We live in a time of plenty, and even in these economic doldrums, seems new wine bars are spreading like a rash as everyone runs about in pursuit of booze-fueled cash. As with most booming businesses, there are those that simply seek to take advantage of the situation, offering the minimal while masquerading their profit maximizing model, leaving the guest with the bitter taste of exploitation as the only aftertaste…yuck. Fortunately, there are folks whose passion for wine is matched with a desire to deliver guests far more, allowing us to venture far and wide throughout the wine world without having to book an international flight. What follows below is a list of such places where the palate can expand and you can taste sans haste.
WAIVER: The gist of this list is the cut through the mess so you can get out and taste the best. Venues are in alphabetical order, not that of ranking.
Bar Pepito - London
Get your Catalan kick and Iberian fix at this fun Tapas bar whose selection of Spanish wine goes far beyond fine. A full selection of Sherries that your Nanna wouldn’t know.
Bordeaux Quay - Bristol
Don’t let the name mislead, the list is deep, with copious non-Aquitaine wines. While not exactly cheap, it’s not dear either. I like the BTG offerings. Good fun.
Boudoir Wine Bar - Glasgow
From the exterior, one might jump to the fancy schmancy conclusion and walk on by, but doing so would deny the chance to savour a super, fairly priced list.
Corney & Barrow - London
A wine merchant with 232 years of experience and history, so provenance is no problem here. Drop by any of their eleven London locations for a surefire super drop of something sublime.
Epernay Champagne Bar - Manchester
I am more than a fan of the wines from Champagne; I am a devoted worshiper. In fact, sipping some Selosse right now. Anyways, this place is beyond posh, but the bubbles are decently priced.
Hanging Ditch Wine Merchants -Manchester
While not exactly your classic wine bar with glitz, this is the place to go if you want to shed being a wine ditz. Taste, discover, and enjoy what wine really is whilst avoiding what it isn’t.
The Fulham and Kensington Wine Rooms - London
Sleek Enomatic servers from Italy pour precise sips of wine. While this system somewhat belittles the bewitching beauty of wine, it does allow for variety and quality of wines.
The Quadrant - Bristol
While the list isn’t awe inspiring, neither is it horrid. The BTG White selections could have a bit more depth. They make up for it with a huge BTG for Rose and Red.
The Sampler Wine Merchant - London
With two locations in central London and 80 wines to sample BTG via Enomatic servers, the options to expand ones palate are immense. They have free corkage for wines purchased in their shop at the attached wine bar through August.
Terroirs Wine Bar & Restaurant - London
Get down and dirty at this space that specializes in wines that have a definite stamp of time and place. Not everyone is in love with Natural Wine, but everyone should give them a try at this hipper than thou bar.