TheWineRambler "A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for" - Kingsley Amis



London wine merchants

Posted by Torsten 19 Mar 2012

You don't go to South East London. At least that is what my friend Sarah thinks, and yesterday she told me so when the question of where to live in London came up. After having lived in the South West, North and West Sarah now contemplates the East - but the South East just seems too far away, like another world. This is a common view in the murky blend of London post codes and identities. It is opposed by a smaller group of those who have lost their hearts to SE London, and they tell me of vibrant local communities with quirky shops, excellent and authentic food offerings and a satisfying restaurant scene. The other day I followed an invitation to explore this world at the East Dulwich wine shop and bar Green & Blue Wines.

midnight approaching at Green & Blue Winesmidnight approaching at Green & Blue Wines

It is no coincidence that I used the words "authentic" and "local", as Green & Blue champion wines from smaller producers, especially organic and natural wines.

Posted by Torsten 19 Aug 2011

"Good luck to her, she may need it.", was the comment a wine loving Englishman made when I told him I was about to meet a woman who had just invested her life's savings in a shop. Not just any shop. A shop dedicated to English wine. To set this in context: when I tell people I blog about German wine I sometimes get the "is there such a thing?" look, or perhaps the "enjoy the Liebfraumilch" comment. These come from people who are not familiar with the wine world, otherwise they would know that some of the world's best wines come from Germany. Now imagine what the reaction is when someone dedicates their life to the cause of English wine - a cause that even wine professionals often respond to with the "is there such a thing" look. So there you have the above quoted reaction.

JuliaJulia

Enter Julia Stafford, a spirited woman who thought London could do with a shop dedicated to raise the glory of English wine: Wine Pantry at Borough market.

Posted by Torsten 27 Jul 2010

There is a shop in North London / They call the Sa-ham-plar / And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy / And God I know I'm one

So there is a shop in North London, and it sells wine. Now just that would not make it special, would it? What makes The Sampler special is not just that it is a cute shop with a dog, that they have a good selection of wine or that they organise tastings and other events. No it is, surprise surprise, the sampling. How many wine shops do you know where on any given day they let you taste a 1978 Mouton Rothschild, premier Austrian dessert wines, some of the top names in German Riesling or some of the finest the US has to offer? At the Sampler you can and it is much fun. And so we went, and had the fun and tasted the Mouton and I fear I shall be back for more.

And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy / And God I know I'm one

Posted by Torsten 21 Dec 2009

What could be a better Christmas present than a mammoth tusk? If you too cannot imagine anything better, you are certainly in line with some of the staff and customers of Harrods, the famous London department store.

I visited this temple of conspicuous consumption earlier today, but as I had already organised all my Christmas presents a while ago, I showed the tusk and another £47,000 fossil that also was on sale the cold shoulder and moved on to the wine shop in the basement, eager to explore what delights it might offer - especially with regards to German wine. I mean, where better to go, one would think, than Harrods if it comes to finding something unusual and extraordinary, right?

Posted by Torsten 19 Sep 2009

Sometimes you find one of these local shops that feel a bit like home. For me, Philglas & Swiggot in Battersea is one of them. Located on Northcote Road, Battersea's food and wine shopping street (especially if you count the St John's Road extension), this gem of a shop has been supplying the locals with wine for almost two decades. Now there are two other branches, one in Marylebone, the other in Richmond. The efforts of the team to provide good wine and good advice have been recognised, for instance through the award of London Wine Merchant of the Year in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Philglas & SwiggotPhilglas & Swiggot

So what's so special about this shop?