Originally Published: January 2, 2014

“Cheers!” “Bottoms Up!” “Chin Chin!” No matter how you toast your favourite tipple, there’s a host of top London wine bars for you. These bars are fun places to relax after a day’s sightseeing, share a drink, socialise with friends, or grab lunch or dinner. It matters little whether you enjoy a glass of plonk or a 1978 bottle of Henri Jayer Richebourg Grand Cru, one of the more eye-wateringly expensive wines in the world, London’s wine bars have something for everyone. The best ones contribute to making it one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. The diversity and choice for wine lovers means that whatever your preference there is a bar to match your taste.

London (Docklands) in a glass
Docklands in a glass – where to find the top wine bars in London by Daniel, Flickr

Top 10 Wine Bars in London

As there are too many fabulous watering holes to mention them all, here’s a selection to savour – enough to make any sommelier salivate:

  • Sager + Wilde, in Hackney Road, Hackney is a stylish, but very welcoming wine bar, run by Michael and Charlotte, a husband and wife team. It serves good wines and mainly quality cold meats, cheese, and breads, which are all locally sourced. Don’t miss their light-up, cast iron bar!
  • Vinoteca in St John Street, Farringdon, places particular emphasis on French, Italian, and Spanish wines, and has almost 300 to chose from. For those that appreciate their wines, you can also attend wine tasting evenings there.
  • If you placed 1,372 champagne flutes side by side you’d just about cover the length of Europe’s longest champagne bar. There’s something intrinsically “Brief Encounter” about drinking at Searcy’s Champagne Bar, not only can you snuggle under blankets on heated seats beneath the light of Art Deco lamps, but you do so amid the vaulted grandeur of St Pancras train station. For added romance in this travel drama, drinks at the 98 metre bar are punctuated by the arrival and departure of Eurostar trains to Paris and Brussels.
  • A little Parisian flair comes to central London at Terroirs in William IV Street, where the ground floor takes its influence from the bars of Paris. The wines tend to be light-to-medium bodied and are sourced from growers who work organically or bio-dynamically. It also serves a quality menu of tasty meals.
  • Fancy yourself as something of a wine connoisseur? Head to Shampers in Kingly Street, Soho, an independent restaurant and bar regarded as something of an unofficial clubhouse for many in the local wine trade. This top-rated wine bar serves over 200 different types of wines. Prices are quite reasonable too – the house white at Shampers is a Sauvignon Blanc at £4.50 a glass.
  • Our next vino venue, Cork & Bottle in Cranbourn Street, near Leicester Square, is a characterful bar bursting with personality. It is located in the heart of Theatreland making it a great destination for those wanting a pre- or post-show drink or even a meal. It is situated in a basement, but the descent underground is worthwhile as the food is good and the wine choice plentiful.

    Searcy's Champagne Bar
    Searcy’s Champagne Bar at St Pancras, David Hawgood, Geograph
  • Refine your taste for wine at Bar Pepito, a tiny Andalucían-themed bar, in Pentonville Road, dedicated to the proliferation of fine Spanish sherries. But don’t drink too many without forward planning – Bar Pepito is so small its toilet is across the road at restaurant Camino.
  • Keep the Spanish spirit alive at Bar Pepito’s sister venue, Copa de Cava, in Blackfriars Lane, St Pauls. The UK’s first dedicated cava bar, Copa de Cava is built amid the brick vaults beneath Camino San Pablo. It holds the widest range of cavas in London with around 25 different types including the finest brutsreserva, and grand reserva cavas. It also serves an extensive seafood and charcuterie menu, including navajas (razor clams, broad beans, and chorizo) and carpaccio of fillet steak with capers and manchego shavings.
  • The name alone is a great reason to visit Willy’s Wine Bar in Fenchurch Street. But it is also regarded as having some of the best fish and chips in town – now that is a claim to fame for any establishment! Whatever you chose to eat, there is a perfect wine to accompany it at Willy’s, as the bar has an extensive range of reds and whites.
  • Cavas de Gaucho, in Swallow Street, Piccadilly, has Argentinian wine in abundance, so much so it refers to itself as a wine boutique. With over 150 different varieties it demonstrates the diversity and character of wines from the Argentina, the fifth largest wine producer on the planet. Cavas de Gaucho also hosts specialist dinners and events where you can experience Argentine wine and food. And as one of the best local wine bars, its sommeliers are available to advise on the best vintages in the house.

Quality and an incredible choice are the hallmarks of London’s bars. But as ever the city’s great global melting pot ensure you can find wines and foods from around the world. So let’s raise a toast to London, “Cheers!”

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