M restaurant set to open Wine Shop
London steakhouse ‘M’ is to open a wine shop specialising in boutique and rare wines that are seldom available to consumers outside the on-trade.
The M Wine Shop will be housed on the ground floor of the M’s new restaurant, which is due to open in the Zig Zag Building in Victoria on 1 December.
It will comprise 2,000 sq ft unit in the 10,000 sq ft site which will act as a vestibule to the restaurant so dining customers have to walk through the wine shop to access the restaurant.
“Everyone who comes to dine here will be exposed to it – and it is also a very beautiful shop and will attract lots of people into it,” restauranteur and owner Martin Williams told the drinks business. “There are around 100,000 people living and working around there, and it is luxury brand prime retail.”
The wine shop will stock 150 wines – around half the number available on the wider M restaurant wine list – with the majority come from the six nations the restaurant sources its steaks from, USA, Argentina, France, Italy, South Africa, and Australia. However Williams has added a ‘rest of the world section’ to provide customers with greater choice, comprises around 24 wines from the UK, Bulgaria, Japan and New Zealand, and this will be rolled out across the restaurant’s wine list in November.
Around 60% of the wines are sourced from existing supplier Armit Wines, but the M Wine Shop will also import small parcels direct from independent boutique winemakers, who currently only sell within their domestic markets. Bottles can be bought both in store and online through its new commerce site, MWinestore.com.
“The mission with M Wine Store is to give access to rare wines which have previously only been available for purchase in restaurants or through fine wine merchants and brokers,” Williams said. “Around 30% of the wines will be unique to M.”
The store is being overseen by Director of Wine Zack Charilaou and will feature a “highly interactive” wine tasting bar on the mezzanine floor, featuring a 16-bottle Enothentic machine. Customers can buy credits to sample wine in an informal setting, and a selection of light dishes will be available.
It will also host daily tastings and is set to launch a M Wine Club in January, which will see a series of tastings and dinners with MWs and winemakers.
Founder Martin Williams said the restaurant had gained a huge following of wine lovers and diners who trusted the M brand since it opened in 2013 and the wine shop would be a “bonus”. “The M Wine Store and its online sister is the perfect platform to offer special wines in an accessible, unpretentious environment,” he said.
(updated Friday 16 September)