“A bottle of wine begs to be shared; I have never met a miserly wine lover” – Clifton Paul Fadiman
Words Miriam Carey
5 of the best London wine societies
The mark up on wine is huge. It’s hard to get over spending £30 on a bottle of wine in a restaurant when you could buy and drink the same bottle at home for £10. This is where London wine societies come in – wine connoisseurs gain access to some of the best wines without nearly as much of an inflation in price. Plus, wine clubs such as 67 Pall Mall, Waud Wine and Ten Trinity Square also ascertain a luxury setting to enjoy them in, surrounded by like-minded people. Then there is the other, lower commitment, end of the wine club spectrum. With Berry Bros & Rudd and The Samper, you can sign-up to receive bottles delivered to your door and exclusive invitations to events you would not come across elsewhere.
The Exclusive Wine Club: 67 Pall Mall Club
67 Pall Mall Club is a private members’ wine club situated in the heart of St James, within Sir Edwin Lutyen’s Grade II listed building. However, to gain entrance to the club candidates need a proposer and a seconder within the existing community. Those who become members not only gain access to a vast wealth of wine knowledge and resources, but also to a network of interesting, like-minded individuals.
The Fun Wine Club: Waud Wine Club
Waud Wine Club was born out of a genuine network of friends who all shared an interest in wine. The club describes itself as ‘jovial’ and is somewhat exclusive – potential entrants must complete an application and pay a monthly fee of £30 into their ‘wine account’. Members gain access to interesting and unusual wines that cannot be sourced on the high-street, most coming from France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. Members are also invited to wine tastings, tours and occasional trips to the Champagne, Alsace, Loire and Bordeaux regions.
The High-End Wine Club: Ten Trinity Square
By-the-glass access to the UK’s largest selection of ex-cellar Château Latour wines is just one of the benefits open to members of one of the most exclusive of London wine societies. The soon-to-open Ten Trinity Square will feature two restaurants, a cigar lounge and bar and billiards room, all furnished with walnut panelling, chandeliers, leather and velvet. Wine can be accompanied by a selection of dishes from Michelin-starred La Dame de Pic and the club will host regular tastings and wine dinners. To gain access you will need to put in an application and have it approved.
The Beginner’s Club: The Sampler Club
The Sampler Club is more of a wine merchant than a club, set up in 2006 by Jamie and Dawn, with the aim to make wine drinking non-elitist and fun. It facilitates regular people ordering interesting bottles of wine to their home. Cases of six or 12 boxes are delivered to your door quarterly or monthly and come with tasting notes and food suggestions. This is a great way to learn about wine and they always try and put new and exciting wines in the cases.
The Well-Established Wine Club: Berry Brothers & Rudd
Berry Bros. & Rudd is Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchant, having traded from the same shop since 1698. Join their wine club and you will receive a 12 bottle case monthly, selected by one of their seven Masters of Wine. Further club benefits include offers to exclusive wine club events, tastings and dinners.