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Bar Fifty Six, Wokingham

Muddy says: There are 56 reasons to love Bar Fifty Six in Wokingham and they start and finish with great wine. No Sade, no snobs, just a cool place to hang out.

Bar 56 Wokingham white and grey exterior of Georgian pub

Bar Fifty Six, previously old man’s boozer The Metropolitan, is a new wine bar that is reinventing the drinking genre to pull it out of the 80s. No Sade mindlessly pumping through the sound system, no wine snobbery, no power suits. It’s relaxed, cool, a great place to hang out and something unique to Wokingham

There is a slightly eccentric traveller vibe – appropriate when owner Andy Rogers and director James Harris are encouraging you to take a wine tour without setting foot in a vineyard. An eclectic mix of furniture and industrial touches add to the unique offering.

The wine menu is the main event. Having gone direct to the vineyards, the wine list throws up a few surprises… and it is intentional. Andy’s a self-confessed wino and clearly enjoyed every tasting sesh to bring a reasonably priced selection of 20 whites, 20 reds, 5 sparkling wines (including the utterly delicious Prosecco Colucci based in Berkshire), 4 Champagnes, 3 rosés,  3 ports and 1 dessert wine, with prices start at £17.50 a bottle to £135 for a bubblicious Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque Champagne. Plus there’s an impressive list of artisan sprints and a few craft beers to try too..

The majority of the wines are priced at at £30-£40, so if you wanted a seriously sassy bottle of something good, you won’t need to remortgage the house to pay for it and there are lots of options by the glass. Although the food menu is not extensive, the pick and mix sharing plates all add to the friendly vibes.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Berkshire