Red, white, sparkling, dry – whatever you fancy there are plenty of bars serving great wine in the capital. It's not all about craft beer and cocktail bars, after all. From stylish wine bars to vino taverns, our critics have rounded up the best bars in London with outstanding wine lists. Think we've missed a great wine bar in London? Let us know in the comment box below.
London's best wine bars
Venue says: “We have acquired a reputation as one of London’s best wine bars, and as a focal point of the local dining scene in London’s Notting Hill.”
KWR is thoroughly modern in using dispensers to keep wine fresh for longer, so allowing single glasses to be served and thus facilitating experimentation.
The name ‘Mission’ doesn’t refer to a position, or even a crusade to save souls. It is a homage to California where the wine country is littered with Spanish Missions: the first sacramental grape was called The Mission. This Mission – named after the San Francisco neighbourhood – is a big step up for Michael and Charlotte Sager-Wilde (of critically acclaimed wine bar Sager & Wilde).
Coming from the pair behind the wine mag of the same name, Noble Rot is an old-school hangout with a soul that is very much still alive. Cracked stone floors, dodgy brown furniture and vineyard-themed frescos are a throwback to the former site of Vats and the food is as classic and unpretentious as the surroundings - we're still swooning over a stunning piece of monkfish in a tangy white wine sauce. Warm, knowledgeable staff are lovely, while in the front the room, the boisterous spirit of a wine bar is very much alive – hardly surprising, given the affordability of the list (with a sizeable by-the-glass offering kicking off at £3 for a 75ml ‘sampler’, or bottles from £20).
The Quality Chop House carries deliberate echoes of its 19th-century origins by offering ‘a chop and a glass’. Wine rather than ale is the main draw now (though Kernel beer is offered). There’s a wine shop alongside the bar and dining room, with plenty to interest both casual sippers and serious imbibers.
In the 90s and Noughties, ‘ABC’ – Anything But Chardonnay – was the term used to describe a movement that avoided the obvious, the mass-produced, the populist. More than a decade later, in a city that’s now brimming with exciting and unusual wines to try, there’s no excuse for ordering the usual. Pop down to The Remedy for some proper excitement in your glass.
Venue says: “New world wine tastings every Tuesday and Wednesday starting with the Aussies on June 20! £20 plus 5% off wine! Book online.”
The term ‘vin naturel’ – natural wine – was revived in France during the 1980s to describe a process of ‘natural’ fermentation, with minimal intervention in the viticultural process. Terroirs in London pioneered a similar approach in 2001, and soon had branches, as well as imitators – Toasted is the latest in the Terroirs tradition.
A second outpost from the crew who opened The Truscott Arms gastropub in Maida Vale, The Truscott Cellar has a vaguely nautical vibe with suspended storm lanterns and cabin-like booths. A backlit wall of resting bottles tells you the list of reds, whites and rosés, which is tip-top. Most come by the glass and the food menu is compact, offering cold meat or cheese boards plus a few hot plates and puds.
This good-looking gastropub may well be located at Lord's cricket ground but it's not just a matchday boozer. When the sound of leather on willow goes quiet, this place stays open for eating, drinking, live sport, music and a quiz, taking place every Thursday. The food menu goes big on global crowd-pleasers. Expect Welsh rarebit, scotch eggs and pork pies with English mustard and 'slaw alongside jerk chicken wings, tempura prawns, roast bellies of pork, Sri Lankan chicken curries, fish stews and poshed-up fish and chips. A short wine list is divided into light and crisp, aromatic and fuller bodied whites, and fruity, spicy, and full-bodied and structured reds. And if you're celebrating? They serve a Champagne made especially for the MCC.
Venue says: “Our great range of beers and delicious pub food draw inspiration from the world of cricket, with something for every taste.”