10 London-Based Independent Wine Stores To Add To Your Radar
The true joy of a fresh bottle of natural wine is undeniable. Plucked from a shelf in a shop (or more likely delivered to our doors), we’ve looked forward to pouring peachy hues that reminded us of those famed Positano sunsets. This is a Friday night treat we’ve come to savour at Whistles.
In London, there’s a wealth of small, independent wine shops with inventive selections to choose from — which makes the idea of the summer evenings, BBQs, and garden parties on the horizon even more exciting. So whether a hearty Primitivo or a sun-kissed bottle of orange wine is more your flavour, here’s where to buy wine now shops are open again.
This cosy wine shop on the corner of Newington Green feels almost European in its atmosphere — think outdoor seating replete with heaters and umbrellas, while inside, shelves are filled with bottles of natural wine and organic ciders and the kitchen serves up charcuterie. There’s an impressive array of reds on offer, from Malbec to Primitivo and French Cabernet.
Salthouse and Supplies in Brockley is a tiny space filled with all the good stuff — think almonds and maize kernels from Brindisa, alongside Perello olives, loaves of fresh sourdough and yes, lots of lovely bottles of wine. Favourites include ‘Bagnums’ from Le Grippin — two bottles’ worth in a recyclable bag, which has a significantly lower carbon footprint than a glass bottle — and Tempranillo from Gran Cerdo, a mineral-y organic red which is perfectly paired with a roast.
Wild and Lees
This rustic Herne Hill store prides itself on its self-titled ‘plucky’ wine selection. Classics from France, Italy, and Spain are shelved alongside newer contenders from countries including Greece, Lebanon and Austria. Staff are knowledgeable and will offer suggestions across a range of price points, and stock up on local craft beer while you’re at it — Wild and Lees sell a range from South East London breweries.
Located within strolling distance of Dalston Junction Overground station, Newcomer Wines is an intimate shop bedecked with plants and stocking a selection of wines from across the globe. With a keen focus on its growers, much of its wine is organic and biodynamic – produced in conditions that better the soil, without fertilisers or pesticides. We suggest the Sauvignon by Austrian winemaker Weingut Werlitsch. The terracotta bottle is ideal for using as a vase afterwards.
This Finsbury Park-based wine shop and restaurant didn’t sell wine online until March; so successful was it, it’s now opening a second location to extend its selection. Stop by to pick up a bottle of Baccus from Tillingham Wines in Sussex, or Chin Chin, the Portuguese Vino Verde which became a hit in lockdown. Online, the shop offers free same-day bicycle delivery within a radius, and the store is also doing natural wine subscription services. The dining room is worth a visit for the food, too — small plates are served up in an informal space with raw plaster walls and rickety wooden furniture.
Bottle Apostle Victoria Park
Entering this Victoria Park Village wine shop is like stepping into an underground wine cave, where bottles are stuffed into every nook and cranny. Its extensive offering caters to seasoned wine lovers as well as the novice, with prices starting at just £9 — its back room, replete with its own neon sign, is filled with experimental array from Slovenia, Georgia and Switzerland.
This chicly decorated wine shop in Clapton sells everything from local cheeses to European bar snacks — its walls are filled with either shelves of wine or a gallery of colourful artworks. Its offering includes a whole host of fun wines from young winemakers, with cartoonish labels to match that will make for good table candy for a candlelit dinner. We love Lucky You! by French producer Laurent Saillard. Sometimes the message is on the bottle, not in it.
This rickety little wine shop is an escapist space on the busy Roman Road in East London; its carefully curated bottle list includes wines from India and Hungary, as well as classics from France, Italy and Australia. Stop by for lunch, too — the shop has a few tables currently serving up hearty Italian dishes.
A wine shop and restaurant, Peckham Cellars is a cool, independent run space with wines that match. Offering free same-day local delivery, as well as nationwide shipping, this shop near Queens Road station in Peckham favours niche producers and artisanal wines, such as Tiberi’s herby Umbrian-grown rose and Kent-grown skin contact orange wine. Get a spot for dinner, too — the food is delicious.
Berry Bros and Rudd
Arguably London’s most famed wine specialist, Berry Bros have over 5,000 types of wine in its catalogue. Founded in 1968 and owner of Royal Warrants, this wood-paneled shop filled with antiques is one to visit when you’re in the market for discovery — it’s staffed by four wine experts who can pluck a wine from the shelf for every budget and palate.