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London diners opting for more expensive wines, says D&D London

Published:  19 February, 2014

London diners are spending more on wine, according to 34-strong restaurant group D&D London, which saw average bottle spend grow 6.5% in December.

What's more, some of London's top restaurants including Angler, Orrery, Butler's Wharf Chophouse, Launceston Place and Bluebird, all reported an increase of more than 10% in average bottle spend over the past year. D&D pointed out that the increase was not due to price changes but rather diners' wine choices.

D&D's Crafthouse & AngelicaD&D’s Crafthouse & AngelicaD&D’s Crafthouse & Angelica venue in Leeds, where 37% of total wine sales were sparkling.

On the sparkling wine front, the group's Bluebird restaurant on the King's Road in Chelsea saw sparkling wine sales grow to make up one third (33%) of all wine sold there. Perhaps more surprising is that Champagne and sparkling wine sales at D&D's Leeds outlets are proportionally higher than its London venues. At Crafthouse and Angelica in the Trinity Leeds centre, 37% of all wine sales are sparkling or Champagne. In keeping with national trends, Prosecco is growing in popularity, but D&D said well-known brands including Veuve Clicquot, Moët & Chandon, Laurent Perrier Rosé and house Champagne, Devaux, are still the most popular choices for major celebrations.

According to the group's sales analysis, Londoners are increasingly willing to experiment more to try lesser-known wine regions. At the group's New Street Wine Shop sales are up of wines from countries including Croatia, Turkey and Armenia. It expects to see an increase in sales of its already popular Brazilian wines during this summer's football World Cup.

D&D's Crafthouse & Angelica venue in Leeds, where 37% of total wine sales were sparkling.

Olivier Marie, head sommelier at Coq d'Argent, said: "Our guests are increasingly knowledgeable about wine so these days they are more likely to want to pay a little more to try something better and expand their palate. I also have no hesitation in putting more obscure wines on the list because people are really keen to discover new regions and producers."

Claudio Martins, manager of the New Street Wine Shop, said: "We are definitely finding that customers are getting more curious and adventurous, so I am increasingly selling wines from lesser-known wine countries like Brazil, Turkey and Uruguay."

D&D is currently running its annual Love Wine List, which sees prices of some of the group's top wines reduced to make them more accessible for guests to try. The list this year is bigger than ever, with selections from under £20 to £3,900 for a jeroboam of the 1978 vintage of world famous Petrus from Bordeaux. 

D&D sells over 500,000 bottles of wine in its UK restaurants each year and operates restaurants in London, Paris, New York and Tokyo. In 2012 it opened boutique hotel South Place in London.