This place is tops.
- Amazing diversity of stock
- Ridiculously good craft beer selection
- Extremely helpful staff
A+, Highbury Vintners.
I'll admit to buying cheap beer and wine. Often. But sometimes, I like to pretend that I'm a classy lady who can afford to have good taste. In these instances, I'll head to Highbury Vintners and la Fromagerie.
We first stopped in Highbury Vintners when we noticed the Dogfish Head beer in the window. WHAT?! DOGFISH HEAD IN LONDON?!!!?!?? Maaaagiiiic. It was not cheap, admittedly. But it got us in the door (it was the 60 minute IPA, if you care). The beer selection here is one of the best in an off-license that I've seen. They don't always have the same selection, but it's always reliably excellent.
The staff is more than willing to help. I need to get more into buying wine here on the regular. If only I could get away from buying desperation wine on the way home after a long day...
We first found Highbury Vintners walking back to Finsbury Park after going to La Fromagerie (just down the road! if you've not been check it out!), and we love checking out wine shops so we stopped in. Then the rain came. So we were here for quite some time checking out the amazing selection.
It's become one of our favorite places now. Not only do they have an interesting wine selection from around the world, they also have a great selection of beers to look through. For the wines, they have a case deal - 5% off for a case of six and 10% for a case of ten. We're often stocking up on dessert wines here as they have a great selection (plus a full-sized bottle of Maury!) from all over the world. I think my favorite is the Franz Haas black muscat (which we were already fans of bud didn't know we could get locally), but we've tried quite a few from there that we like.
The beer selections are great. I fell in love with the Samuel Smith's bottled beers when I was in the US, and it's nice to be able to find them in the shop. And when it's the time of year for the Winter Welcome ale, they have that in stock. They also carry the Kernel brewery beers: delicious (and we still need to check out the brewery in London).
All in all you can't really go wrong. The staff are super friendly. I was listening to one of them talk to one of the customers about a beer they had in stock. Apparently Ferran Adria has create a beer and it's supposed to be amazing. I might have to get a bottle the next time we're here.
The only problem is that we usually end up with a case or more. Which is a bit of a pain as we're usually taking the train, so we're carrying a lot of wine and beer home by hand!
Nice atmosphere, friendly and attentive staff. I had a chorizo and lentil stew that hit the spot on a cold day after watching the Arsenal. The house red was also very decent.
A great off licence/wine shop. My focus is usually on the wine. In this respect it stocks a good variety of wine from around the world - including a particularly good selection from the New World. The staff are on hand for a recommendation and I have never got the sense that they were seeking to push a dud bottle onto me. Quite the contrary in fact - all the bottles I have bought here have been excellent.
In addition to the wine, a good selection of spirits and beer is on offer. The beer isn't just your run of the mill stella. Instead it is a selection of bottled beers from both the UK and overseas which are more unusual. I haven't worked my way through them all (yet) but there are no doubt lots of enjoyment to be had doing so. Of those sampled so far the beer brewed by the Redchurch Brewary has been particularly good, if a little pricey.
I seriously have no idea about wine and wouldn't be able to pick a good bottle to save my life (and this place is like the A to Z of wines they have it all!!). But I do love my beer especially Ale; not a lot of places will have such a selection of ales and will stock my favourite but weird, not-so-"mainstream" bottles.
The staff are excellent, they will help you with their really impressive knowledge to choose from wine, champagne, beers and even crisps.
Absolutely happy I stumbled upon this shop.
Take it from a real Wino....Highbury Vintners is the absolute best! They have an incredible selection of world-wide wines to choose from, the staff are friendly and knowledgeable and the ambiance is killer....floor to ceiling wine - what else could you ask for in such an establishment. I've frequented wine shops all over London, and I can say wholeheartedly that HV is the best! They're constantly winning awards and receiving recognition and it's so clear why...these guys are incredibly passionate about what they do.They also hold free wine tastings and sampling sessions several times a year which is a great way for new and regular customers to learn a bit more about their selections and products. If your new to the wine world, don't be intimidated by this place...the guys are so cool, they'll make you feel welcome and will send you on your way with a fantastic bottle that you certainly wouldn't find at your local Tesco or Sainsburys. If your palate is hankering for something new and interesting, pop in to HV and be prepared to become a convert.
I'll fully admit that I'm not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to wine- I know what I like but I need a bit of guidance when it comes to getting out of my comfort zone. This is why I like Highbury Vintners so much. Staff are incredibly helpful and offer a lot of advice when it comes to paring a wine with food or choosing a grape that you might enjoy. Before I found Highbury Vintners my experiences in wine shop's had always been quite negative and I got the feeling that asking for a bit of help was like wearing a sign that said, 'Get as much money out of me as you can!' Highbury Vintners is not like this at all. The shop has a considerable amount of stock and the staff are always happy to accommodate your budget whether it's five or seventy-five pounds. I now try hard to follow their advice and have found myself becoming more and more adventurous and confident with my choices.
Certainly the selection here would appear to be better than the fast-disappearing chain stores, but blimey such rude staff I popped in for some Prosecco for a picnic and I was greeted with all the warmth of a looter in a balaclava. The transaction took place without a word and after an awkward pause, after which it was obvious that the shop assistant wasn't going to do anything for me, I had to wrap the bottles in tissue and pack them myself. I didn't linger long enough to gauge how good their wines are, but a quick look at the Lebanese section suggested a pedestrian approach to buying (just Massaya and Musar). For attitude alone, I won't be back
These guys know their wine, do great staff recommends and have a superb selection of craft ale (or whatever you call it) for your drinking pleasure. My favourite place to pop in browse the selection and pick up some treats from such fine breweries as Meantime, The Kernel, London Fields Brewery and waaay more than I can even think of. And the wines, great!!!
This is an independent wine specialist to rival oddbins. A fantastic and unusually grown up selection of wines, with a great European section. The staff are knowledgeable too, so you don't have to be an expert. One of my favourite shops in the area, look out for their occasional tasting events.
This is a tremendous wine shop, far and away the best I've found in N London!!! Really great range of wines (albeit at a slightly higher price point than you get elsewhere), particularly noteworthy is the distinct focus on smaller producers and a wide range of less mainstream regions. Pricing in good, you get a handy 5% off 6, 10% off 12 discount. Meaningful tasting notes on each of the goodness knows how many wines they stock are extremely helpful. Good beer range too. I can't see a reason to buy wine from anywhere else now this on my doorstep! Prefer this to the nearby Sampler; a worthy rival to other further away favourites Philglas & Swiggott, and Noel Young.
Being new to the area, this was such a nice surprise! From the outside you would not expect it to be as big as it is. It is absolutely crammed with wine and interesting beers. It's like a library for adults! All of the wines have tasting notes which are extremely helpful, if like me, your knowledge of wine is limited! The staff are friendly and really knowledgeable. They aren't snobby and will help you find whatever your looking for, even if its cheap plonk! So happy to find this shop!
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