re intrigued) as well as Sunday Roasts.
LIKE THE SOUND OF THAT? NOW WIN YOUR OWN HUMBLE GRAPE VISIT!
Booking in advance is a must.