Dalla Terra opens up the world of wine, taking the pomp out of plonk. Whether you’re a knowledgeable enthusiast or a confused novice, you will be given an education in the grape.
Dalla Terra has pitched its décor at just the right level. There’s no decorative flourish or OTT embellishment – you hardly need it when almost every wall is covered in shelves filled with neat rows of wine bottles. The large glass frontage floods the space with light during the day, with the wine glistening in the sunlight. Seating is generous and eclectic, mixing funky high chairs sat by large wooden benches with leather armchairs around cute little low-lying, round tables. It is classy without being pretentious – essential for a welcoming enoteca in the British capital. And being located in St Martin’s Courtyard works in its favour, tucked out of the way of the main throng of tourists.
Enotecas, wineries, wine bars – often they have bad reputations among ‘Average Joes’ for being snobby and pretentious spots. However, as more people start to develop an interest in the grape, good bars like Dalla Terra recognise that not everyone will be an expert, and there’s no need to embarrass the clueless. And that’s the real charm of Dalla Terra. You can come here with no clue about wine and the patient staff will talk you through the produce, teaching you little nuggets of information that you can throw into conversation at your next dinner party.
There’s a small Italian food menu on offer at Dalla Terra, focussing on Italian dishes. Small plates like buffalo mozzarella, cured sea trout, beef carpaccio and various salads come in between £6 and £12. However, the ‘on the board’ section of the menu is probably your best bet if you’re looking for food to complement the wine but don’t fancy a whole meal. They cover antipasto, salami and cheese boards priced between £13 and £15.
The wine list at Dalla Terra features over 180 bottles (with over 30 available by the glass) and covers all price points. The staff are keen to highlight the close relationships Dalla Terra has with wineries across the world, which helps to create a story behind the produce – something you never get at Sainsburys and Co. They also make an effort to introduce bottles from small independent producers so you can find bottles that aren’t sold elsewhere.
Bottles of wine are priced from just under £18 to almost £300 and the focus is mainly on Old World varietals. They have an especially good selection of Super Tuscans (innovative Tuscan wines that break with traditional grape varieties and production), including an excellent bottle of Pontentino Piropo blended from Pinot Noir, Sangiovese and Alicante grapes with cherry notes. Best of all, when you find a bottle you like you can take it away, with Dalla Terra also carrying a shop licence.
The Last Word
Whether you love wine or just want to learn a bit more, Dalla Terra is worth a visit. This is a place where no question is a stupid question – so get discovering!