If you don’t know your Bordeaux from your Burgundy, wine bars can be intimidating. Happily, that’s not the case at Humble Grape, which lives up to its name with an unpretentious approach to vino.
Having originally made its home in Battersea, this independent wine bar and shop has opened a second branch down a cobbled passageway just off Fleet Street. Despite the modest exterior, it’s surprisingly vast inside, with dark wood panels and wine bottles lining the walls. Soft jazz tinkles through the speakers, and there’s a choice between seats at the bar, cosy booths or tables in the back.
The wine list has around 30 options by the glass or carafe – or delve deeper with more than 200 varieties by the bottle. Luckily, you don’t have to be a connoisseur to understand the menu, which walks the line between funny and informative (without ever sounding patronising). A bottle of red with a particularly complex name is described as ‘Virtually unpronounceable. Completely unforgettable,’ while a variety of chardonnay is billed as ‘liquid lemon meringue’, a surprisingly apt description. If, unlike me, you need more to convince you than the word ‘meringue’, staff clearly know their stuff and are happy to advise.
For even more booze for your buck, a flight of four varieties costs £13 or bottles at the bar are retail price on Monday nights. This wine destination might be humble, but with prices like that, it’s worth shouting about.