Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Bar review: GORDON'S WINE BAR (Embankment)

My first impression of Gordon's Wine Bar, handily located equidistant between Charing Cross and Embankment tube stations, was that it was a bit dingy. No doubt regular punters at this bar would find the shabbiness endearing, but the peeling paint and decaying wood, in combination with a rather ominous smell, didn't scream 'welcome!' to me.

To its credit, the sherries and wines on offer at Gordon's Wine Bar were high-quality and extensive, and so pleasing was the taste of the dessert sherry I was consuming that I could temporarily displace the poor maintenance of the Gordon's Wine Bar out of my mind. 

If you prefer your beverages more on the conventional side, there are some beers on offer, as well as more accessible wines such as Pinot Noir and Merlots. However, by nature of it being a wine bar, Gordon’s Wine Bar also boasts more recherché brands, although these drinks come with price tags such that there's no ambiguity of their rarity.

Pretty sure it's 'the customer is always right', just commenting.

The nibbles in Gordon’s Wine Bar are, to their credit, very satisfying. There’s an extensive range of cheeses, of which the Chèvre receives my highest recommendation. It’s soft, luscious deliciousness, and the wine washes it down amicably. And if that doesn’t appeal to you, the cheese selection includes brie, taleggio, gorgonzola, Isle of Avalon and more, meaning there’s bound to be something to suit your palate.

Sadly, my main takeaway from Gordon's Wine Bar was that, for the prices they were charging, the surroundings (seats, tables, walls) should have been in much better condition. There is only so many flaws that inebriation can blind you to.  

The half-bottle of wine photographed above was £12.50. For less than that at The Court, a pub on Tottenham Court Road, you can get a full bottle of wine. The Court is a pretty grungy pub, but it's no worse than Gordon's Wine Bar in terms of cleanliness (or lack thereof), and I can drink there for half the price. I can handle poorly maintained and affordable. I’m also good with expensive and lavish. But bad maintenance and expensive is the worst of both worlds.

For the most part, I appreciated the novelty of drinking somewhere rather than the local boozer. However, regardless of how much history Gordon's Wine Bar is steeped in, or its 15+ range of cheeses on offer, it sadly doesn't offer good value for money. And the stench, goddamn. Would it kill the management to funnel some of the money they get from over-charging on alcohol into hiring a cleaner? 

Grade: C+


The rest of my bar reviews are listed here.

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