Off License Greats

Great wines, small producers, affordable prices, to go.

Bodega Rita's

With the rise of shops and restaurants selling wine off licence (shout out to P Franco!), we say pop in, have a bite, and get your wine for the weekend to go. From Bodega Rita’s to Passione Vino and a couple in between, we look at some of the names leading the way.

We know we don’t have to tell you about Bodega Rita’s – the global deli in Coal Drops Yard selling interesting sarnies and breakfasts – but what we might have to tell you about is their wine selection. With a little help from co-founder Missy Flynn’s brother Cameron (wine buyer for Bao and XU), they’ve acquired a great selection of organic and biodynamic bottles at great prices, many with fun labels. So buy a bottle, crack it in deli, and get another one for a night in.

Over in Waterloo, Unwined’s new 40-cover restaurant will offer a continually changing selection of carefully themed wines, with a pairing menu by a guest chef, usually in residence for eight weeks. Like a theme? Get a case to go. We have our eye on the BIG wine lover (big, bold, punchy wines), and the For the Wild Ones (wines that do things differently) cases.

Over in west London, Albertine is something of a wine-stitution. With a 150-bottle wine list, largely focusing on small vineyards and individual producers, they’re a great spot to have a glass (bar), dinner (restaurant) or take away a bottle or case to have at home. If you’re east, it has to be Passione Vino – an excellent Italian wine shop on the ground floor, with candlelit rooms (behind the shop, upstairs, downstairs) where you can open your wine and order charcuterie; they do pastas for groups if you book in advance (we love it here). Lastly, if south, it’s got to be Bottles & Battles in Mercato Metropoliatno: cosy space, warming Italian bottles.


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