With the sheer number of wines out there, buying a bottle is always a gamble, the only certainties being that if you overpay, you'll feel stupid, and if you show up with Blue Nun, people will tell you to go to hell. Up your odds of the perfect purchase, with The Vintner.
Based in Chelsea, Vintner's cellars stow a carefully curated selection of precisely 100 different wines, chosen after the gang personally tasted 894; very few of the winners run over £25, none are under£5, and even that minimum expenditure's refundable via a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee -- a crazy bet that you won't be even pickier when you're not getting ripped off on the price.
The stock's browsable by grape/ style/ cost/ country, with the current breakdown being 33 each of reds & whites, and the rest filled out by sparklings, fortifieds, desserts, and a narrow field of slightly more expensive fine wines, plus supersized Magnums, Double Magnums, and six-bottle Imperials, the preferred packaging of men with Napoleon complexes.
Each offering comes with two tightly packed bundles of information: Menu Description, which pithily covers heritage and taste, and the still-being-fleshed-out Anorak Facts, detailing geek-stats (residual sugar, soil type, hand or machine harvest), plus useful info like pairings, ideal serving temp, and "aging potential", i.e., 3-5 years for many reds, or 14 years for that ginger from Harry Potter.
Because meeting people is nice, Vintner's also just opened their own tasting room for regular events, though their next, on the 15th of March is at Harrison's Restaurant in Balham -- spots are limited, so book your place quickly or you'll be up Jacob's Creek without a paddle.