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Don’t pop a cork, just admit: we’re not all oenophiles. As much as you think you’re a connoisseur of fine wines, put your faith in the sommeliers of London. They hold all the knowledge when it comes to choosing the best champagne, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, shiraz, riesling or zinfandel because they’re good pals with the winemarket. New World, Old World, out of this world; they will do you a service. The below list contains some of the finest restaurants in London to produce a healthy wine list. You can also find more info on this site about London’s champagne bars, wine bars, restaurants that serve wine by the glass.
Four to Eight
West End / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
Four to Eight is a contemporary Italian restaurant in Covent Garden where you can enjoy fresh food accompanied by superb wines in elegant surroundings. The dishes are the combination of the best ingredients available, simply prepared. Four to Eight is also a wine lovers' destination with a wine selection of 100 different wines to choose from, including 25 wines sold by the glass.
The Sign of the Don
City of London / Restaurant / Cuisine: British
Sign of the Don is a bistro and bar located on the site of the original Sandeman Port and Sherry Cellar on St. Swithins Lane - just beyond the Bank crowds and a classy post-work retreat for denizens of the City of London. The refined, uncluttered main room leads to a gleaming wooden bar stocked with more than 400 varieties of wine, champagne and imaginative cocktails, while the downstairs dining room provides an intimate setting for the venue's tasty Mediterranean tapas. Stop in for a tipple on your way to the Don restaurant next door.
28-50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen
Mayfair / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: French
Situated centrally in Mayfair, this wine workshop and kitchen offers a top quality dining and drinking experience in a relaxed environment in a similar style to their other branches in Marylebone and Fetter Lane. You can choose from more than 30 wines by the glass or bottle. On their ground floor is a champagne bar with an incredible choice of 40-50 varieties, with four available by the glass. They also have an outdoor terrace at the front as well as al fresco dining at the rear.
Enoteca Da Luca
Shoreditch / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
The Enoteca da Luca family has four restaurants in London, each with a different take on the Italian Enoteca (meaning local wine shop). In Italy, an Enoteca is a local hub, serving up the best ingredients and wine from the region. Like the traditional Enoteca, this one has been kept simple, focusing around the finest ingredients from Italy. The menu is inspired by seasonal produce and the most delicious meats, cheeses and Italian specialities. "Piccolo e bello" is the philosophy; small menu; small plates to share; and the small details. Unlike the menu, the wine list is extensive: You'll also find wines for every occasion and mood.
Dalston / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
If you liked The Dock Kitchen over near the canal, then you'll love Rotorino because it's another venture from Stevie Parle. This Italian restaurant in the depths of Dalston?s coolness has a tidy list of mainly Italian wines, including a rather nice Primitivo, Mocavero (plus a few extras from around the world). There's usually about 20 wines available by the glass if you'd rather jump between flavours and taste test on the fly. The food menu contains exceptionally simple dishes to help transport you to Italy within seconds.
West End / Restaurant / Cuisine: French
Terriors specialises in rare and biodynamic wines, that's where the vineyard plants with cycles of the moon or uses herbal sprays on the grapes. Nevermind that, though, because this wine bar is where wine buffs can get stuck into a brilliant selection with the guru-like staff. The house wines are quaffable and a bargain by the glass. Food - rustic, seasonal, inspired by France - is recommended, you can order a full dinner or just plates of curated charcuterie and cheese (you can curate cheese: dream career). Red wine, sour dough and lumps of oozing cheese: heaven.
Shoreditch / Restaurant / Cuisine: French
The quirky wine list at this bright, airy restaurant in Hackney (just at the end of Columbia Road flower market) is filled with lots of natural, cloudy and esoteric wines (which are great by the way). The eye-wateringly long wine list that is broken up into regions that are, for the most part, all within a 3-hour flight from London; everything inclduing Loire, Rhone, Bourgogne, Jura, Pyrénées, Tuscany, Sicilia, Slovenia and Austria, plus a few wines from further afield. As with any half decent wine bar, expect to be £40 lighter after a few glasses of wine and some light, but earthy-flavoured food. This one's a bit of a treat for wine lovers.
Kensington / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: European
Located in South Kensington, this stylish restaurant offers a menu of European classics, delivered with a unique and modern twist and complemented by an equally impressive wine selection. Diners can feast on sumptuous starters such as pork terrine with white grape reduction, seared foie gras on toasted brioche or a zestful sea bass ceviche. Main courses range form slow-cooked dishes such as duck leg confit and beef bourguignon, to chargrilled octopus and seared orkney scallops. The 120 bin wine list covers a broad range of producers and grapes, with special emphasis on Old World varieties.
8 Hoxton Square
Shoreditch / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Eclectic
This Shoreditch restaurant - sister to 10 Greek Street in Soho - has been lauded by many for its great food and low margins on high end wines. This means you'll get a cheap wine but it'll probably be an expensive wine really. There's a decent number of wines by the glass in white, red, rose, orange, sparking (including the good old English Nyetimber), sweet and fortified. Brunch, lunch, dinner, Sunday lunch and small plates are all served here, from a succinct menu which is dated so you can be sure you're getting only seasonal produce.
Dulwich / Restaurant / Cuisine: British
A restaurant and wine shop based in East Dulwich, Toast offers an extensive wine list that accommodates all tastes and budgets. They have more than 200 wines and beers from local breweries and tend to focus on artisanal producers who work in a sustainable way. They have bulk wine on offer from four purpose-built tanks, as well as extremely rare vintages such as a vintage Chinon. Their food is firmly based on seasonal ingredients and is changed daily depending on the produce available on the day. They work on a small plates system, so you do get to try more variety of dishes.
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