RAISE a glass to wine lover Daniel Jackson, whose interest led him to start up a wine club in Hither Green – and he’s just branched out into food too.

The 36-year-old has worked in IT for a wine merchant for a decade, during which time he fell in love with the grapey goodness.

He said: “I have been lucky enough to gain a lot of wine knowledge.

“Before I started, I was the kind of guy who drank cheap wine and beer. It has spoilt my palette a bit, and it has been a bit costly.”

Daniel’s passion for the plonk and a desire to foster a community spirit led him to set up Hither Green Wine Club eight months ago.

He said: “I moved to Hither Green from Hackney about 18 months ago. I really like the area and the quietness of it, but Hackney is a world apart with shops and restaurants on your doorstep.

“I got friendly with Lynne Norledge at You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.  Because I work in the wine industry, I thought it would be a good to set up wine club.”

Each month, Daniel brings along three wines that people are unlikely to have tried, and they drink and chat.

He said: “It is really informal, not snobbish at all, it is just quite friendly and we talk about wine.”

He also invites a local gourmet guest regularly too, including cheesemonger Tom Harding from Mootown, Ian White from CAMRA, who talked about cider, and wine maker Paul Olding.

Find out more at facebook.com/hithergreenwineclub

Popping Up

News Shopper:

Daniel’s newest project is a pop-up restaurant called the Wrong Side of the Tracks, which will debut at the Cafe of Good Hope in Hither Green Lane on Saturday (July 27).

The restaurant is a project with his chef friend Renata Allamandi and will feature a Latin-inspired menu, borrowed touches from nearby and a focus on what’s seasonal.

Daniel said: “Expect to see ceviches and empanadas living happily next to asparagus in saffron mayo.

“If your summer country fete was high jacked by a hungry bunch of South Americans, this is what they’d serve.”

Entertainment will come from singer Scott Slocombe and puppeteer Matthew Robbins, who has had a residency at the Barbican and has worked with singer Tori Amos.

Go to facebook.com/wrongsideofthetracksHG