Jane Cook with colleagues Will Barker and Sam Phipps at Bacareto. Image: Cardiff Wine Passport.

Cardiff Wine Passport showcases independent bars, one glass at a time

Connoisseurs can treat themselves or their Valentine to six glasses for £25

A PASSPORT designed to help wine lovers discover independent bars in Cardiff will be on sale just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Art on the window at Nighthawks, an artisan wine bar that also serves cheese toasties, is one of the latest participants in the Cardiff Wine Passport. Image: Bridie Adams.

For £25, the Cardiff Wine Passport allows customers to swap stamps for wine “flights” at a selection of independent city centre venues.

Eight bars are participating, with customers having up to 10 weeks to use up all six of their stamps.

The passport will offer a choice of two different wines per venue and, for an extra cost of up to £16, passport holders can add a suggested food pairing.

She told The Cardiffian: “I remember thinking it was such a cool idea, but wine would be a lot easier to manage – and a lot of fun! And so, the idea was born.

“I know that indie hospitality businesses need all the support they can get at the moment, as the cost-of-living crisis is squeezing them hard. This seemed like a great way to remind people what great venues we have on our doorstep.

“In order to make it work for our venues in the current financial climate, this year, we’ve brought the glass size down to 125ml.”

But despite the smaller glass size, the passport still provides a saving for wine lovers.

Jane said that the wines usually retail for around £6 a glass, meaning that passport holders can be expected to save around £2 a glass – or £12 overall.

The first Cardiff Wine Passport last year generated more than £10,000 for independent venues, with 550 passports sold, said Jane.

Two bars from the 44 Group, Bar 44 and Asador, are participating. Company director Natalie Isaac said: “We were approached to be part of the first year and were keen to showcase both Bar 44 and Asador as part of this brilliant scheme.

“The wine passport was a huge success last year and introduced a number of new customers to both of our venues. We are excited to be part of the experience again and about the fact that it is running for a longer period of time.”

Natalie added that the Parador 44 hotel above Asador will be offering further discounts for all passport holders.

Alex Howells, general manager of Daffodil, another participating bar, said: “Our wine list takes a lot of time, hard work and tasting. We are very proud of it. It comprises old and new world wines. We like to have a story behind the wines where you can see a passion. Wine is all about the people.

“The cost of living has affected everyone. It’s not a nice situation at all. However, I feel that the wine passport offers real value for money as well as a great experience. People will pay for quality and the last passport was a success. Bring on number two after the success of Cardiff Wine Passport number one!”

While some of the bars have returned for the second passport, independent bar Nighthawks are new for this year. Co-owner David “Fitz” Adams said: “It seems like a great way to help bring customers in on quieter days. We’ve picked some delicious wines to offer, so hopefully, we’ll soon be meeting some brand-new customers.”

Last month, Cardiff Wine Passport was shortlisted for two Cardiff Life Awards: Best New Business and Best Leisure and Tourism Business. The awards are free to enter for businesses in the Welsh capital and the winners will be decided by an independent judging panel at the end of February.

Graphic: Bridie Adams.

What wines are available and what venues are taking part in the Cardiff Wine Passport 2023?

Nighthawks, 47-49 Castle Arcade

Image: Bridie Adams.

This wine bar in Castle Arcade serves wine by the glass alongside cheese toasties.

Red: Azienda Agricola Kerinos Primitivo 2019 Puglia, Italy Primitivo

This black cherry wine can be paired with a classic cheese toastie for an extra £8.

White: Famille Hugel “Gentil” 2020 Alsace, France

This wine tastes of rose, lychee, green apples and lemon and can be paired with a meat and cheese charcuterie plate for an extra £16.

Bacareto, 13 Church Street

This café-bar serves simple, seasonal food and drink.

Red: Neropasso Biscardo Corvinone, Corvina and Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

This velvety and complex wine full of cherry and plum notes can be paired with a pizetta for an extra £3.

White: Sibiliano, Grillo

This fresh yet elegant and delicate wine with lemon flavours can be paired with the Sicilian street food favourite panelle (chickpea fritters) for an extra £1.

Curado Bar, 2 Guildhall Place

Image: Bridie Adams.

This Spanish deli bar serves wine, beer and pintxos, which are small Spanish snacks.

Red: Canada del Soto Monastrell, Garnacha Tintorera

This spiced red cherry wine pairs well with air dried beef topped with shavings of smoked ewe’s milk cheese for an extra £10.

White: Coviar Albarino

This fresh wine has a burst of apple, pear and citrus notes and can be paired with an anchovy dish for an extra £9.

Vermut, 2 Guildhall Place

Wales’s first ever Andalusian bar specialises in sherry and vermouth.

Red: Zarro Rojo Vermut

This medium sweet wine tastes of orange peel and aromatic herbs and pairs well with a cheeseboard for an extra £6.50.

White: Zarro Blanco Vermut

This floral wine has a rounded fruity finish and pairs well with Aceitunas mixed olives for an extra £5.

Asador, 14-15 Quay Street

This grill and wine house is a stone’s throw away from the Principality Stadium.

Red: Beronia, Viura, Rioja

This is a complex and intense wine with exotic fruit aromas, the most prominent being pineapple over other fruit such as green apple and lemon. Pair with the red prawn bisque croqueta for an extra £5.50.

White: Barahonda, Monsatrell, Yecia

This cherry-coloured wine with full blackberry and cherry aromas can be paired with charred Asador bread for an extra £4.

Bar 44,  15-23 Westgate Street

Bar 44 is a lively tapas bar in the heart of Cardiff offering wine to be sipped alongside classic and seasonal small plates.

Red: Vallemajor Joven, Tempranillo Rioja

This fruity red wine with liquorice flavours can be paired with a plate of regional cured meat for an extra £12.

White: Beronia, Rueda Verdejo

This wine has aromas of stone fruits, herbs, florals and cut grass, and can be paired with tuna tartare, salmorejo and rosemary crackers for an extra £8.

Daffodil, 33 Windsor Place

This is a modern gastro pub which serves seasonal food with a focus on local Welsh produce.

Red: Aresca Vini Barbera d’Asti “La Moretta” Piedmont, Italy

Fruity, elegant and easy to drink, this wine has aromas of red fruit with notes of sweet spices. Pair with Caws Cenarth Black Sheep, chorizo and Brecon honey for an extra £4.25.

White: Luca Botter Organic Pinot Grigio Veneto, Italy

This wine is light and dry on the palate with hints of acacia and lemon peel. Pair with Kalamanta olives for an extra £3.99.

Scaredy Cats, 16 Working Street

This casual café-bar near the castle offers wine, craft beer and coffee. Scaredy Cats’ food menu changes frequently but customers can ask bar staff about pairings during their visit.

Red: Gatito Loco Rioja Tinto Tempranillo, Garnacha

This wine, which is made in Rioja but not in the traditional style, has aromas of black and red fruits and liquorice.

White: Gatito Loco Rioja Blanco Viura, Tempranillo Blanco

This crisp vibrant white wine has notes of peach, mango and citrus, and is vegan.

  • Click here to sign up for the passport’s presale on February 6 at 9am. The passport is valid from February 19 to April 27. Different venues accept the passport on different days and times.