There have been many reports about the trend for reducing alcohol in-take, particularly among Gen Z and younger. As a wine lover and professional I can never fully support tee-totalism (unless for medical reasons) but what I can get on board with is the ethos of drinking less but drinking better.
Gone are the days people pounded down the cheapest bottle of house plonk to get buzzed as swiftly as possible; now many would rather skip the drunkenness and savour a glass or two of something delicious.
Thankfully London provides a smorgasbord of places serving excellent wines by the glass and I have done my due diligence without a single grumble and tried a whole host of them for you. Here are some of the best places to get yourself a glass of great wine.
I once spent a fabulous birthday with the wine-pairing tasting menu at Les 110 de Taillevent, so named because it stocks 110 wines by the glass. This French fine-wine brasserie off Oxford Street not only offers a huge variety of wines but some of the most knowledgeable Sommeliers in town. No matter which wine you choose, they always have a story about it. The only problem is I found each story so fascinating I completely ignored my dining companion for much of the meal.
Noble Rot (pictured) has swiftly become the darling of the wine world with its three award-winning venues across Bloomsbury, Soho and Mayfair. Bone-achingly cool but with a warmth of service that can only be born out of real love for the grape, the Soho restaurant won “Best By The Glass” at the Star Wine List Awards this year. With some absolute treasures made by the most interesting producers, you may find it hard to stick to just the one glass…
The 10 Cases in Covent Garden is a London stalwart, as any regular reader of mine may have gathered by how many wine professionals name it in my “a glass with” interview as their favourite place. A brilliant, original model, they only buy 10 cases of each wine, meaning the list here is constantly changing. They also favour a relaxed short-list of 10 reds and 10 whites, as well as some sparking and rosés. Perfect for the wine curious who want to avoid the confusion of a mind bogglingly long selection.
For those who enjoy a bit of boggling, however, make your way to Soho’s secret gem The Mulwray, hidden above The Blue Post pub. A stylish snug, where wines are listed as “path less trodden” or “wild and free” enabling a voyage of discovery, or opt for their ‘Sundowners Selection’ of three glasses for £15.
East London’s Sager + Wilde is an easy-going place to enjoy an ever-changing offering by the glass and their low markups mean it is an affordable option for a guaranteed good time. Each time I visit I seem to bump into someone from the wine trade indulging in their tasty fare and natural wines.
On the flipside of this, nestled in Bank’s Royal Exchange is chic Oeno House. Mainly specialising in rare, iconic and staggeringly expensive bottles they also offer a tidy yet exciting glass list of premium wines from all over the world that won’t break the bank, to be enjoyed on their alfresco terrace or private tasting room. Perfect for that post-work glass of champagne.