10 of the best wine delivery services in the UK
Berry Bros. & Rudd
Starting out as a coffee shop in 1698, the St. James’s Street stalwart soon diversified its offering, selling tea, snuff, cocoa, and, most importantly, wine. The merchant has been the official wine supplier to the royal family since the reign of King George III. With over 5,000 wines on its books, there’s something to suit all palates. While oozing with history, BBR has a refreshingly modern outlook and a strong digital presence. Its wine offering is regularly updated and rated, and its prices are fair. With an enviable troop of MWs on the team, the website is packed with useful facts and goes into granular detail about the producers it represents.
Its entry-level wines start at £10 – the merchant’s best-selling Good Ordinary Claret costs £10.95 and occasionally features an artist’s label, while there is great value to be had among its fine wine selection via its BBX broking exchange. Among its new fine wine releases are the 2019 vintage of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s Provence rosé Miraval, priced at an affordable £19.95, or, for more of a splash out, you could go for a bottle of the 2016 vintage of Boris Johnson and Meghan Markle’s favourite Super Tuscan – Tignanello – for £92.68. Delivery is taking a few days longer than normal at the moment, but should arrive within five working days.
The UK’s largest specialist wine retailer, Majestic has long served the needs of high-street wine lovers via its nationwide warehouses, but it also has a strong online presence. Majestic re-launched its website in 2016, adding a slew of new features including a subscription model. The buying experience is personalised and intuitive and you can search for wines by style, with categories including ‘fresh and fruity’, ‘floral and fragrant’ and ‘rich and savoury’. It also features an array of offers, from Easter favourites and perfect party wines to bin end sales.
Among the wines in its Easter favourites selection are The Ned Sauvignon Blanc for £8.99 a bottle, Louis Latour Mâcon 2018 for £11.99, and Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée brut non-vintage Champagne for £27.99. The site also boasts a decent range of beers and spirits, and enough gin to sink a battleship. Its Wine Concierge subscription service offers major discounts on a quarterly case of wines, every 13th bottle free, and 10% off all single bottle prices. Due to high demand, free standard deliveries on six bottles or more will arrive within 14 days.
The audacious dream of Russian tech billionaire Evgeny Chichvarkin, when Hedonism Wines opened in Mayfair in 2012, it changed the game. The fine wine Mecca boasts various vintages of all of the five first growths, along with Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Super Tuscans Sassicaia and Ornellaia, Screaming Eagle, Pétrus, Le Pin and many other of the finest wines available to humanity. The most expensive single bottle on sale is Château d’Yquem 1811 at an eye-watering £100,000. It’s like a sweet shop for adults and the impressive selection of larger format bottles adds to the Alice in Wonderland feel.
While browsing Hedonism’s selection online is a little less thrilling than actually being there, with 6,500 wines and over 3,000 spirits on offer, if you’re after something specific, it’s likely they have it. High rollers can snap up a bottle of Coche Dury Corton Charlemange 1994 for £5,670, or a Domaine Leroy Romanée St Vivant 1992 for £4,480. At the other end of the price spectrum, a bottle of Barbadillo Amontillado will set you back just £11.90. Delivery is free if you order over six bottles or spend over £200, and the shop delivers worldwide, not just within the UK.
Specialising in off the beaten track drops, online merchant Wanderlust Wine was founded by banker-turned wine merchant Richard Ellison, who created the company to shine a light on boutique producers with a sustainable ethos. As you’d imagine, the offering at Wanderlust centres around organic, biodynamic and minimum intervention wines from small producers around the globe.
A unique quirk of the website is its ‘Wine on Demand’ service, which promises to deliver single bottles of wine to impatient Londoners within the hour. But you’ll have to pay a premium for the service. Next day delivery is available nationwide, with free delivery on orders over £100 and no minimum bottle order. Among the drops on offer on demand at the moment are Vitteau Alberti Crémant for £18.75 a bottle and Roger Barnier non-vintage Champagne for £30.99 if you fancy popping your cork and dancing like nobody’s watching – they probably aren’t.
Another appealing aspect of the website is the winemaker stories it tells, taking browsers on a journey into their vineyards and giving buyers the change to get to know the makers behind the bottles, from Corinna Wright at Oliver’s Taranga in Australia’s McLaren Vale to Meyer Joubert in South Africa’s Overberg.
Having started life in 1991 as a bricks and mortar wine merchant with a handsome shop in Kensington, Roberson was ahead of the curve when it went online-only in 2015. Having long specialised in drops from France and the Golden State, in addition to a thriving online wine business, Roberson also operates London’s first urban winery – London Cru. The independent merchant, founded and run by Cliff Roberdon, offers UK-wide delivery, with standard deliveries expected to arrive within three to five working days, with free weekday delivery on orders over £100.
Among the wines it is currently flagging up in its weekly picks selection are Railway Hill Rosé 2018 from England’s own Simpsons Wine Estate, which is currently on offer at £14.99, down from £19. With the mercury set to rise over Easter weekend, rosé is clearly on everyone’s mind, as another of the picks is Provence pink M de Minuty Rosé 2019, priced at £14.95 a pop.
It also has a selection of ‘fridge door whites’ and lower-alcohol wines offering “all of the flavour, less headache”. Of the more affordable US wines is Moobuzz Monterey Pinot Noir 2016 for £14.99, and CMS White 2018, a blend of Chardonnay, Marsanne and Sauvignon Blanc from Washington’s Hedges Family Estate for £15.
A longtime lover of Spanish wine, Indigo Wine has always been my go-to reference point for cutting edge Iberian drops. What these guys don’t know about exciting small batch Spanish wines isn’t worth knowing. While Indigo usually sells its wines to restaurants and independent merchants, during the lockdown it has launched an ‘Indi to go’ online wine shop selling a selection of its most popular wines and mixed cases. Single bottles have been generously discounted, with a portion of the sales going towards the Hospitality Action Covid-19 appeal to help support restaurant and bar workers through the crisis.
Among the mixed cases are a ‘wine enthusiast’ box, an ‘Easter favourites’ box and a ‘Viñateros box’ filled with some of the wines on pour at the wildly successful Viñateros tasting in London earlier this year, made by artisan Spanish producers. Some of the single bottle Spanish wines on sale include Envinate’s Benje Tinto 2017 for £26.90 and Suertes del Marques 7 Fuentes 2017 for £19.20 if you fancy pitting two of the most exciting producers from Tenerife against each other. Indigo also sells wines from Portugal, South Africa and Greece among other countries. You’ll receive a 15% discount on your first order.
With a trophy cabinet heaving with awards, Waitrose is the go-to supermarket for discerning wine buyers, offering a diverse range at affordable prices. Its online wine shop, Waitrose Cellar, allows you to pay as you go if you don’t fancy signing up to the wine club. The site sells a number of mixed cases, including a selection of spring reds for £131, or a dozen bottles of Prosecco to get your self-isolation party started for £161.
Speaking of fizz, Bollinger Special Cuvée is currently on offer on the site, selling for £33.50 rather than £45, while Pol Roger’s Brut Reserve is £34, Catena’s entry-level Malbec just £9.99, Penfolds Max’s Shiraz £16.99, and Contino Rioja Blanco £19.99. You can search for wines by country, region, variety and style. Deliveries are operating as planned but standard deliveries may take up to 10 days to arrive due to high demand.
Founded by Nathan Hill and possibly the best dressed man in the wine trade, Tom Harrow, who never fails to delight with his astonishing array of seasonal suits, online wine merchant Honest Grapes specialises in artisan wines with a story to tell. Members of its wine club have access to special offers and exclusive wines, but you don’t need to be a member to shop here.
Its wines are divided by region, but you can also browse the sommelier selection and Tom’s luxury picks, which include Gaja Barbaresco 1988, priced at £480 a bottle, Château Lynch-Bages 2014 at £90 a pop, and Hoffmann & Rathbone Rosé Reserve 2011 from Sussex, which costs £40.70. You can even search for wines to match with certain foods. Keen to shine a light on homegrown drops, for £101 you can snap up a trio of English sparklers: Wiston Estate Rosé NV, Herbert Hall Brut 2015, and Nyetimber Classic Cuvée.
The site has a web chat function that puts you in touch with a wine guru who can advise you on your order. Honest Grapes delivers nationwide and delivery is free on orders of over six bottles, but due to high demand, orders may take 2-3 working days to arrive.
Online retailer Slurp has an ever evolving offering of over 900 wines from around the world, with prices starting at £6 and peaking at £300. The merchant has long been a champion of South African wines, and its range from the Cape is particularly strong. Among the producers it stocks are Boekenhoutskloof, Darling Cellars, Bochendal, Vergelegen, Porseleinberg and Crystallum.
Like fellow online merchant Wanderlust Wine, Slurp shines a light on wines made by small growers and offers a selection of limited parcel wines, some of which the merchant is only offered a minuscule allocation of. If you’re on a budget, the wines in its ‘essentials’ range are all under £10, and include Oude Kaap Chenin Blanc and Alto de Mayo Mendoza Malbec, both priced at £7.95.
Slurp usually offers free next day delivery in the UK on orders over £100 placed before 2pm during the week. The merchant also delivers to addresses outside of the UK. Due to high demand at the moment, orders may take up to 14 days to arrive.
Corney & Barrow
Last but by no means least we have Corney & Barrow, which represents one of the most lusted after wines on the planet – Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. One of the oldest independent wine merchants in Britain, C&B was founded in 1780. Like Berry Bros, it wears its history lightly and has adapted to the modern era with an impressive online offering where you’ll find the vast majority of its range for sale. Among the producers Corney & Barrow exclusively represents are Salon in Champagne, Dominio de Pingus in Spain and Burgundy’s Domaine Leflaive.
If you’re in the mood for something sweet, a half bottle of Château Doisy Daene Sauternes 2016 is going for £13.43, while a bottle of JJ Prum Kabinett Riesling 2016 will cost you £17.87. In its current ‘last chance to buy’ selection is Bruno Giacosa Barbera d’Alba 2016 for £23 a bottle, and Au Bon Climat Hildegard White 2015 for £28.70.
Compiled by its army of experts, its mixed cases group together wines by grape variety, from Sauvignon Blanc to Pinot Noir, while its ‘staff picks’ case for £140 includes a Provence rosé, Picpoul de Pinet, dry Furmint and a Côte du Rhône. Deliveries are free on orders over £100, with next day delivery in London, while addresses in the rest of the UK will receive their wines within a week.