June 19, 2020

Where to Get Good Wine in Lockdown

There are a few things I will take from the lockdown experience though without getting too philosophical, I will share one that is the least complicated and can be widely enjoyed: really excellent wines. No big secret revealed, though I have much delighted in settling down for another evening alone at home - or popping down to the river with a friend - to savour something special. 

Press Wine Services 

Hyper-locally, I always head to Press Wine Services at the Goods Shed in Canterbury and implore of Clive what he thinks I should buy that day. Clive sources and sells wine from lesser-know producers in Europe, and plenty of English wines (with a really excellent Kentish selection)

(Clive's selection for English Wine Week 2020)

During lockdown, he has been promoting a monthly 'Wine Suitcase' (or Briefcase) that can be delivered to Canterbury/Faversham (or further afield if needs be). For example, this month the selection focuses on light, fresh wines from the Loire Valley - ideal for meals outdoors (BBQ & picnics) and with juicy seafood. The Suitcase comes with six bottles of wine - 3 selected x 2 - at £135 (delivery included) whereas the Briefcase comes with three bottles of each - 3 selected x 1.

Orders can be made by emailing Clive and deliveries arrive within three days. Find out more on the website or head on into the Goods Shed to organise directly (while picking up some June cherries and the last of the asparagus). 

The Wine List 

Now this is a really interesting service that has just emerged, offering a monthly box of two bottles of wine (usually one red and one white) from smaller world producers. For £39 (inc. delivery) you will receive your wines, a 12-month learning plan and interesting fact sheets that tell the story of the winemakers, the region, the grape, and offer interesting food pairings and other recommendations. 

An interactive experience, this is fun whether you're relaxing at home, or in the garden with a friend to whom you can read aloud the 'advanced learning' section, and both try your palates at sussing out the aroma and flavour profiles. From what I can gauge, it is the first wine subscription I've seen that prioritises learning (as well as enjoying). 

Find out more at The Wine List
If you fancy giving it a try, you can get 30% off with the code CAFECAT30 which means you'll pay £27.30 for two bottles of wine along with all the learning materials

Top Cuvée 

I had to include these guys not only as my old neighbours in Finsbury Park but also for how they have adapted their former eatery and bar into a really great little shopping service online. Top Cuvée focuses on wines with as little intervention as possible (without the use of pesticides etc.) and celebrate wines across the spectrum of raw, weird, wonderful and really beautiful, natural flavours. Having worked in the high end of the hospitality industry for a long while (meaning some seriously geeky, experimental experience between them), I really trust Brodie and Max to tell me what tastes good. Note: they also sell bottled cocktails.

Find out more about their shop at Shop Cuvée which offers bicycle courier on the same day in London, or next day nationwide.


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