London's Best Wine Delivery Services

By Lydia Manch Last edited 8 months ago
London's Best Wine Delivery Services

It's not like lockdown affords many shots at endless, decadent pleasures, so it's worth leaning in hard when they come along.

Placing enormous online wine orders — orders that would've seemed lazily excessive in 2019 — is our new normal now. Enjoy the one-two punch of gratification: first the ray of hope that your favourite bar/restaurant/bottle shop will survive this weird time, thanks to you, a hero of lockdown, valiantly supporting the city's hospitality sector by drenching yourself in Pet Nat; and second, the more concrete reward of A Lot Of Wine, Immediately.

We've asterisked the ones offering contactless delivery across London (and sometimes nationwide). Drink in moderation — but lockdown's not going anywhere fast, so you might as well order exuberantly.

Rebellious Goods* - online only

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Rebellious Goods comes as idiotproof good news for wine dilettantes like us: every bottle looks sexy and design forward and like the sort of thing a grown-up would buy, but also, every bottle on their short list of painstakingly curated stock (no, honestly; the FAQs on how they source their wines is so laborious we feel exhausted just thinking about the effort involved) is a banger. A place to make our shallow choices based on Does The Label Look Cool, entirely risk-free.

Their stock comes from small producers, so rotates fast, but expect bottles from the brilliant Bethnal Green-based Renegade Urban Winery, Battersea Blackbook Winery, and Asterley Brothers vermouth from Forest Hill. While you can buy directly from any of those producers, Rebellious comes with the bonus of being able to mix those up with stock from further afield — say, Pet Nats from Pfalz, or amphora-aged French orange wines — and one hour-ish delivery. One hour, i.e. faster than the queue to get into Sainsbury's Local and buy the only bottle of warm Blue Nun left on the shelf.

Delivery: Free same day delivery across London from 12pm - 10pm, (usually within an hour), minimum order of £20.

Passione Vino - Shoreditch

Passione Vino. Photo credit: Lydia Manch.

In better times we're regulars at this Shoreditch bar-shop; Londonist HQ's just round the corner. Beware spending more on their wine list than you meant to; the passione is catching. The focus is low-intervention wine from all corners of Italy, and the emphasis on small, artisan production methods means 95% of the stock is de facto vegan. Something nearer ambassadors than wine-merchants, the Passione team have close ties to their suppliers, and an in-depth knowledge of their methods, varietals, ethical practices — ideal for when you want minute detail about anything from filtering practices to food-matching.

Highlights of their online shop: one of the best collections of Lambrusco we've found in London (though also worth checking out Bon Vino in Bermondsey); an aperitivo pack (cheese, cured meats, taralli) to help recreate that early-evening-drink-by-the-Naviglio feel, and a really, really alluring weekly feast (three courses, a side, and the wine for £64).

Delivery: same day delivery within a six-mile radius of their Shoreditch shop, open on weekdays only.

Pamela* - Haggerston

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Once upon a previous flatshare, Pamela was our local. Thanks to their shift online for lockdown, and a generous delivery radius (zones 1, 2 and 3), we can pretend it is again now.

Favourite buys: the Free Run Juice Samurai Chardonnay, a low-intervention Australian job that turns up all too rarely on London wine lists and therefore is, we would say, fair game for stockpiling. And also their oat milk White Russian starter pack: man/woman cannot live by wine alone.

Delivery: Wednesday to Saturday — covering zones 1, 2 and 3. Same day delivery for orders placed till 2pm.

Renegade Urban Winery* - Bethnal Green

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Squeeze past a towering display of secondhand furniture in a narrow alley under Bethnal Green’s old railway arches, and you’ll find this independent urban winery. Renegade makes unusual, minimally-manipulated wines. Some fantastically sinister bottle designs across their main range (see above) add a frisson of aggression to your rosé that we're... sort of into? And for the DIYers, you can try your hand at the riddling and disgorging side of things with their sparkling grenache.

Get 10% off any orders above £100 with the code LETSGETTHROUGHTHIS.

Delivery: Free nationwide 'next day-ish' delivery, with no minimum order.

Cellar. sw4 - Clapham

Cellar.sw4: now open for delivery and takeaway. Photo by Lydia Manch.

Just a straightforwardly nice wine bar/shop with an unsnobby desire to get you the right wine for your wallet. We regularly hit them up with some pretty chaotic questioning and a strong 'this wine will end up being paired with a Chicagotown Cheese Feast' energy, and they've never betrayed the slightest horror. No attempts to upsell, no assuming you know the industry jargon, and a food menu (also available for delivery) that leans towards the hearty — think sausage rolls, boar pate with sourdough, and 'nduja and butter pasta. Good for a layperson, basically, though with all the interesting, biodynamic options to dazzle a connoisseur.

Favourite buys: a Gatito Loco rioja at the less eye-wateringly pricey end of their wine list, and the Testalonga Baby Bandito Stay Brave orange.

Delivery: Free within a two-mile radius of their Clapham shop for orders above £40, order by 1pm for same day delivery. Closed on Sundays and bank holidays.  

Top Cuvée - Finsbury Park  

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One of the (many) good things about this bar-restaurant's wine delivery service is the chance to throw things from their great beer list, pre-bottled cocktails and deli food into the mix. Our last Shop Cuvée (see what they did there?) order was a chaotic but excellent pile-in of Spanish red, crémant from the Alsace, a lot of Mikkeller and Villages Brewery beer, Empirical Spirits (the ex-Noma guys) sour cherry pre-mix cocktail cans, and some oat milk. You always need more oat milk.

Their stock changes regularly, with the wine list focused on natural and low-intervention bottles — but at time of writing they were also doing two of our favourite non-alcoholic beers, a brilliant collection of lesser-found IPAs and saisons, including a bunch from London breweries, and a mix of fairly pricey, artisan staples (Tony's Chocolonely counts as a staple) and fairly pricey, artisan luxuries.

Delivery: Free over £60. Same day local delivery by bicycle, and next-day delivery across London.

Unwined - Tooting

A small, buzzy unit in Tooting Market — now with a larger Waterloo bar also in the fold — Unwined's always packed a lot of enthusiasm into a miniature footprint. The same level of enthusiasm's gone into their wine delivery service. Offering mainly pre-designed mixed boxes, it's a bit more restrictive than the others on this list — but in non-lockdown times their bars specialise in monthly-changing menus, curating a range of wine to a theme (cold climate wines, extreme weather wines, wines coming back into fashion after a while out favour...). So they're old hands at the wine-mix-tape thing:  if you're letting anybody decide the next 12 bottles you're going to sink, it might as well be these guys.

Delivery: next working day delivery, £5 charge (unless you're ordering quite specific pre-batched selections of 12 bottles, eligible for free delivery).  

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Ourglass* - online only

Ourglass is a Finsbury Park-based wine subscription service, aimed at helping you find new favourites from their 1500-bottle selection of small producers and lesser-known wines — including plenty of London-based and local producers. Deliveries come with an email consultation, a bespoked box of three or more wines, and detailed tasting notes; ideal for when you want to take your park picnic, garden BBQ or rainy-day Netflix session to the next level.  

Albertine - Shepherd's Bush

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Hailed as the birthplace of EastEnders, an order from Albert Square’s namesake should be a rite of passage for soap opera addicts. Back in the 1980s, writers from the nearby BBC Television Centre came up with the show’s first script in this Shepherd’s Bush wine bar. Buy yourself a few Sauvs and support British TV history.

Delivery: free for large orders (£120 or more), nearish Shepherds Bush.

St. JOHN* - Smithfield  

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St. JOHN's casually, unpretentiously brilliant at everything they do, and their wine sticks true to form. Their 'doorstep deliveries to see you through the oscillations of lockdown' could cover any of their bottles or mixed cases, but our pick would be one of their £38 box wines in each shade: we're completist.

Delivery: free nationwide delivery for large orders (£150 or more) or for three or more bag in a box wines.

Jascots* - online only

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Wine merchant Jascots have flung open their virtual doors to private customers in lockdown. Usually selling only into the trade market, their standard client list's a who's who of Places We'd Like to Be Eating Right Now — among them Pidgin, Lupins, Kricket, Coal Rooms. Now they're selling via their online shop at trade cost: we've only paddled around the shallows of their price list, but our more expert friends swear to us if you want to drop £20 a bottle in 12-bottle-sized splurges, you can do it here for big value.

Delivery: free next day delivery within the M25, minimum order of 12 bottles (and unless you're ordering one of their pre-selected mixed case options, that has to be minimum of six bottles of each wine).

Honourable mention:

Help 4 Hospitality* - online only

Run by Berkmann Wine Cellars, we haven't actually tried this service (yet). But the idea's a great one: usually selling into the trade market, with this new venture Berkmann are selling directly to consumers, and channelling 12.5% of the sales back into the hospitality business, via donations to the venue of your choice. Select from a list of more than 750 participating bars, restaurants and venues across London and the UK to choose where the proceeds from your buy go. At time of writing they've delivered over £42,000 in donations back into the hospitality industry.

Delivery: free across the UK, minimum order of £95.

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Last Updated 02 February 2021