Sommelier Matt Skinner has taken on a new role as wine director of a new Shoreditch-based club called The East Room.
The club, which opened at the beginning of the month, is the latest venture by Jonathan Downey, one of London’s most successful bar owners.
This time he is out to reinvent the wine bar with the New World Wine Room, whose list is almost entirely composed of new world wines – barring a couple of Champagnes.
Fifty of ‘the greatest wines of the southern hemisphere’ will available by the glass – 30 of them via four special wine samplers of the type used at Islington’s The Sampler.
The selection has been supervised by former Jamie Oliver sommelier Skinner, now based back in his home town of Melbourne, where Downey is also opening a new bar.
Downey also aims to change the traditional male-dominated profile of wine bars by offering a reduced price membership to women.
‘We are catering to the 21st century tastes of 20- and 30-something women rather than the 19th century aesthetic of 50- and 60-something men’, he claimed.
For the first two months the club will be open to ‘anyone who can find the place, ring the buzzer and not act like an idiot once inside,’ he said.
Written by Fiona Beckett