3 April 2020
St. John, EC1
Fergus Henderson (food) and Trevor Gulliver’s (wine) Michelin-starred, best-of-British bakery-and-restaurant empire, St. John, has had critics prostrate at the altar for more than two decades – and has been winning over oenophiles ever since it launched its wine delivery service. April’s monthly case is a thoughtful mix of old friends for comfort and new delights to provide some excitement as the boredom of isolation starts to bite. There’s a Picpoul to help you imagine you are by the sea; an elegant, summery Les Genets to transport you to the hillsides of Provence; and reds to take you from colder evenings (in the shape of a rich Cairanne) to sunnier days (thanks to a Les Grands Eparceieux). There are 12 bottles in all, delivered free of charge to every doorstep in England and Wales. The joys of springtime are just a click away – at stjohnrestaurant.com, not on EasyJet’s website.
April Case, £207, stjohnrestaurant.com
Hedonism Wine, W1K
It’s hard to believe that Hedonism Wines has only been around for eight years, such is its reputation among wine and spirit specialists. The Mayfair-based boutique opened on Davies Street in 2012 as the brainchild of Evgeny Chichvarkin, founder of Russia’s largest mobile retailer, who managed to lure Alistair Viner from Harrods, where he’d been a wine buyer for 16 years. Whether you’re after a case of Pol Roger in Paris, a special bottle of Bourbon in New York City, or a mixed case of First Growths in Hong Kong, Hedonism can make it happen. The company is operating deliveries as normal during the coronavirus outbreak and is currently offering free UK delivery on all orders of more than six bottles or over £200. There are more than 10,000 different wines, whiskies and spirits to choose – bit of luck you’ve got some time on your hands.
Noble Fine Liquor, E8
Broadway Market’s best-loved bottle shop, Noble Fine Liquor, is operating local collection and delivery in Hackney, as well as shipping nationwide. It specialises in small-production winemakers and natural wines, curated alongside local craft beer. Pay special attention to the impressive line-up of orange wine (£18-£52), German Reisling (£76) and a smart selection of Beaujolais (£54-£114), the plum-packed, light-bodied red, which is thought to be midsummer's wine du jour.
Lea and Sandeman, multiple locations
Having won many accolades since opening in 1988 (one noted publication claimed it was “probably the best wine shop in the country for selection and layout”) Lea and Sandeman’s website is equally as impressive, with a comprehensive and straightforward offering of wines from all corners of the world. Offering free UK deliveries on orders over £250, why not get together with a neighbour and consolidate your orders?
Peckham Cellars, SE15
Hip hangout Peckham Cellars has launched the Take Out club, which offers free wine delivery in southeast London. Select from an eclectic line-up of innovative and emerging labels, including natural, orange and sparkling wine, curated by co-founder Ben McVeigh. It’s a three-bottle minimum, but you’ll be hard-pushed to whittle it down to less than five. Follow the wine shop and restaurant on Instagram for recommendations.
Order before 4pm Tuesday to Saturday for same-day delivery, peckhamcellars.co.uk
Handford Wines, SW7
Originally opening in Holland Park in 1989, Handford Wines are a refreshingly down-to-earth bunch who import wines of character and charm, true to their origin. With two masters of wine (the highest wine designation any person can earn) who are able to advise you on your collection, fledgeling or not, we recommend picking up the phone to discuss your oenophile needs. To those of you who buy wines en primeur, the store are able to keep your wines at cellar temperature until ready for delivery. Lastly, we recommend trying Handford’s mixed cases, which are hand-selected by the team and the best way to excite your tastebuds.
Top Cuvée, N5
Top Cuvée, Highbury's high-end bistro and wine bar, has temporarily rebranded as Shop Cuvèe, offering an array of wines and dishes, couriered by bicycle to your door in London. Natural wines are the restaurant's calling card, including a ‘survival pack’ mixed case (£60-£120) of bestselling bottles. Top Cuvée has also enlisted master mixologists from bars including Dalston's Three Sheets and Hackney's Scout London to bottle Negroni, Martini and Old Fashioned cocktails.
M Wine Store
The M Wine Store is part of the sophisticated M Restaurant group, owned by Martin Williams. Peruse a sophisticated curation of more than 150 restaurant-quality, global wines, including rare and exclusive bottles. Overwhelmed by choice? Contact the online boutique with your wine preferences and budget and they will tailor a bespoke case just for you.
Former DJ David Elghanayan and Jimmy and Roger Metta founded 31Dover in 2013. It has since attracted investors including film producer Eric Fellner and Alistair Barclay, scion of the billionaire Barclay family, growing from a small start-up to an online emporium of innovative, stylish and rare wines and spirits, alongside all of your favourite big names. You will happily lose hours sifting through its curated pages of artisan gin, global wines, champagne and beer, alongside an impressive alcohol-free selection.
St John photography by Sam Harris