e’ve all been there. You’re heading to a dinner party hosted by your most stylish friend and need to pick up a good bottle of wine to take with you. You want to impress with your choice but, the trouble is, as much as you love drinking it, your wine knowledge is next to zero.
Step in the increasingly popular wine subscription service. Tailored to your tastes, these delivery services bring new bottles directly to your door, helping you discover wines from little known producers and explore serves from regions you might not have previously considered – with each one handpicked by expert sommeliers so you know you’re getting the good stuff. From speciality champagne subscriptions to indie bottle shops delivering the latest and greatest natural wines, here’s our guide to London’s best wine subscription services.
Founded by two friends on a mission to help the bubble-drinking public discover the more than 2,500 independent makers in the Champagne region, Sip Champagnes is your go-to for a seriously special celebratory bottle. As well as single bottles and carefully curated Discovery cases, Sip also offers a Champagne Club subscription service.
Working out at up to 25 per cent cheaper than buying the bottles individually, £100 and £250 per month options are available, offering up to five bottles of artisan champagne delivered to your door in temperature and humidity-controlled packaging. Each delivery promises the best cuvées and most interesting single varieties and comes with tailored tasting notes, while subscribers are also granted a monthly virtual tasting with a participating winemaker.
Diogenes the Dog
You’ll have to live locally to Elephant & Castle’s Diogenes the Dog wine bar to enjoy its subscription service but, if you do happen to live in the catchment area, it’s one of the most indulgent around. One weekly and two monthly options are available with each offering a range of wines, cheeses, breads, fine groceries and homemade snacks.
If you want to make sure there’s always something delicious to sip on come Friday night, opt for the Weekly Wine Drop, which includes a bottle of white, a bottle of red, a half loaf of artisan sourdough and a frequently changing cheese and snack of the week. Alternatively, keep your fridge stocked all month long with the Larder Filler – a cornucopia of a delivery including four bottles of wine, a sourdough loaf, two Burrata, a jar of wildflower honey and either two cheeses and two snacks or a bag of Diogenes the Dog Guatemalan coffee beans. Your weekend dining options have never been so decadent.
Launched in late 2019, Peckham Cellars found its feet during lockdown as the go-to for wine aficionados looking to order fine wines online. A subscription service was the obvious next step and, in May 2021, Club Del Vino was born. Cases are delivered in four or six bottle options and can be all white, all red or mixed (which includes sparkling and orange wines). Recent selections have included an organic Terre de Bardet by John Almansa, a 2018 Sancerre from Gerard Fiou and Dinamo’s Nucleo X orange wine. Delivery is available nationwide and there’s no minimum subscription period, plus subscribers receive a chic Club Del Vino tote as well as 10 per cent off the full Packham Cellars range.
Another recent addition to the subscriptions scene, north London natural wine specialist Provisions launched its delivery service in April 2021. Each month a themed case of six wines designed to take you on journey through a specific region or grape variety is delivered, alongside tasting notes to guide you through each bottle. Recent themes have included Orange Crush (an introduction to orange wines) and Chilled Out Reds – a selection of fresh, summery red wines perfect for drinking cold. Not ready to take the subscription plunge just yet? Each case can also be bought as a one-off purchase.
The Sourcing Table
If a monthly subscription seems like a little more than you’ll be able to keep up with, The Sourcing Table’s quarterly option could be the ideal alternative. The bottle shop describes its mission as bringing to the fore ‘wine with personality, of a place not a style’ and, as such, each subscription case of six or 12 wines is curated by one of The Sourcing Table’s experts, including award-winning sommeliers Rajat Parr and Paz Levinson and wine writer Jamie Goode, to showcase the best in new, unusual and under-the-radar wines. Expect selections designed to push your palate and expand your wine knowledge.
While Shop Cuvée, the online iteration of Finsbury Park bottle shop Top Cuvée, stocks everything from cocktails and beers to spirits and aperitivo hour nibbles, when it came to offering a subscription service it knew that wine was the way to go. Specifically, natural wine which, to put it politely, hasn’t always enjoyed the best reputation. Determined to change that, each box is curated by the shop’s specialist team, as well as occasional special guests, to help you discover a rotating roster of new, exciting and, most importantly, delicious natural wines. Choose either three or six bottles per month and prepare for a surprising mix of red, white, fizzy and orange wines to come parading through your door.
Long the wise Londoner’s go-to for great food accompanied by one of the most extensive wine-by-the-glass lists in the capital, earlier this year Vinoteca expanded its expertise to wine subscriptions with the Vinoteca Wine Club. Each month a mixed case of six vegan and vegetarian-friendly wines (red- and white-only options available) is delivered, with each accompanied by an online tasting masterclass. True oenophiles can also choose to upgrade to the Vinoteca Family Case with bottles hand picked by Vinoteca owners Brett and Charlie, while all subscribers receive 10 per cent off online purchases, access to exclusive events, wine buying advice and expert tips on food pairings and drinking windows.