If natural wine seems like it’s arrived on the doorstep of nearly every corner of London, well, that’s because it has. And while some might shrug it off as a passing trend, the fact is that such interest in natural wine represents a consumer shift towards a more sustainable, transparent, and net-neutral, if not net-positive, production of one of the nation’s favourite beverages — that should be celebrated and pursued by any means necessary. And if it all feels like this comes at the expense of bold reds and to the chagrin of those who drink them, then fear not. The idea of natural wine being intrinsically funky, cloudy, or acidic simply doesn’t capture the scope of styles and flavour profiles in its ranks.
That said — putting together a class wine list with proper natural wines (one that favours virtue while eschewing faultiness, offers a scope of styles, pairs excellently with food, and generally tells an interesting story) isn’t easily done. And with natural wine’s tendency to polarise consumers, finding a list that satisfies the needs of the many while maintaining its integrity is rare. Compiled is a list of places across London that tend to get it right: with wines that fall firmly into the “zero-zero” camp (that is, nothing added, nothing taken away) to wines that are still at least organically farmed but take a more cautious approach to vinification.
NB. Although there is a north and east-leaning bias to this list, the reader must know that the research stages of this map took in places right across the city, including in south and west London. It so happens that the best, right now, are mainly found in the north and east.
It is also the case that this list is mutable and will be updated on at least a quarterly basis.Read More