alfresco tasting

Let’s go Alfresco! Trade Tasting – 23 & 25 March

We have a few spaces left for our Online Trade Tastings of our #zerowaste wine range!

Tues 23 March 3pm – Pubs, bas & restaurants with outdoor spaces
Thurs 25 March 3pm – Sustainable events companies, festivals & caterers

Our innovative Bottle Return scheme and our Wine-on-Tap Reusable Kegs provide a sustainable wine solution helping the environment, but they also create a convenient and faff free solution to your logistics and operations.

Register your details and we will send out samples of 6 wines from our Zero Waste wine range, so you are ready to log on and taste with our panel.

Register your details by Thursday 11 March.

Here are the google forms for doing so:

23 Mar –

25 Mar –

We look forward to you joining us!

Let’s go alfresco!


As 2020 finally draws to an end, we wanted to say a huge thank you to every single customer who has supported us through this year of years. Every refill, every mulled wine and every bottle you’ve chosen to buy from us has kept us going. We hope they’ve brought you some good times along the way! 

We can look back on this year with a massive sense of pride; our amazing hardworking staff: serving you at our shops, filling keg after keg at our warehouse and innovating and creating at our HQ. We connected with sommeliers who had been left adrift by the closure of hospitality venues, bringing our Online Wine Tasting ‘Somm Sessions’ to public and corporate customers in the U.K. and beyond. We also took our biggest step forwards yet in our sustainability journey, launching our unique Bottle Return scheme and expanding our Wine-on-Tap offering with our wholesale arm Sustainable Wine Solutions. We refuse to let 2020 just be the year of COVID-19. For us it will be the hard fought foundation for a new decade and future, where we will champion and provide sustainable, quality wine that quite literally doesn’t cost the earth.

Signing off with a little story time…

Last week, at our mulled wine bar in our Borough Market shop, a customer told us about a family tradition. Every year, her mum would travel from Australia to the U.K. so they could celebrate Christmas as a family. They’d gather a feast from Borough Market and top it off with a glass of our famous mulled wine. This year, 9000 miles and COVID restrictions kept them apart – but a WhatsApped photo of a steaming mulled wine with ‘wish you were here’ soon pinged back with love and wishes for a Merry Christmas – and a hello to us at the shop! So many Christmas traditions have been put on hold this year, but with a good glass of wine and a message to the ones we love, we can remind ourselves that this too will pass. We will be waiting to chink glasses when this is all behind us. 

We’ll leave you with the words of Tim Minchin, author of one of our favourite Christmas songs ‘ Drinking White Wine in the Sun’, which puts it better than we ever could:

“And if, my baby girl

When you’re twenty-one or thirty-one

And Christmas comes around

And you find yourself nine thousand miles from home

You’ll know what ever comes

Your brother and sister and me and your mum

Will be waiting for you in the sun

When Christmas comes…

Darling whenever you come

We’ll be waiting for you in the sun”

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. 



To paraphrase Bowie, we’ve been going through some changes over the past year or two… Back in late 2019, we emerged from our restructuring cocoon as a wholesale focused business, providing sustainable, exceptional quality Wine-on-Tap to the trade whilst retaining our key own retail outlets in Borough Market and Hackney. We held on to our core values of the value of refill and the importance of sustainability, all with our trademark humour and accessibility. 

The harsh realities of 2020 led us back into our retail roots. However, as we see light at the end of the COVID tunnel, we want to swing the spotlight back onto our wholesale strengths and the need for more practical, sustainable solutions in our industry. We refuse to let 2020 just be the year of lockdown; for us, it’s going to be the year we took our biggest step yet to embracing a truly sustainable way of doing business.

We’re proud to launch Sustainable Wine Solutions: our dedicated website for our role as a service provider of sustainable wine to the trade. We’ve expanded our wine-on-tap offering to include VinoTap™, a 10L bag-in-box alternative, and launched our most ambitious project to date: the Bottle Return Scheme. All of these solutions will deliver our fantastic range of Zero Waste wines: cracking wines sourced from sustainably focused producers. Over the next few weeks we’ll be profiling some of the winemakers who contribute to our range, giving you an idea of the passion and care you can taste in their wines!


Our hub in Greenwich serves as our kegging and now our bottling centre. Wine arrives in bulk from our sustainably focused, independent winemakers, to keep our carbon footprint in check, and we transfer it to our 100% refillable 25L Kegs, VinoTaps™ and Return Bottles. Thanks to our crack team of winery experts and protective processes, the wine stays as fresh and delicious as it was the day the winemaker declared it a job done. 


We know we can add real value to our producers’ wines, helping them to stand out in a crowded market and reach exactly the right customer. Bringing their wines into our sustainable formats allows for better prices for customers, assurance of great quality, and a real commitment to sustainability. 


We’ve been innovating since we poured our first drop of refill wine from our Borough Market keg in 2002. Our Wine-on-Tap model was the first of its kind in the U.K., and in 2018 we transitioned to the use of 100% reusable Ecofass kegs, meaning we could confidently say our kegs truly were Zero Waste. This past year we’ve really cranked it up a notch, launching our Zero Waste wine range and our Bottle Return scheme to finally make the bottle part of the solution. 


The more partners we have, the more of a difference we can make. We want the quality and environmental benefits of Wine-on-Tap and Bottle Return to spread across the country and bring about a refill-revolution –  a refillution, if you will! We can save countless tonnes of waste from glass bottles, plastic and cardboard from bag-in-box and non-refillable kegs. All this and reduced transport needs can make a really tangible impact on the trade’s carbon footprint. If you know of a shop, bar, restaurant or event space that has a real commitment to quality and sustainability, point them our way for all their wine needs!



An online wine tasting is the perfect antidote to endless virtual pub quizzes. Gather your team for an evening with our resident sommeliers to learn about some delicious wines in an approachable way.

All you need to do is assemble a team of wine lovers, choose from a variety of themes and we’ll send a selection of wine samples, tasting notes and a flavour chart to your door ready for a live Zoom tasting with our Sommeliers.

Alternatively, our Christmas tasting kit makes the perfect gift package for staff and clients, allowing them to discover some fabulous new wines at their own pace.   

Online Wine Tasting Themes

  • Go traditional and festive with ‘The Christmas Selection Box’ (featuring samples of 11 wines and 1 cocktail this is the ultimate Christmas Party option)
  • Put your palate to the test with ‘Blind Wines – Winter Edition’
  • Discover hidden local gems with ‘English Wines’
  • Explore environmentally friendly winemaking with ‘Sustainable Wines’

Prices start from £45 per address with samples suitable for couples or households of four as well as individual participants. Check out the full details below and contact to book your tasting experience today!


For Sommelier led tastings, we require a minimum booking of 14 tasting cases per session (although we can be a little flexible on this and adjust our price to reach our minimum spend). If you have fewer than 14 participants or you’d like to do the tasting without the guidance of our Sommeliers, we can also send our Christmas tasting package for you as a ‘Gift Package’ to conduct a self-guided tasting. 


We are running tastings every Thursday and Friday until 18th December between 6-8pm but can arrange other times and dates to suit you.

  • 6 x 100ml samples in our ‘Taste Tubes’ or 6 x 200ml microbottle samples of themed wines (12 tasting samples provided for the ‘Christmas Selection Box’ tasting). 
  • Tasting Mat
  • Glossary of wine terms
  • Flavour Chart
  • Live Online Wine Tasting experience with a Guest Sommelier via Zoom OR short video recording introducing the wines as the Christmas Selection Box Gift Package offer.
  • Up to 2 hours tasting with our Guest Sommelier (let us know if you want a shorter session and we’ll make sure our Somms pick up the pace!). 
  • We’d advise 1 case per participant. The taste tubes can provide 2 x 50ml samples and the microbottles 4 x 50ml samples, perfect for sharing with another member of the household if they want to join in the fun
  • International delivery available to include teams and colleagues from around the world, but mainly focussing on Europe due to lead times and tax/duties.

Cost per 100ml/200ml sample case with Sommelier Zoom (excluding VAT & Delivery)

  • Christmas Selection Box: £90/£145 (12 samples) – £1260/£2,030 for 14 participants
  • Blind Wines: £50/£90 (6 samples) – £700/£1260 for 14 participants
  • English Wines: £45/£78 (6 samples) – £540/£1,092 for 14 participants
  • Sustainable Wines: £50/£62 (6 samples) – £700/£868 for 14 participants

Cost per 100ml sample case WITHOUT Sommelier Zoom (excluding VAT & Delivery)

  • Christmas Selection Box: £75 (12 samples) – £1,050 for 14 participants

We do the tastings via Zoom. The wines should arrive no later than the day before and your Zoom link is sent to each participant in a memo. We also can send a follow-up memo with pictures and links to the bottles with a 10% discount off purchase. Our Guest Sommelier will be your host, sometimes backed up by a co-host depending on the scale of the group. 

Our Sommeliers:

Erica, Julie, Nico and Neil are our go to hosts; you can find out more about them on the Borough Wines Instagram highlights.


We require all bookings to provide the following details for each participant at least 10 working days in advance (15 working days notice minimum required for international participants):

  • Names 
  • Postal address (searchable on Sat Nav)
  • Email address
  • Contact number
  • Instructions for delivery (nominated safe place for parcel should the participant not be at home at the time of delivery)

We require prepayment for all events. This is best done via invoice/BACS transfer. Over the phone is possible.

Delivery costs

U.K.: £5-6 per case (tracked and signed for via Hermes) 

International: let us know the destination and we’ll get you a quote.

Disclaimer: all the above is subject to change should that be required, but this is the general format.

We hope you will join us for an Online Wine Tasting this festive period!


Last weekend our North Greenwich winery waved goodbye to our first shipment from our innovative new Bottle Return scheme, but hopefully it won’t be long before they’re reunited!

It’s been a busy few weeks for the Borough Wines team, as we launch our biggest step yet towards a sustainable future: the Bottle Return Scheme and Zero Waste Wine! Launched last weekend at our stores in Borough Market and Wilton Way and pop-up shops at Mad Atelier, Mason & Painter and Ludlows, we can’t wait to see what you think of the wines and our beautiful bottles. In fact, we love them so much that we want the bottles back! All you have to do is pop back in store with your Return Bottle (easily recognised by the chalk stripe on the front) and you’ll get 50p off your next purchase from the range. Save a few pennies, pop open a cracking wine whenever suits you and know you’re helping to do your bit for a more sustainable future. Cheers to that!

What is the Bottle Return Scheme?

As pioneers of the refill concept in the U.K., we realised that there is no ‘one fits all’ solution; our Wine on Tap swing-top refill bottles work brilliantly for drinking over the next few days, but for something to stash away for just the right occasion or even just to hear that oh-so-satisfying ‘pop’ of the cork, only the traditional bottle will do. So, when Damien Barton of the historic Barton Bordeaux wine dynasty approached us with an idea to take our sustainability credentials to the next level and make the bottle part of the solution, we realised that he was really onto something. 

We want to make a real shift in our attitude to waste; recycling just doesn’t go far enough. Our Bottle Return scheme brings a sustainable twist to the traditional wine bottle: each bottle is designed so they can be returned, sterilised and reused up to 30 times. When the time comes, the bottles and labelling are 100% recyclable. 10 bottles reused and eventually recycled could save the production of 300 glass bottles. All you need to do is bring back your bottle to your local stockist, and we collect and reuse them. Pretty simple really!

What is Zero Waste Wine?

With a strong focus on organic, vegan and biodynamic wines, every winemaker we work with in the Zero Waste range is committed to reducing their waste output and practicing the least impactful grape growing and winemaking techniques. Labels within the range such as Artisan, Women Winemakers & Organic celebrate winemakers who have displayed a true commitment to balance, quality and sustainability in their wines and their vineyards.  From Bordeaux’s Chateau Mauvesin Barton to an organic Xarello from Casa Berger in Catalunya, Spain, explore the world of wine in a truly sustainable (and delicious!) way.

whats cooking 1

‘What’s Cooking’ Episode 1 – Recipe & Wine

LAST THURSDAY evening was the first in the series of What’s Cooking – a video broadcast on instagram – live, so of course there was a technical slip up, but despite this slightly fruity certificate 18 start, the event was hugely entertaining and enjoyable.

Our adopted Somm Nico, usually of Spring Restaurant, hosted while our guest Chef Fabrizio Romano, usually of Brat Restaurant, cooked some fresh sustainable mussels from Fin and Flounder. The dish was close to his heart – Pasta & Potatoes with Mussels – a warm your cockles comforter that’s perfect for the cooler weather this weekend.

Watch as Fab waxes lyrical about pasta and pecorino, amongst other things (!) and enjoy Nico pairing our Maison 54 Terret Blanc, all while wearing his  fabulous fish hat! See it to believe it. Teaser pic below.

Find Fab’s recipe below and watch along with the video for tips and tricks as you cook! 

Nico host of Fish Friday What's Cooking Borough Wines

Pasta & Potatoes with Mussels


120g mixed pasta

300g diced potatoes

300g mussels

1 celery stick

1 carrot

1 onion

1 clove of garlic

1 chilli

40g passata or fresh tomatoes

50g white wine

20g parsley

20g pecorino

40g smoked scamorza (or provola or smoked mozzarella)

A glug or two of olive oil


Black pepper


Finely chop celery, onion, carrots, half of a garlic clove and half of a chilli. Gently sweat down the mix with a splash of olive oil at low heat until the vegetables are soft.

In the meantime, open your mussels. In a pot with a lid put half of a clove of garlic, half of chilli, the parsley stems and olive oil. Bring your pot to a nice and hot temperature, add your mussels, add a splash of white wine and cover with the lid. When the mussels are about to open put them on a tray. Pick the mussels leaving six or eight for presentation.

When your vegetables are soft add the tomatoes (fresh or in passata form) and cook it down for 3/4 minutes. Add diced potatoes and the mix pasta, add hot water and all of the mussels juice making sure that all the mix in your saucepan is covered with liquid.

Cook the mix like it was a risotto, adding liquid little by little and making sure that it covers the mix all the time. Season to taste and keep going, stirring and adding liquid until both pasta and potatoes are nice and soft.

Add the mussels, give them 30 seconds on the heat and keep stirring. When all the mix is piping hot you can turn the heat off.

Add grated pecorino, chopped scamorza, the chopped fresh parsley and a splash of olive oil. Mix until the cheese melts completely. Serve in a bowl and put a couple of mussels on top.

Buon appetito!

borough wines covid

‘Wine in the Time of Covid-19’

It has been back to the future for Muriel and Borough Wines these last few months.

The story started at Borough Market in 2002 with our straight from the barrel, fill your own bottle concept. In those days you could hear the clinking of wine bottles up and down the street as people came in and out for top-ups.

Our business was good for the environment and highly accessible for customers. It was also good for the community and helped us compete with the supermarkets in a modern “David and Goliath” story, albeit with less blood and more wine! We were one of the first to introduce smaller, independent producers who offer unique and interesting wines with real provenance. Many are certified organic, vegan & sustainable with natural, biodynamic wines featuring heavily.

We remain a small business with big ideas. And we have been at the forefront of change in the drinks industry since the beginning. Our original low key, accessible style and focus on small independent wineries fed through to our more recent pioneering wine on tap projects and we are now the only provider of refillable kegs in the UK.

In more recent times we have tackled the wholesale market as a service and solutions provider of sustainable wine to restaurants and bars.

But because the bars and restaurants are sadly shuttered, we have returned to our retail roots. Social distancing drives our need to connect and our Sommeliers’ live tasting sessions are about just that for customers. We are also offering out of work sommeliers a way to express themselves in dark times.

Never has the expression “Remember where you came from,” meant so much to us. Our employees have been incredible and there is no greater satisfaction for them than making customers happy.

Thanks to the support of our community we’ve been able to keep the team together and we will get through this crisis one bottle at a time.

Sustainability has been our leitmotif since the beginning; to us it’s not just as a buzz word. It is at the core of how we relate to our staff, customers, suppliers and backers.

When you buy from us, you are not just buying a bottle, you are also buying into our dream of a more sustainable world where we all fit in.

All for One and One for All – from the bottom of our bottles from us to you.

love story domaines de tourelles borough wines

Domaine des Tourelles – “the most seductive winery”

Hello wine friends,
We hope you are all safe and well, during this crazy moment in history. If, like us, you are having regular daydreams of travelling, then you might also be finding that a great way to travel from home is through food & wine. Therefore, here at Borough Wines, we would like to take you on a journey by introducing you to some of our amazing new wineries. This week let’s travel to “the most seductive winery” in Lebanon so described by the Financial Times: Domaine des Tourelles

We are in Bekaa, the Western part of Lebanon; where history, elegance and sustainability are all found in one of the highest altitude vineyards in the whole of the northern hemisphere. At 3,280 feet above sea level and with 240 sunny days per year, there is a serious impact on the quality of the wines. These conditions really help the winemakers to fully embrace organic viticulture. 

love story domaines de tourelles borough wines

Matching with Borough Wines’s ethos to go green and be more sustainable, ecological caring and social responsibility are very important values at Domaine des Tourelles. For instance, they have a strong recycling policy by collecting their own used bottles and reprocessing them in the production cycle. This is an expensive, but vital effort made by the vineyard, especially because Lebanon has no recycling capabilities available. Also the Brun were originally a farmer’s family, with roots strongly tied to Nature and Earth, and their way of making wine is wild-fermented. This means the wine is using only native yeasts that are found on the fruit and in the vineyard.

What do you mean? Doesn’t everyone use natural yeast? In the last century actually no, it is easier to use commercial yeast, because it’s more secure and also promises winemakers a much clearer route to their goal, rather than relying on grapes alone. However, yeast are a big part of a wine’s terroir, which is one of the reason we love it and we love these wines!

We have selected 5 different wines from Domaine des Tourelles, which you can buy individually and which are also available all to try some of our mixed cases options:

  1. Domaine des Tourelles Rosé is marked by a lovely freshness & inspires long hours of summer sipping.
  2. Domaine des Tourelles White has a juicy and mouth-watering taste . Enjoy it with a variety of Mediterranean nibbles from Lebanese Mezze to Spanish tapas.
  3. Domaine des Tourelles Red : A wine with minimal intervention, a true expression of the Bekaa Valley, the juxtaposition of ripe dark fruit against a vibrant juicy core reflects the hot, dry days and cool nights of the valley.
  4. Vielles Vignes Cinsault (100%)… Cinsault has been farmed in the Bekaa Valley since the mid-19th century before ceding the way to new imported varieties. In 2014, Domaine des Tourelles decided to revive this grape by searching out very old Cinsault vines, over 50 years of age. The result is a supple wine that beautifully reflects the terroir of the Bekaa Valley, with an ageing potential of several years.
  5. Vielles Vigne Carignan (100% ) is the newest Project from Faouzi. Carignan is the most ancient grape growing in the Bekaa valley and is proving to be a variety in full harmony with the  Lebanese terroir. It is a wine to be drunk young, it is fresh and full of red fruits, spices and liquorice – with poultry and roasted vegetables it’s heaven!

You can shop them all here.

Domaines de Tourelles bottles borough wines

product-yamazaki-cover-1 BWB


We finally got our hands on Suntory’s flagship single malt whisky so we are shouting about it. Not only is Yamazaki the No.1 single malt whisky in Japan, but it is hugely popular across the world. As such, it is often hard to come by, but we are happy to reveal that it is now available via our online store. Get it now, while stocks last!

Why so special?

The Yamazaki® distillery is Japan’s first and oldest malt distillery. It is therefore considered the birthplace of Japanese whisky. The heritage of Yamazaki connects it in a deep and spiritual way to the people of Japan, but it is the surprising, delicate yet profound experience of flavours which distinguish this single malt from all the rest.


As Michael Jackson (not that Michael Jackson) from Whisky Magazine says, “Yamazaki 12 year Old is a pioneering malt in Japan, for which Suntory deserve great credit. In its early days, it was rounded and delicate…now it is more intense, confident and elegant.”

Before we delve more into the tasting notes, let’s take a peek behind the shoji…aka the translucent paper room dividers found in traditional Japanese homes…

Bold Beginnings

Suntory’s founder, Shinjiro Torii, fell in love with traditional Scottish whisky, but the inspiration he felt never clouded his vision for a whisky that was true to his home country. For him, the only way to express the Japanese character was to locate his distillery in Japan. His search went on for years, but he finally found it…

yamazaki terrain BWBNestled proudly on the periphery of Kyoto, the chosen region was known at the time as “Minaseno”. Here the Katsura, Uji and Kizu rivers converge, providing a unique misty climate and some of Japan’s softest purest waters. The diversity of this region’s temperature and humidity also creates ideal conditions for cask aging, known as the signature “Suntory Maturation”.

By choosing  a terrain and climate completely different to those found in Scotland Shinjiro Torii was ultimately able to create a new and unique kind of whisky.

Although the first Suntory release in 1929 was a major flop, its developments, nearly a century on, have put Japanese whisky firmly on the map. As a true powerhouse, providing world-leading whiskies, Suntory proudly declares Yamazaki as “the pioneer of Japanese whisky”. Let’s look more at this multi-layered malt with its memorable fruit and Mizunara aromas.

product-yamazaki-cover-1 BWB

The YAMAZAKI Tasting Experience

You first encounter the colour of Yamazaki which is a pure gold; clear and dark with burnished highlights. Next comes the aroma or nose, which is fruit filled and sweetly spiced. You pick up succulent peach, pineapple and grapefruit as well as clove, candied orange, vanilla, not forgetting their signature Mizunara, which is a Japanese oak. The palate starts spicy but becomes creamy and succulent from the coconut, cranberry and butter notes. The finish is long, with sweet ginger and cinnamon lingering pleasantly.

Overall Yamazaki is medium bodied. While it bursts with freshness, it has a complexity that tells the story if its innovative journey. There is little wonder it is so sought after in the 35 countries where it can be found. With a limited amount in stock be sure to order now, for delivery or for click and collect.

Fans of whiskey should check out our upcoming Dingle Masterclass; in Kensal Rise and Turnham Green next Tuesday 6 Nov and Wednesday 7 Nov.


Say cheese! A guide to cheese and wine pairing

The third annual Great British Cheese Awards is well under-whey and this week, we’ll find out which brie-lliant producers have taken the curd crown. To celebrate, we’ve teamed up with Peter’s Yard and Great British Chefs, to run free cheese tastings in our shops on Sunday 21 October. Drop in from 3pm-6pm to try the winning cheeses, alongside wines and beers chosen to match.

Inspired to host your own cheese and wine party? Read on for our top cheese and wine pairing tips.

Cheese and wine matching


When approaching any kind of food and wine matching, a good starting point is to consider how intensely flavoured the dish you’re trying to match is and then aiming for a wine of equivalent power. For example, a big bruiser like Cabernet Sauvignon would completely overwhelm a delicate cheese like sweet, young Comté, but would get along very nicely indeed with a punchy mature Cheddar.

Similarly, light Pinot Noirs should be sipped with comparably delicate cheeses. The Les Athlètes du Vin Pinot Noir 2017 (£15) would work brilliantly with a Taleggio or Gruyere, as the sweet, nutty cheeses would complement, rather than conceal, the wine’s fine fruit notes.


Texture is another key consideration and – as with flavour – you’re looking for an affinity between the cheese and the wine. Harder cheeses like Parmesan and cheddar work well with more tannic red wines. Red Bordeaux is a classic example and the organic Château la Chapelle Maillard (£14) doesn’t disappoint.

Softer cheeses meanwhile are best with lighter, softer whites. Brie and Champagne is a good example;  the fizz is delicate and smooth like the cheese, but its natural high acidity and bubbles also provide a pleasing, palate-cleansing freshness. Try the fruity and delicately floral Lucie & Sébastien Cheurlin Brut Champagne NV (£30) and a soft cow’s milk cheese.


Just as high acid white wines and creamy cheeses work well together because of the contrast between the two, so do salty and sweet flavours. There’s a real affinity between stinky cheese – anything blue, or in that style – and sweet wines. A bit of blue and a chilled glass of the  Dom. de Carbonnieu Sauternes Half (£16.50) is a deliciously indulgent way to finish a meal.

For those of you who are lovers of chilli cheese, try that with an off dry rose and you won’t be disappointed!


If in doubt, look local – pair a cheese with a wine from the same region and more often than not, the two will be brilliant together.  A great example is matching a fresh-tasting Loire goat’s cheese with one of the region’s excellent examples of Sauvignon Blanc, like the Le Bois Aux Biches Sauvignon Blanc (£9).

Explore our wine and food pairing suggestions for tips on what to uncork with what you’re cooking. Looking for something specific? Get in touch on Twitter – @boroughwines #whatscooking