Since the Olympics and Paralympics lit their last firework there’s been little reason for me to venture out east and it’s made me rather sad. So I was pleased to be invited to a preview night of a new London wine shop that’s opened up in Liverpool Street giving my Oyster card good reason to take me, and you, in an easterly direction once again.
Officially opened today the New Street Wine Shop is at home in the city’s oldest surviving warehouse built by the East India Company and gives the first indication of the old school nature of what the store is all about. It holds 600 wines and focuses on a have-I-read-this-right mix of quality, rare and fine wines as well as accessibility to all wine lovers (remember that last bit). The shop places particular emphasis on Bordeaux and Burgundy with a number of Grower Champagnes and I was as pleased as a wine geek in a new wine shop to get acquainted with some of them on the preview night.
There are enomatic dispensers (or try before you buy machines) giving customers the chance to sample “iconic wines from prestigious vintages.” And they offer a take away service to customers (or normal retail shopping experience) of your preferred bottle to drink at home or drink at one of the two sharing tables within the shop. They serve a menu of light bites including charcuterie, cheese and olives to complement the wines.
They boast a selection of wines that has been “carefully curated to include some of the best Bordeaux from vintage years such as 1959, 1982 and 1983 with the rare Château Palmer from Margaux, 1988, 1989, 1990. The shop will showcase an interesting mix of Champagne houses led by a unique collection of Krug and a selection of Grower Champagnes from coveted appellations such as Jérôme Prévost, Ulysse Collin and Cédric Bouchard.”
All very impressive to a wine geek or a city worker with an expense account to spend but I can’t help feeling that despite the intention to be accessible to all wine lovers the only nod in this direction is a rather out of place colour spectrum wheel. Painted on the wall as what looked like an afterthought the pie chart has been designed to “ease customers through the process of identifying wines; for example “green will mean a light crispier style of wine.”
What the shop lacks in originality it makes up for in interior style and location. As a great-little-place-I-know-shop-come-wine-bar that’s worth saving in your list of destinations to impress your friends, or that wouldn’t know it’s not a place you could normally afford to visit…..
The New Street Wine Shop
16 New Street
London, EC2M 4TR
Opening hours 11.30am – 9pm Monday to Saturday (closed Sunday)
A special corkage price of £4.00 is available for the first few weeks and thereafter at a relatively reasonable £8.00 per bottle.