From online retailers to independent shops, we round up the best places to buy English wine
English wine has changed dramatically over the past five to ten years – we’re no longer considered novices when it comes to wine making.
The English wine boom has seen vineyards pop up across the country (not just in its South East homeland) and there are now over 700 across the UK, making England one of the world’s fastest-growing wine regions.
While a few of these English wines can be found in supermarkets, most aren’t easy to find unless you go to the source direct. So where do you go if you want to try a selection without traipsing from county to county or are bound by the rules of lockdown? We’ve round up some of our favourite place to buy English wine.
This online English wine subscription service only launched last year but has already been endorsed by The Wine Show’s Joe Fattorini and Oz Clarke. All the wines are carefully chosen by Kent-based Master of Wine, Clive Barlow, and you’ll receive a meticulous set of tasting notes from him for each wine you order.
This independent wine merchant is based at Secretts Farm Shop in Surrey so it’s a great place to visit for an all-round English foodie experience. Brothers Simon and James set up Hawkins Bros five years ago and were recently shortlisted for the Decanter Retailer Awards. They make their own wine too – teaming up with Surrey vineyard Greyfriars.
This year West Sussex-based Hennings Wine celebrates 60 years of trading. With three shops in Chichester, Petworth and Pulborough, the family business also operates online and boasts a large English wine portfolio.
Independent wine merchant The Secret Cellar operates across Kent, Surrey and Sussex with shops in Forest Row, Oxted, Wadhurst and Tunbridge Wells, where it also has a bar adjoining the store for tasting events and private hire. While it stocks wine from across the globe, there’s always a good selection from English vineyards and the staff are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable.
Most days you’ll find Corkk’s aforementioned Master of Wine, Clive Barlow, at The Good Shed in Canterbury. While you’ll find plenty here from the classic regions of Europe and great finds from Austria, Portugal, Spain and Germany, instead of shelves full of large global brands, you’ll find wines from small, quality-focussed growers and winemakers who create individual characterful wines. But Clive’s real passion is for locally-produced English wines.
This award-winning wine shop in the pretty village of Lindfield, near Haywards Heath in West Sussex, is a staunch advocate of local producers with a variety of beers, gins and wines from the area on its shelves. There’s also a sister store eight miles away in in Hurstpierspoint.