Great places in Bath for great wine
As a city which was a major social destination in the 18th century, it’s hardly surprising that the trading of wine and its consumption has consistently been part of our culture for some time… in fact, the Romans first settled this area 2000 years ago and brought the idea of winemaking with them. Our green & pleasant land today boasts far more wineries than it did then and Bath has continued to fulfil the needs of visitors & locals alike by ensuring there are some great venues offering interesting wines. Here are just 4 of our favs!
Known for his harsh reviews, food critic called Jay Rayner, visited Corkage and apparently said “if I lived in Bath, I would come here a lot!”… which I always feel really sums this place up. Especially since, I do live here and I do like to come here a lot, but for Jay Rayner to say that was a big deal for these guys, and yet their standards have never dropped so Corkage remains a great place to enjoy great wine and great food. Marty Grant (former acrobat… yes!…acrobat!… hear the story on our tour!) and executive chef Richard Knighting originally started their business by taking over the lease of a friends failing bottle shop and it’s gone from success to success ever since. There is a wine list but the original concept was that staff ask you a few questions about your wine preferences, then provide advice based on their extensive selection, and they’ll even consider what pairs well with the food you’re ordering. There’s a regularly changing selection of small plates (3 per person works well for dinner, at around ~£7-13 per plate) all based on high quality, regionally sourced, seasonal produce.Click here to read more about Corkage
Ben Franks and Gyorgy Zsiga began Novel Wines around the same time Savouring Bath came into being so we’ve remained relatively close as our respective businesses have grown. Novel Wines originally were an online business, but they now have a shop not far from the city centre, though they still offer privately booked tastings at centrally located venues, occasionally in conjunction with other culinary outlets who will pair their products with the wines. Novel even offer wine tastings at your own venue within the region e.g. for parties at your home, or for groups at your accommodation. Their concept is based on wines from unusual locations, or from grapes you might not be familiar with, once again, encouraging us to step out of our comfort zones. The knowledge of the team is vast, as they regularly connect with the growers in order to get the lowdown on what’s going on in the wine production world. Ben & Gyorgy have travelled the world to source their wines, and Gyorgy has especially focussed on east European wines. Ben can often be found in the media either talking about wine on TV or radio, or writing about exciting developments in the wine industry in the press and online. There are regular tasting events at their shop and if you’re in that area it’s definitely worth dropping by to say hi and see what’s going on!Click here to read more about Novel Wines
These guys have adopted a really curious way of serving their wines which you won’t find elsewhere in Bath. 32 wines are served by the glass in machines which dispense to your glass in measures from 25ml upwards so you can sample lots of different wines for relatively little. Each machine is themed (colour, region, variety etc.) and is activated by a card which you can pick up from a member of staff. Started in Plymouth by French/English couple Yannick and Ele, Le Vignoble is part of a co-operative of wine merchants who are able to buy in bulk from small farmers to ensure sustainability and get access to wines which are not so run-of-the-mill. They also have a simple menu of small plates, mostly dominated by some lovely cheeses and cured meats. What we love about Le Vignoble is that is situated in a fairly hidden and particularly quiet area of Bath where you can regularly find a chilled out space to relax and enjoy some lovely vino and great service!Click here to read more about Le Vignoble
Beckford Bottle Shop
This is one of the newest additions to Bath’s vinoteca offering but has been with us now since 2018 having taken over 2 units beside Bath’s Assembly Rooms, which were previously a vintage tea-room and antique shop. There’s some great food & drink knowledge here with a regularly changing menu of small plates and a huge selection of wine, but one of the reasons we love this place is because it’s the best place for Bath Chaps which have developed something of a local following! Join one of our tours to find out more or get in touch to be sure you book the tour which includes Chaps… they’re a piece of the city’s culinary heritage which is largely lost but being kept alive with simple but innovative changes made by the BBS team, to satisfy our modern palettes and make them a real treat! They’re downstairs space is normally only open on busy days but it’s a beautifully appointed space with original architectural features and a lovely relaxing atmosphere. All in all, BBS is definitely in our top 4 favs!Click here to read more about Beckford Bottle Shop
Wherever you choose to head for wine in Bath, remember that we normally include a visit to one of our wine bar suppliers on all of our tours (except “Local Flavours”) with food included in your tour ticket, and the choice to purchase wine if you wish. Each venue has their own special story to tell, great advice for pairing their lovely selection of wines, a unique range of small plates from which we’ll provide a sample, and wonderful spaces to chill out and reflect on your tour with us. Join us soon for a culinary experience of Bath!