Buying wine in SE1

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Friday 20 July 2007 12.01pm
I'm a big wine-drinker (maybe too big - OK, confession over) and, although I buy much of what I drink at source or from the Wine Society and BBR and suchlike places, I'm always looking to buy wine on the hoof, so to speak. Apart from Waterloo Wines on Lant St, I'm a bit underwhelmed by the wine retailing in the SE1 area. Is there something I'm missing?

The Oddbins near London Bridge is pretty awful. The range is okay, but the wine is stored in conditions that seem to me to be too hot, with the result that a disproportionate percentage of bottles are "wrong" - corked, oxidized, etiolated, cooked. The management there may be decent enough about replacing bottles that are sub-par, but it's not a very satisfactory or indeed satisfying experience.

I've also patronized the various places at Borough Market that sell wine. All seem overpriced to me, offering better than average bottles - but at higher than average prices. In any case, I like to talk to the vendor/merchant about his or her stock - new wines, the producers, the blend, maturity, etc. - and the people I've bought from at BM don't seem to have the appetite (or, admittedly, the time) for that sort of thing.

I'm aware of a place under the London Bridge railway arches, but have yet to make the trip there. Is it in fact retail, or is it a wholesale operation? And beyond that, is there anywhere locally I ought to be checking out that I've maybe overlooked?

Just to be clear, my tastes are mainly Old World. I'm quite interested in trying the unexpected - Israeli chardonnay, tannat from Urguguay, etc. - but I mainly drink French, Spanish and Italian reds and French, German and Austrian whites.
Friday 20 July 2007 12.08pm
Longlaner, you're not alone. I'm also a wine lover, and was also wondering where to buy good wine (including fine French wine) in SE1. The place you mention under the London Bridge arches is next to the London dungeon and a bicyle retailer. It's definitely retail, and they also serve lunch. Never tried it yet, but it looks really nice. Anyone bought some bottles there?
There also seems to be a retailer at the end of BErmondsey St, before the tunnel under the arches, but again haven't ventured in. Any suggestion welcomed.
Friday 20 July 2007 12.12pm
There is a Majestic Wines on Stoney Street
Friday 20 July 2007 12.16pm
It was the one on Bermondsey St under the arches that I was thinking of. It doesn't look very inviting, I have to say. I poked my head round the door yesterday, but there didn't appear to be anyone in!
Friday 20 July 2007 12.18pm
What about the wine shop at Pont de la Tour?

Excellent selection and they sometimes put on tastings too.
Friday 20 July 2007 12.22pm
That's a thought. I'll check it out.
Friday 20 July 2007 12.31pm
The advantage of the Majestic in Stoney Street ( connected to Vinopolis ) is that unusually you can buy single bottles, the disadvantage is that they do not have as wide a range as the main stores. We use the Wine Society and also Majestic at Vauxhall.

I agree about Oddbins at London Bridge, nice people and wines but all too hot.
Friday 20 July 2007 12.41pm
There was a thread about the wine shop in the Bermondsey Street tunnel a while back. It got rave reviews. Normally it only sells by the case, but a few people managed to buy single bottles I think:

http://www.london-se1.co.uk/forum/read/1/40587/40587#msg-40587

Edited to say: I see they've expanded their offering to include Sagatiba Velha cacha├ža (one of my favourites!) so will have to check it out myself...
Friday 20 July 2007 12.43pm
I'd recommend pont de la tour - judging by the price of a half bottle of billecart & salmon rose, it is a lot lot cheaper than BBR, jerobaums, etc. And very helpful staff too. But most of my everyday wine comes from Majestic on Stoney St... Bedales is pretty expensive and I'm never very impressed by the other Borough Market wine retailers...

I've walked past the door under the arches on Bermondsey St but hardly ever see anyone go in or out - don't know if they ahve a website?
Friday 20 July 2007 12.44pm
Kathryn Grant wrote:
I've walked past the door under the arches on Bermondsey St but hardly ever see anyone go in or out - don't know if they have a website?

They do: http://www.mandcwines.com
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