Restaurants with the best wine list

Turn a good meal into a great meal...

The snobbery surrounding knowledge of wine has got to be right up there with modern art, or jazz, or... Celebrity Big Brother.

We've all been there, sat across the table from some dip-stick as he pours over the wine list, recounting the best vintages he's guzzled this year and the number of times he's had to correct the sommeliers in London's finest establishments. What's more, he's making damn sure he can be heard by every other diner in the Harvester.

That said, if you get the wines right they can turn a good meal into a great meal.

So here's a list of venues which go to great lengths to present you with a great choice of wines.

5 William Iv Street WC2N 4DW
Region: Charing Cross
Nearest Station: Charing Cross

AIL Says: This French wine bar and restaurant sources all its wines from small producers who work sustainably and/or organically. There is a natural bias towards French wines, but there are a few varieties from Spain, Italy and further afield too.

  • OUR REVIEW 7/10
140 Fetter Lane EC4A 1BT
Region: The City
Nearest Station: Chancery Lane (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: Run by the same team as Texture, this mini-chain have around 30 wines by the glass. They have a good selection of mostly European wines, and their “collectors’ list” (from £45) is a good one for connoisseurs.

Stoney Street SE1 1TL
Region: Southwark
Nearest Station: London Bridge (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Roast champion British food and so does their cellar, particularly wines from producers Chapel Down in Kent. But there are plenty of other options from around the world too, with some exceptional bottles starting from just over the £30 mark.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
27 D'Arblay Street W1F 8EP
Region: Soho
Nearest Station: Oxford Circus (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: At this bustling Soho tapas bar all the wines (all Spanish of course) are available by the glass, carafe or bottle. The level of body is indicated on the menu, and the prices rangefrom £18 - £50. There is orujo too, which is comparable to grappa, and 15 types of sherry.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
Club Gascon
57-59 West Smithfield EC1A 9JX
Region: The City
Nearest Station: Farringdon (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: If you’re a fan of wines from the south of France then Michelin-starred Club Gascon should definitely be on your list of places to visit, as their cellar contains over 400 varieties from this region.

  • 78/100
  • USERS 6/10
Gauthier Soho
21 Romilly Street W1D 5AF
Region: Soho
Nearest Station: Leicester Square (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: There’s a comprehensive selection of French wine at Alexis Gauthier’s restaurant, most of which hail from south western vineyards.

  • 82/100
  • USERS 8/10
St John Bread & Wine
94-96 Commercial Street Spitalfields E1 6LZ
Region: Spitalfields
Nearest Station: Shoreditch (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: There are popular favourites and lesser known wines here, almost exclusively from France. Nearly all the wines available in the restaurant can be purchased from the shop too.

Bocca Di Lupo
12 Archer Street W1D 7BB
Region: London Haymarket
Nearest Station: Piccadilly Circus (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Bocca di Lupo won Best Wine List at the 2013 Tatler Restaurant Awards. With many available by the glass, it’s a great place to sample Italian wine.

  • 84/100
  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
77 Brewer Street W1F 9ZN
Region: Soho
Nearest Station: Piccadilly Circus (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: At this steakhouse the focus is on US wines, from the renowned Napa Valley to the rather less famous vineyards of the Russian River Valley and Washington State. There is also a wider than average choice of champagne.


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