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By Rhea Cartwright
o longer just the tipple of choice for old, ruddy-faced men, there is undoubtedly a new movement in wine culture. Less impressed by statement, heritage or investment wines, modern wine lovers are captivated by biodynamic and natural wines that frankly taste great, are committed to sustainable practices and bonus points if it has quirky branding.
Whether you’re a competent wine buff or have made your wine purchasing choices by whichever name you can most comfortably pronounce, here are the best wine bars in London to pop and pour.
Ethical coffee shop by day and sustainable wine bar by night, the intimate space at Cellar is quickly becoming one of our favourite haunts. Their incredibly reasonably priced wine list focuses on low intervention wines, which is another term for natural wine. Grab the window seat to watch the world go by or opt for the snug seating at the back and enjoy a glass of Chin Chin with a cheeseboard and black truffle crisps.
With organic wine and craft beer, Binch passes the vibe check. Nestled close to London Fields and just a ten-minute walk from Dalston Junction, the neighbourhood wine bar has a relaxed atmosphere with an extensive list of some of the most sought after modern wines. They also have regular natural wine testing events to help you brush up on your wine lexicon.
You’ll find The Mulway hidden upstairs above The Blue Post Pub on Rupert Street. The wine list has been curated by the revered sommelier Honey Spencer who is wine director at the exceptional Israeli restaurants The Palomar and The Barbary. Their wine cabinet is filled with unexpected choices that celebrate new, niche and lesser-known wine regions. A gloriously easy-to-navigate wine menu makes it a doddle to select with pages such as “Firm Favourites”, “The Path Less Trodden” and “Wild and Free”.
Sat on the Northern Line, on the edge of Kentish Town and still within walking distance of Hampstead Heath, Tuffnell Park is truly an unsung London hero with one of the best London high streets for fashion and food. Case in point - Authentique Épicerie & Wine. A truly French establishment, they supplement their core edit with a monthly regional curation to help us discover some new finds among the Francophone choices. The trio of Frenchmen are also behind the bakery, wine and food shop, the French Market which recently launched in Whetstone which has the BEST chocolate and almond croissant you’ll find in London
With dim lighting and exposed brick, the ambience in Sager and Wilde is sexy, understated and informal. With a focus on fine wine, they have an ample selection of wines by the bottle but also by the glass. In a small but endlessly stylish space, ask their knowledgeable staff for guidance and be sure to order their ridiculously good grilled cheese sandwich.
Escape the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street with a glass of wine at Antidote. Specialising in biodynamic and natural wine, the two-floor venue is a treasure trove of primarily French wines. Having just launched their selection of mouthwatering summer rosés, it’s the perfect place for a pause in the London sun.
Head to our pick of London's best wine bars to say "bottoms up" this summer.
By Rhea Cartwright
Galleries have reopened and the city is pulsing once again with the return of culture, art, music, people. We hear from the women leading the art scene on what galleries they’re heading to this summer and what they’re most excited to see