01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

Wine (List) Ratings


While 100-point scale ratings for wines is controversial, the idea of scoring a restaurant’s wine LIST and wine offering out of 100 is new to me.

I’ve just read about a new site that does this for London restaurants:


Their site says: “Employing a simple 100-point scale, Wine List Confidential scores restaurants on all aspects of their wine offering – from pricing and service, to the range, size and originality of the selection – which is then used to create an overall score for every restaurant reviewed.

If you are looking for ideas of where to drink wine in London, it might be worth using this to compare alternatives.

If you know the places they’ve rated so far, what do you think of the results? (Can’t say it is a surprise to see who came first - doubt that will ever be beaten on such a scale)

London restaurant list

Of the top ten I have been to #6, #9 and #10, all feel deserved. Also glad to see my favourite lunch place at #19.


I’ve been to 2, 3, 6, 9 & 10 … albeit over a LONG period.

I’d have to agree that they are all good, but there is STILL the feeling that the points system is being used to give some sort of scientific validity to what is still, really, a subjective assessment.


I do agree with that. It is a good list though if you are after extensive wine lists…


A striking absentee from their list of criteria (‘price, size, range, originality and service’) is ‘value for money’. They should really be looking at markups.


I think it is rolled into ‘Price’ but I do agree that really pushing for value, and accessibility, should give a wine list additional consumer value


Either way it’s opaque. What are the respective weightings, for example?

[edit] Just had a look at the Ledbury, the only one I’ve been to, albeit some years ago. There is a ‘value’ score but with no indication as to how it is calculated. And the expert picks are an opportunity to disclose markup, unfortunately one they don’t take.

Andy Hayler, a restaurant reviewer, is very good on wine markups.

His review of the no. 2 in the list, albeit from two years ago, is revealing.

Great-value lunch/dinner menu in central London?

Thanks for drawing my attention to this site. Most revealing review .


Yes, very eye-opening and does sort of tarnish my view of this list. While his review does make it sound like the restaurant has an interesting wine list (I’ve never seen Syrian wine listed!) if the mark-ups are particularly poor value (and the food not particularly amazing, by his account) then I struggle to see how it can be the second best wine list there. :confused:

That said, there are a few places on this list I’d love to try! Anyone been to Noble Rot or Terroir?


Hmm I’ve been to none of them.


Been to Chez Bruce, notice they list the Soli Pinot Noir at £33 about 3 times what the WS charges (normal for London), Jo Allen and Hakkasan. Think I only drank wine in Chez Bruce, which has a good but pricey list.
Some places in Bristol such as the Olive Shed http://www.theoliveshed.com/food-drink-bristol.htm
are much less expensive on the mark up, I had a decent Vinho Verde for £16 that I had bought in a Bristol wine merchant for £9, that’s more what I consider fair!


I have been to both.

Had many a good wine at Terroirs, never felt cheated on price. The food is also wonderful. As it is very close to my work I sometimes have lunch there, £10 for a very nice simple dish (choice of one) and a glass of wine (choice of two) is as good as you get in central London. Also closest to my work.

Noble rot, I enjoyed the choice of wine, we settled for a wonderful chinon. Tge food however did not live up to the price on that occasion.


This is all very helpful, thanks! And BLIMEY that lunch deal sounds insanely good value! I’ll have to make a point of going there next time I’m in the city (although I imagine it gets very booked up…?)


No, not for weekday lunch.


It’s tthe discovery of little gems like this that are exactly what The Community was created for - thank you! :smiley:


Yup, been to both and enjoyed them both separately. Terroirs was a while ago, to be fair, and while is did well for the wine list and choice, it lacked a little in atmosphere because we were so tightly packed into tine tables mere millimetres from each other.

Had a couple of great meals, again some time ago now (not longer after they opened) at Noble Rot. My own experiences of food and wine there were brilliant, but I also know the founders, so they helped ensure the correct choice of wine! Lovely place, if a little dark.

Need to head back to ToastED that has scored well and is locally to me


As that cliche of a London-based media-type, I’m fortunate to have been to quite a few of the restaurants on this list, and there are plenty I’d definitely argue with some of these on the basis of ‘value’.

Gaucho for example. While they are very strong on Argentinian wine, the marks ups are horrendous and they up-sell relentlessly. There are several others here I’ve been to where it is almost impossible to find any ‘value’ (or even much half-decent) below £50 - £60/bottle, which is too much for me.

On the other hand there are some really great places here who are genuinely interested on quality and finding new, interesting wines and keep a lid on prices. Sagar + Wilde are great, Primeur went a long way towards breaking down some of my ‘natural’ wine prejudices, and Andrew Edmunds is one on my list to visit having heard some great reports.


Nice to know we can trust the recommendations, then! :grinning:

That’s such a shame! As a non-London based media type ( :grinning: ) I’m not used to London prices anyway, but even so there is a restaurant near me that offers astonishing value wine-wise. The Hermit of Redcoats in a village outside Stevenage is a gorgeous, cosy place with some of the best and most delicious food in north Herts, and their wine list has some real gems. In particular, the delicious Au Bon Climat Bien Nacido Chardonnay, which retails around £23-25ish, is only £38.50! Also Musar (normally £20-23ish?) for £35 and Reserve de Leoville Barton (£30ish normally?) for £50. It is really nice to be able to go there for dinner and drink a gorgeous, familiar wine without paying a crazy mark-up.

I’ll keep an eye on your suggestions, though - have been meaning to try Sager + Wilde for ages.


That sounds amazing, 2 of my personal favourites in that list of 3… I’m there!