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Prosecco, champagne, white wine, red wine, rose wine; it doesn't matter. Wine glasses are meant to be filled and drunk. But not everyone wants to get drunk on wine. You might want to watch how many units in a glass of wine, or how many calories are in a glass of wine, which is when the single glass or wine by the glass option comes into play.
Self-serve wine dispensers in bars and restaurants around London? Whatever next? This guide to the best bars and restaurants to sample wines by the glass (some using the state-of-the-art gas preservation machines that prevent wine being altered by oxygen and protects it's organoleptic integrity for over three weeks; aka Enomatic) is for the wine lovers of London. So grab a glass and cheers!
Le Pont de la Tour Bar & Grill
London Bridge & Bermondsey / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: French
An Enomatic wine experience for lovers, the ornate French brasserie bar set on the banks of the Thames, overlooking Tower Bridge, is ideal for those taking a romantic stroll with that special someone, especially as a live pianist plays jazz classics. The master sommelier is an erstwhile winner of the Best Wine List and Sommelier of the Year at the Tatler Restaurant Awards. The wine list has also previously won Champagne List of the Year at the Louis Roederer Wine List of The Year Awards. 6 reds, 6 whites, a rose, and 3 sweet wines are available.
The Jones Family Project
Shoreditch / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Meat
The 100-strong wine list at this independent bar and restaurant in Shoreditch covers Old World and New World from New Zealand to France, and Italy to South Africa. Their Coravin and By The Glass systems enable you to sample a rotating 30 of these well chosen wines including tipples that might normally make you wince when catching a glance of the price tag. Sharing good wine is very important to this team and their wine guys are always on hand to suggest pairings that complement their delicious meat-focused Josper grilled menu. They also organise group wine tastings.
Fitzrovia / Bar / Cuisine: European
This hidden gem bar and small plate kitchen has six whites, six reds, a rose and a prosecco by the glass on its chalk board. Not a bad offering, but what if you need more? Well, couple together the Cellar Reds and the Cellar Whites (20 of each; all rare and independent producers) from the wine list, and the clever Coravin device which allows you to buy half bottles without pulling the cork, and you and your party have yourself a very interesting by the glass scenario to share around the table.
Victoria / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: African
Bbar & Restaurant is an elegant mix of safari chic and colonial cool. The menu is international, but with a South African accent, lent by dishes like springbok fillet and grilled boerewors sausages. The two bars serve 110 wines (more 50 by the glass) from an eclectic list of old and new world producers and passionate mixologists prepare over 60 cocktails. Being close to Victoria Palace and the Apollo Victoria theatres, bbar is an excellent option for pre-theatre dining. Bbar also offers versatile options for private parties offering tailored packages and menus.
Kensington Wine Rooms
Kensington / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern European
KWR's front-of-house wine bar and shop in Kensington are textbook examples of how single-glass Enomatic dispensers have changed the game. An evening's drinking can be a self- or staff-guided exploration, taking in both low-priced small producers and landmark clarets. They also do 40 wines by the glass and over 200 by the bottle, so grab one of their platters of delicious tapas and enjoy. Just remember to pace yourself!
Kings Cross / Bar / Cuisine: Spanish
This cosy Spanish-themed bar near King's Cross sells not wine but sherry via its Enomatic system, alongside a fine selection of cured meats (Ibericos) and cheese (quesos). They even recommend which sherry should be paired with each plate of food. A huge success when it comes to bringing an authentic Andalusia taste to London.
The Wine Parlour
Brixton / Bar / Cuisine: Bar
The Wine Parlour is a buzzing wine shop, bar and tasting room in Brixton where you can drink in or buy to take away. There are always at least 18 wines available to drink by the glass and pichet and everything on the shelf is available to drink in by the bottle for a corkage fee of £10. You can also sample premium wines from the Enomatic Wine Preservation Machine. A small food menu includes locally sourced, artisan bread, cheese and charcuterie - carefully selected to complement the wine.
desVins Cafe & Wine Bar
Kings Cross / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Eclectic
Housed in the magnificently restored St Pancras Station building and comprising of a wine bar, gourmet deli and a restaurant. Twenty wines are served by the glass and the staff are as knowledgeable as they are charming. So grab a sample of your favorite tipple and sit back and watch the world go by. You can even hire out the entire venue and have your own private wine bar for the evening.
Golden Arrow Bar & Restaurant
Kings Cross / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern European
Most venues hide their Enomatic wine-by-the-glass system behind the bar, where nobody but the bar staff can touch it. Here, though, the wine system is on display in the centre f the bar so that wine lovers can walk around it, make observations, and listen to the in-depth knowledge of the sommelier. There are 8 reds and 8 whites to choose from at Golden Arrow bar in the Pullman Hotel near Euston and St Pancras station, all coming in 50ml, 125ml and 175ml measures, depending on how much you want to spend. And you will spend: one exceptional wine is £27 for a 175ml glass. Once in a lifetime opportunity to sample!
Star & Garter
Putney / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern International
This intriguingly named pub overlooks the Thames and boasts a fabulous selection of world beers and cocktails as well as over 100 sommelier selected wines. Of these, 40 are served using the Enomatic system and punters are encouraged to try before they buy. To compliment the extensive wine list, the Star and Garter also lays claim to a walk-in cheese maturing room where you can pop in and check out their vast selection of artisan cheeses from Spain, England and France. Well, if they insist. Be sure to check out their Victorian ballroom too.
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