Sager & Wilde
Sager & Wilde
© Rob Greig
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Tue Aug 27 2013
I’m in a bar, and my neighbour is eyeing me up. Her blonde highlights, perfectly shaped coiffure and red collar are distracting me. No, this is not an old-time Hoxton strip joint, it’s a wine bar, and my new pal is a pug on a lead. Her owner looks equally well groomed. Looking around, any of the customers could win Best In Show: I spot a well-dressed wine entrepreneur across the room and an ex-model at the bar. They all seem very pleased to be here. And very pleased that Sager + Wilde has chosen to open on this barren stretch of the Hackney Road, where a parched account executive once had to crawl to Islington to find a decent glass of prosecco.
A new wine bar is one of the surest signs of gentrification of any neighbourhood. Sager + Wilde makes a clear statement of intent with its metropolitan good looks, its reclaimed German station lights, its cast-iron grating bar and Pantone-matched walls. If it had cheekbones, they would be high and sculpted.
Michael and Charlotte Sager-Wilde ran a pop-up wine bar in Shoreditch last year and, encouraged by that success, this couple have opened their own place. It’s unapologetically wine-led, with good bar snacks (cheese from Androuet, good salami) an afterthought. A score of excellent wines are sold by the glass or bottle, at a flat rate mark up of £20 per bottle (which, paradoxically, makes the more expensive wines better value). A Basque txakoli – edgy, slightly spritzy and bone-dry – vies for your attention with a fruitier, more voluptuous riesling from Mosel. (I had both.) All tastes are catered for, from a toasty sparkler from Kent (from Sugrue Pierre), to loud and proud American (Paul Draper’s Ridge Santa Cruz).
There are big-name established wines and producers from Burgundy, Rioja and beyond, but also newer classics and styles, for example from California; you don’t often see wines of this top calibre sold by the glass. There’s even a foursome of vermouths to consider fortifying yourself with. If you really can’t face wine, there are also bottles of Five Points’s excellent beers, all the way from Hackney Downs, behind the counter. But if the Judgement of Paris brings to mind grapes rather than a Greek myth, or Parkerisation means more than to you than upgrading your ballpoint pen, then you’ll find this daily-changing wine list even more of a thrill. So pop in for a glass or two. You’d be barking not to.
Reviewed by Guy Dimond
Sager & Wilde 193 Hackney Road
Average User Rating
3.8 / 5
- 5 star:12
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:5
Attempted to go there last night. Lovely looking place but it's as sweaty as a number 55 bus on a rainy day. Took one whiff and we left. Will have to come back when the weather gets better. Guys... Get some proper ventilation for goodness sake!
Wow! Great wines at incredible prices compared to restaurants. Flavoursome bites to balance the drinking - try the blue cheese and anchovy with pickled walnuts. Gorgeous atmosphere and service...
Been here 3 times now on recent visits from New York and have to say this place blows some of our wine bars out of the park. The fine wines that they serve at those prices are UNHEARD of. Roulot for £8 per glass? 1989 Bourgeuil Cab Franc for £11 per glass? How are they even getting hold of these wines??? Keep it up guys, and hurry up to open in Brooklyn soon. Jay X Jay X
Cozy wine bar with nice atmosphere! This would be the only reason to rate S&W for, as the rest was very dissappointing.. We visited the place yesterday and after having finished a bottle of Rioja we asked for a carafe of the same wine. They did bring it, however, in the carafe they put the left over from an opened bottle and since it was not enough, they added some more from a new bottle. They brought the carafe to our table and poured our existing, and not empty glasses, with wine.. That means a mix of 3 bottles for a 1997 wine in a glass. Obviously, the wine did not taste the same...especialy when the mix in the carafe was from a bottle which was opoened long long time ago. We spoke to the staff and then the host came with a new bottle of wine and started explaining us that he could not waste the left over from an opened bottle as he has a certain margin from every glass (£3 - he even said that ) and he would have a big loss from it . This was an unacceptable behaviour and his way was very ironic. I dont think in this place they know about wine. I consider it as a trend in East London which is based on the social media. Cheese portions are overpriced as well. 3£ for 25grm ! I wonder what the margin is for them ?
£27.50 for the cheapest bottle of wine. I'm sure the old patrons of the British Lion that it replaced will be queuing out the door.
Visited last night, this place is STUNNING. Have been following the progress of this bar opening on twitter and tumblr. I'm currently studying for my wine diploma and I personally think that their fun approach to wine by the way of the language they use to describe wine and the fact that seem to be having such a lot of fun with it, shows they clearly love what they do and made it all the more appealing for me to visit. The bottle fermented prosecco, the sean thackrey NV, really loved the soula and the meats too. Only suggestion is wish they published the menu online as I forgot to take a menu home with with me, and also think they need to get some nuts as an extra bar snack! But other than that, seriously impressed.
What a fabulous bar. Great space with friendly knowledgable staff. Drank the excellent house wine - a white Rioja followed by a glass of Riesling and then a Mersault on the advice of the very knowledgable and charming owner. Wow! The grilled cheese sandwich is something else and the charcuterie sublime. This place could become a habit.
A really fresh approach to a wine bar. Sager & Wilde are changing how wine is sold and making it relaxed, un-stuffy and fun. Incredible wine list, rare wines that are perfectly served, great staff and ambience, I wish there were more wine bars like this! If you have an interest in wine or want to impress someone who does this is the place.
Experiencing Sager & Wilde op up bar last year my expectations were very high but I wasn't let down. Bar looks fantastic and hosts Charlotte and Michael were welcoming, fun and knowledgeable about their wine. Had a brilliant time and already planning another trip there with my friends.
Finally managed to get to this new wine bar. Spent a superb evening sampling delicious wines, and devouring the best grill cheese sandwich I've ever had. Mike and Charlotte's passion and enthusiasm for wine is refreshing and the ever-changing wine selection on offer is an added attraction. Will definitely be back.
been 3 times already, cant say enough great things, so glad to have this in the neighbourhood, and not on the 'main strip' in central shorditch.
Was looking for somewhere new to take some out-of-town guests and paid Sager and Wilde a visit due to the Time Out Review. I'm so glad I did, what a fun place! My guests (from USA) loved the wine varieties, very impressed and for mid-week, there was a nice eclectic crowd in there. I didn't try the food but my guests raved about the charcuterie plate they shared. Will be back with boyfriend next time
Ben, I did not subscribe to any channels or follow anyone. I had taken a look at their blog and been told about their social media campaign by someone who had followed them. Glad you enjoyed it anyway.
Love what these guys are offering, sunday night was killer! never met such passionate wine geeks (Michael especially!!!!), girlfriend and i were big fans of their pop up last year. really chuffed they've got their own place. best of luck guys
Anton, in order to be aware of their 'social media assault' I guess you'd have to be subscribed to those relevant channels. Seems a bit odd, incongruous even, to make a personal attack about people you obviously follow.... Anyway, I digress. Beautiful bar with a nice relaxed vibe, great nibbles and it goes without saying, absolutely excellent wines. Interesting choice to not open in Soho or slap bang in the middle of Shoreditch with their first venture, but S&W already feels welcoming and cosy and the staff and hosts are as friendly as they are knowledgeable.
I like wine. Nice to have a wine bar open up in the area where we can go try different (can't remember their names but they were really good) by the glass without committing to a full bottle. The service was excellent and the staff were friendly and knowledgeable, which was surprising because they were busy and the bar is new. Highly recommend, glad to have it in our neck of the woods. The bar snacks are good too.
Surely this is not a forum to attack other reviewers. Everyone if entitled to their own opinion. No? What would be constructive (Chiffani) would be if you wrote a review. I was not debating the use of social media in small business circles, merely commenting on the pretense of publishing hundreds of photographs of yourself like some kind of fashion shoot. Fatuous and nothing to do with wine. For your information I do my best to avoid painfully smug fashionista East London but happened to be there. Oh well.
Excellent new wine bar. Superb wines, delicious food and congenial surroundings. Charlotte and Mike were both personable and knowledgeable hosts. Had a great evening.
I have to say for a small business to open in this economy and not use social media is nonsensical, what utter rubbish posted by that earlier reviewer. This place is great, very friendly. The hosts, Charlotte and Michael are very personable and knowledgable. The food is tasty and the wine is out of this world. Great after-work crowd. We will be back.
A truly pretentious pair of self obsessed hipster mincers opening a wine bar in Hackney. Oooh, its all about the concept, look at our millions of instagram pictures of us and wine and us again. Really boring. Just get on with selling good wine and stop the social media assault.