Last year London lost a wine-lovers dating institution - Vinopolis.
According to tearful reps, they had "come to the end of what could be achieved with the wine experience."
So single Londoners made do with trips to Gordon's Wine Bar - the first choice of the unimaginative dater - and started to search for somewhere new to 'taste' wines, rather than just drink them.
And why the focus on tasting not drinking?
Because tastings allow us an excuse for our binge drinking ways on dates.
At such moments, the habit of drinking gallons of wine can be masqueraded as a cultural pursuit providing there's some sort of 'flight' involved.
Without that, we're simply acknowledging a crippling reliance on wine to create a romantic spark.
As Hemingway put it, "I drink to make other people more interesting", and drinking on dates serves to ease dull early exchanges or find a commonality where there isn't one.
Whatever the reason, we're unlikely to break this habit anytime soon and I cheerfully refuse to.
So here are six of the best places to imbibe with impunity:
1. Sagar and Wilde, Bethnal Green
Sagar + Wilde restaurant on Paradise Row has a Saturday wine school that's perfect for daytime dates and laid back wine workshops.
The tastings are based on their current by the glass selection and split between a sparkling/white/orange and red wine
A snip at £15 for an hour, 3pm - 4pm.
2. Vagabond, Shoreditch
I drink almost weekly at this Spitalfields tipple-factory.
Top up a pre-pay card and then go to town on the wines hanging on the walls.
It's uncringe, relaxed and there's no one to lecture you on the nose.
3. Bedales, Borough
Prop up the bar at this wine emporium and drink out of bowl-sized glasses.
Or if you want some structure to your boozing, book in a wine tasting for 2.
It ain't cheap - at £100 all in - but that's 6 wines each and some delectable nibbles.
Find out more.
4. New Street Wine Shop, Liverpool Street
No awkward lectures - just a small, good looking shop with a semi-private area for tastings at £25 for a flight of 3.
And if you're in need of a date, private dating events club Social Concierge is taking over the shop for an evening of wine tasting with 24 of London's most eligible 20/30something singles.
This is a private event but you can apply for special access tickets.
5 Humble Grape, Battersea
This wood-furnished local bar attracts a young crowd and serves poshed up sourdough toasties with an expansive selection of wines from £7 a glass.
You can ask for food and wine pairings for two or, for a group date, book the private room for a reckless night of working through the cellar.
6. 10 Cases, Soho
Soho was made for drinking at inappropriate times of the day - and far too much.
Their Cave a Vin wine show showcases the best picks from the bistro next door, which can be taken away or drank on site for a casual date vibe.
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