Top 10 London wine lists by price

WLC logoLike a self-assessment tax return or an Iris Murdoch novel, a restaurant wine list can be a distressing, agonising document. Unless you’re operating with a company expense account – in which case, hooray, party time – finding value is usually the keenest priority. But it’s far from easy, particularly in a city like London, where price inflation is at times maniacal and restaurants face a constant uphill struggle to stay in the black.

Wine has always been one of the best means for restaurants to make a big profit. It is almost always the most profitable part of the business. The average margin most restaurants look to gain from a bottle of wine is around 70%, and slightly more for wine by the glass. Another way of looking at it is the they will generally charge three times more than the retail price for a bottle, then add VAT.

These are the general rules, beyond which everything’s up for grabs – mark-ups of 400% or more on the retail price of a bottle are not uncommon. Many restaurants are unscrupulous in this regard. However, those restaurants that care about wine will tend to calibrate their prices to encourage guests to dabble, to take a punt – for example by setting prices closer to the cost price the further you go ‘up’ the list.

For anyone who enjoys wine, finding restaurants like these is a great thing. Fortunately for such ones, Wine List Confidential can lead the way. The free-to-use Wine List Confidential website (and, imminently, app) is a unique, transparent and straightforward way to connect wine lovers with restaurants.

Using a numeric rating system, it allows wine lovers to quickly compare the wine offer in restaurants whatever the food and format.

Using a simple 100-point scale, Wine List Confidential scores restaurants on all aspects of their wine offering – from service to range, size, originality of the selection and price. These scores are then used to calculate an overall Wine List Confidential Score for every restaurant reviewed.

So, for the wine bargain hunters, in the pages that follow, we present the top 10 London restaurants on WLC based on price…

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