‘Wine is constant proof that god loves us, and loves to see us happy.’ - Benjamin Franklin
Our beautiful city by the seaside’s dual reputation – of banging party hotspot, and cultured centre for gastronomic excellence – means we’re no strangers to a few glugs of the grape.
And because it’s always wine o'clock in our book we thought now’s as good a time as any to hit the bottle, and find out what local spots are getting sustainably sloshed on quality vino. Bottoms up…
This oldschool hotel-centric restaurant doesn’t go in for trendy gimmicks or passing fads. So you know that when they stock a wine, it’s there on merit, and not because it’s the ‘in thing’.
DRINK THIS: Bacchus / Albourne Estate
TASTING NOTES: Light, floral with elderflower and nettle
43-44 Marine Parade, BN2 1PE
Arguably the best-looking spot to see and be seen in Hove, the rarefied tiling and grown-up bar-style seating are the perfect setting to scoff simply-cooked local classics and neck a few local vines.
DRINK THIS: Lychgate Red / The Bolney Estate
TASTING NOTES: Medium bodied with ripe berry acidity and a velvety finish
42 Western Rd, Hove BN3 1JD
Proper oenophiles (that means ‘wine lover’, we got you fam) adore this Jubilee street institution – part bar, part fancy off licence, part small plate diner with top notch cheese. And they know their pairings, in case you had to ask.
DRINK THIS: Classic Cuvée / Court Garden
TASTING NOTES: Toasty, under-ripe pineapple and greengage
9 Jubilee St, Brighton BN1 1GE
If biodynamic, locally sourced and critter-friendly viticulture is your bag you won’t go far wrong at this friendly, knowledgable bolthole in the heart of the Lanes.
DRINK THIS: PN 2017 / Tillingham
TASTING NOTES: Soft bubbles, dark-pink, wild strawberry, grapefruit, lychee and a touch of soda sweetness.
1 Bartholomews, Brighton BN1 1HG
Relaxed, classy, unstuffy wine-and-small-bite venue where every aspect of every menu item can be explained patiently and celebrated by ultra-knowledgable staff.
DRINK THIS: Cuvée Sir Harry Kroto 2013 / Breaky Bottom
TASTING NOTES: Lemon and lime, coxes apple, hedgerow and zesty fruit
Stonking recently-renovated Hove boozer with gorgeous original features, attentive and well-turned-out staff and even rooms to stay upstairs now, if you’ve had one too many premium local glasses.
DRINK THIS: Blanc de Blancs / Ridgeview, Sussex
TASTING NOTES: White tropical fruit, lemon, fresh-baked bread
3 Hove St, BN3 2TR
This fancy-dan Lanes eatery is consistently voted the best in Brighton, with its flavoursome small plates, atmospheric lighting and open kitchen supervised by superstar chef Michael Bremner. Who is no slouch when it comes to wine either, take note.
DRINK THIS: 'The Trouble With Dreams' Vintage Brut / Sugrue Pierre
TASTING NOTES: Citrus freshness, sweet crushed seeds, stony finish
53 Meeting House Ln, BN1 1HB
Arguably one of the best gardens in Brighton to sip on a glass of fresh crisp Chilean Sauvignon. This Kemptown hotspot is a trendy take on a traditional wine bar and boast an 80 strong vino collection. Try one of their weekly wine tasting flights or regular wine tasting nights. They love vin so much, even their wifi password is ‘outlaw wine bar’.
DRINK THIS: Cloudy Ridge White / Plumpton Estate
TASTING NOTES: Gooseberry and green apple with a dry, crisp finish
101 St James’s Street, Brighton, BN2 1TP
In the heart of the North Laine is where you'll find this 1920's inspired prohibition bar, complete with 'secret' door, ramshackle furniture, misty jazz sounds, and 300 strong spirited bar. Head this speakeasy haunt to try out their special selection of wines served in beautiful vintage glasses.
DRINK THIS: Bolney Bubbly / Bolney Wine Estate
TASTING NOTES: Floral and brioche with zesty citrus fruit, honeysuckle and elderflower undertones. A soft, sweet finish
10 St George's Place, Brighton, BN1 4GB
Over in Hove actually, Hixon Green pride themselves on a carefully selected wine list, to ensure you have an experience like no other. Grab a seat in their stylish venue at any time of the day (because it’s nearly too early for vino) and settle into one of their comfy sofas for a natter and a bevvie. There’s a good selection of wines by the glass ranging in prices and locations, the English wines in particular are a real treat.
DRINK THIS: Markopoulo, Old Vines Savatiano, / Domaine Papagiannakos
TASTING NOTES: Fennel and floral aromas with a crisp, citrus-tinged finish
124 Church Rd, Hove BN3 2EA
Ever been to a sustainable cocktail bar before? Thought not. Enter, Gungho! Over on Preston Street lurks Gungho! – a cocktail bar that champions seasonal, local British produce and makes this the centre of its drinks. Although better known for their cocktails, Gungho also boast a brilliant organic and biodynamic wine list.
DRINK THIS: Gran Cerdo Blanco / Gonzalo Grijalba
TASTING NOTES: Medium bodied, fruity dry organic white wine
36 Preston Street, Brighton, BN1 2HP
Featuring a range of seasonal dishes and delicious French wines, the Paris Wine Bar Hove is an award-winning venue having received a local award for excellence and the best place to spend an evening out. Complete with Parisian style decor, this Hove hostelry entertain a lush garden that's as big as the interior.
DRINK THIS: Union Red / Chapel Down
TASTING NOTES: Attractive cherry and strawberry flavours with a light, refreshing finish
119 Church Rd, Hove, BN3 2AF