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Bottle & Battles

Where to Drink: Wine Bars in London

25 February 2019 Kaysha Woollery

We’re all about the grape at London Calling, so we thought we’d round up the city’s Top 5 wine bars for you. So, whether you’re savvy with the Sauvignon or a Cabernet connoisseur, you’ll be sure to find a spot on this list to kick back and enjoy your favourite tipple.

Spotlight On: Bottle and Battles
Finding this little gem in one of the city’s busiest corners is a bit like playing pass the parcel, as you have to unwrap a few layers of bountiful delicatessen and bustling food market to get there. Beyond all that, tucked away in the back of the Mercato Metropolitana, Bottle and Battles is a relaxed, intimate nook for wine-lovers, with expert staff readily on hand to guide you to the right glass. The ample food menu is effortlessly delicious and there’s enough choice of cheesy and carby dishes to ensure a lined stomach as you start touring the wine list. Most of the wines on offer are Italian, though there are a few from elsewhere in Europe, like the Languedoc Picpoul de Pinet if you’re looking for a fresh, mineral-y white, or the Marlborough Pinot Noir if you’re looking for a New World red... We stuck with the Italian consensus ourselves, and special mention has to go to the Vermentino Lunadu’ Poderosa white from Sardegna, which has a gorgeous peachiness and is utterly drinkable, without being too sweet or heady. For anyone who lives or works in the area, you could certainly work your way through this carefully curated selection over the course of your visits. Bottle and Battles also runs wine workshops to help you deepen your knowledge and get to the bottom of what you like, and why.

Bottle and Battles, 42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR

The Best of the Rest:
The Wine Parlour

Brixton’s trendy Wine Parlour looks after the finer details of a great wine, so all you have to worry about is enjoying your evening. Created for like-minded wine lovers by Chix and Dan in 2009, the laid-back atmosphere is perfect for their informal Wednesday wine tastings, which come with an artisan cheese and charcuterie selection plus qualified hosts to talk you through their top quality wines. As well as meeting new people who share a passion for the grape, you also get exclusive access to offers and discounts at the end of the evening. Plus, if you want to enjoy their selection from the comfort of your home, you can takeaway their wines with a discount off the menu price or browse Chix’s wine shop.
London Calling Pick: Spätburgunder 2011 – a German Pinot Noir, barrel aged for 26 months, with notes of cherry, wild raspberry and violet.
 
The Wine Parlour, 1 & 3 Vining Street, Brixton, SW9 8QA


Image © The Wine Parlour
 
Sager & Wilde
Michael Sager and Charlotte Wilde’s brainchild has evolved from a couple of bottles and cheese toasties on Old Street, to becoming East London’s most revered wine bar. The duo take immense pride in their carefully selected wine list, which changes every day and is (almost) fully available both by the glass and the bottle. With friendly, knowledgeable staff and chic interiors straight off a Parisian corner, a quick drink at Sager & Wilde can easily turn into an all-nighter. Plus their winemaker events allow you to chat with selected wine producers while learning about, and enjoying, their tasty wines all night.
 London Calling Pick: Vermentino ‘Canayli’ Superiore, Sardinia, Cantina Callura
 
Sager & Wilde, Arch 250 Paradise Row, Bethnal Green, E2 9LE and193 Hackney Road, Hoxton, E2 8JL
 
The 10 Cases
A buzzy little hub by Covent Garden, which maintains an unpretentious vibe to match the honest wine selection and boasts prices that won’t terrify your everyday wine drinker, The 10 Cases is run by former chef and sommelier Ian Campbell and former hotel manager Will Palmer. The 10 Cases ensures your wine selection is in good hands and lives up to its name – they only buy 10 cases each of their shortlisted favourites – keeping you on your toes and trying new varieties. If you like what you taste, Cave á Vin next door provides the ultimate drink and shop experience, plus they’ve launched the Drop app to deliver your favourites straight to your door.
London Calling Pick: Sauvignon Blanc, Mt. Beautiful, Canterbury, New Zealand 2014.
 
The 10 Cases, 16 Endell Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9BD


Image © The 10 Cases
 
Terroirs
Terroirs was born from Eric Narioo, head buyer of Les Caves de Pyrenes, and his travels through France in search of natural wines. Sourced from small artisan winemakers, Terroirs’ organic and biodynamic wines are produced with traditional growing methods – and minimal intervention – to preserve the authentic notes: think earthy wholesomeness with an herbaceous kick. Plus, their simple French charcuterie menu won’t overpower the wines. If you can’t get down to Charing Cross, Les Caves also branch out to Soif in Battersea and ToastED in East Dulwich.
London Calling Pick: Their glowing amber selection of tannic, skin macerated wines.
 
Terroirs, 5 William IV Street, Charing Cross, WC2N 4DW
 
28° - 50°
This legendary wine workshop has a chain of three bars in Fetter Lane, Marylebone, and Maddox Street. Each branch offers an ever-changing selection of 30 wines by the glass, carafe or bottle, to keep you consistently experiencing new ones, particularly at their tastings and events. 28° - 50° has an expertly selected range, as the branches are managed by Master Sommelier Xavier Rousset, who co-owns their Michelin-starred sister restaurant, Texture.
London Calling Pick: 2015 Falernia Carménère, Elqui Valley, Chile
 
28° - 50° , 140 Fetter Lane, Fleet Street, EC4A 1BT, 15 – 17 Marylebone Lane, Marylebone, W1U 2NE and 17 – 19 Maddox Street, Mayfair, W1S 2QH


Image © Kári Sverriss
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