Whether you like it smooth and rich, fresh and juicy, full-bodied or elegant, nothing beats a glass of good red wine; here’s where we like to get one in the city
Words Helen Brown
Our top spots for drinking good red wine this winter
As the Capital’s oldest wine bar (established in 1890) Gordon’s has earned its place on many a wine list. Exposed brickwork and flickering candlelight are brought together in an atmospheric subterranean venue that offers one of the quintessential London experiences. The wine menu journeys from the classic regions of France to South America and further. A simplistic but delicious menu of buffet-style food and tapas is available to keep you steady on your feet.
Founded by the eponymous London-based wine and Lifestyle magazine, Noble Rot has built a well-deserved reputation for its award-winning wine list and friendly, knowledgeable staff. With its flagged stone flooring, vineyard-themed frescos and unpretentious attitude, Noble Rot has rapidly earned its place high on the go-to lists of wine lovers.
This vino hot-spot boasts a global wine list with a focus on sparkling varieties. That being said, you’ll get a very good red wine here, from the likes of Sicily through to Southern Australia, with a simple yet delicious food offering to go with.
SAGER + WILDE
This sleek, Parisian-esque establishment has a great selection of reasonably priced wines from across the globe and from some outstanding producers. Staff are relaxed and informative and the food menu ticks every box. The toasties from the Hackney branch are a must, washed down with a good red wine from the well-curated menu.
This independent London-based wine merchant is on a mission to make fine wine accessible to the masses. Staff are fantastically knowledgeable and their passion for the wine craft is evident. The Humble Grape has a niche for hand-crafted wines from lesser known vineyards around the world and they directly import every bottle so you pay only for the wine you are drinking.
28-50 is the second brainchild (after haute cuisine restaurant Texture) of sommelier Xavier Rousset and executive chef Agnar Sverrisson. The surroundings of all three branches are stylish and offer 15 red and 15 white expertly chosen wines available by the glass, carafe and bottle, as well as a unique Collectors’ Selection of fine-wines. Wine lists change frequently so you can try new varieties with each visit.
Ostuni is London’s first establishment dedicated to the wines and cuisine of Puglia, offering a true taste of Italy. They have a fantastic wine list from Puglia as well as a range of fine wines from Piedmont, Tuscany and Friuli. This selection matches superbly with the food menu, which is an authentic reflection on the simplicity and flavour of Italian cuisine.
THE GILBERT SCOTT
As part of Marcus Wareing’s highly esteemed restaurant, the bar at The Gilbert Scott offers grandeur without stiff formality. The wine list is huge and has been carefully selected to include a mix of safe and quirky options; and much like every establishment under the Wareing umbrella, the atmosphere is buzzy and friendly. The best bit though, is that they sell wine by the glass. Here you’re at liberty to try myriad varieties of good red wine you might never otherwise pay for.
THE WINEMAKERS CLUB
This wine-shop-come-bar is a great place to hang out after work with a good red wine and a plate of cheese. Situated under a railway arch, stepping into The Winemakers Club feels like you’ve journeyed back in time. The wine list is amazingly eclectic and boasts a global selection – think Hungary, Slovenia, and even Poland – natural, organic and biodynamic wines, as well as the tried and tested classics. Discover by taste, glass or bottle.
10 CASES CAVE Á VIN
A regular haunt of vino-aficionados, the 10 Cases Cave á Vin is another great drink-in-the-shop setup; taking inspiration from the French and Italian wine bars. You’ll be hard pushed to choose one from the regularly changing selection of 300+ fine wines from across the globe. Buy wine for takeaway or enjoy in-house alongside tapas-style dishes from the Bistro á Vin next door.