Whether you’re pairing a bottle with a nice dinner after working all day from a makeshift home office, or enjoying a drink over a Zoom call with friends, trying times often call for a glass of wine.
Especially since from 5 November, the nation will enter a second lockdown, in a bid to curb the rising number of coronavirus cases across the UK.
Along with pubs, restaurants and all non-essential shops closing, travel will only be allowed for work, education, healthcare, to shop for essentials and to care for vulnerable people.
Although you’ll still be able to buy wine in supermarkets during lockdown, it’s more important than ever to support independent businesses – so why not order online from small sellers and vineyards?
Not only will you be helping those who are having to shut their shop doors for the second time this year, specialist sellers will have far more choice, and you can order from the comfort of your sofa.
Ahead we’ve rounded up the online shops and vineyards to place an order with, whether it’s for your next virtual date night, weekday treat or weekend plans spent indoors.
If you’re new to the business of ordering wine or just want to try something new, here are some of the best to get started with.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Online wine shops and merchants delivering
At the start of the first lockdown, Virgin Wines saw such a surge in demand that it temporarily stopped taking orders.
Now it’s up and running again, you can enjoy £25 off your first order with free delivery, whether it’s individual bottles or pre-mixed cases.
Due to Covid-19, deliveries may take longer than usual, but according to the retailer, next-day delivery options are still available, with prices starting from £7.99. If you spend over £150 on single order bags, you’ll get free delivery.
We’ve got our eye on this Christmas all wrapped up mixed wine case, costing £129.87, which includes wines from five different countries, from Australia to Italy. Perfect for the wintery period and run up to a quieter festive season.
For nationwide wine giant Majestic, its stores will be staying open but with strict measures in place to ensure customers can socially distance, including allowing limited numbers of people in.
If you’d rather stay on the sofa, you can still order online, with either standard or nominated delivery, which is free if you spend over £150 and when you order six bottles or more.
We’d suggest stocking up to get the best value for your money.
The merchant recommends directly placing your order with your local store via email, you can find you nearest one here. It will also continue to offer its click and collect service.
Corney & Barrow
Fine wine specialists Corney & Barrow is continuing to offer home delivery, which is free on orders of more than £100, with its entire range available to shop.
It also has a specially curated selection of Christmas wines, just in time for the festive season ahead.
With reds, whites, champagne, and mixed cases to shop, it’ll make what’s looking to be a very different Christmas that extra bit special. There’s also 15 per cent off Delamotte champagnes when you enter the code “CHAMP15” at checkout.
Online retailer Honest Grapes delivers nationwide, and members also get access to advice form a wine expert, who is available to chat to over the phone, webchat and email. Membership subscriptions start from £50 a month and include exclusive offers, cash back on wines and event access.
Next day delivery is free on all orders over £75, with the standard option arriving within 2-3 working days.
If you needed more persuading, it came out on top in our IndyBest test of the best online wine shops for its easy to navigate menu, food matching sector and the personal touch from its wine experts.
Wanderlust Wines is doing one better by delivering across the UK for free on orders over £100. You can also qualify for its next-day delivery service if you order before 11am.
It imports handpicked wines from around the world from lesser-known producers, so you’re getting something special with every order. It’s currently running with a limited amount of stock though.
Every wine it sells is also organically farmed, organic or biodynamically certified.
Berry Bros. & Rudd
London and Basingstoke-based retailer, Berry Bros. & Rudd, claims to be Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchant, and it’s got no plans to stop now, as it’s continuing its services during lockdown.
The retailer is taking online orders and also has a collection service from its London shop and warehouse in Basingstoke.
It has a wide selection of wines and spirits from places including Bordeaux, Champagne, Italy and America that will leave you spoilt for choice.
Delivery is £10 or free when you spend over £200.
London-based Jeroboams, whose rich history dates back to 1934, is offering free delivery when you spend over £100 and delivers across the UK, including the Highlands, Ireland and Northern Ireland.
While its eight shops will be closed, there’s plenty of wines to choose from online and it’s currently offering 10 per cent off 12 bottles or more with the code “CASE10”.
We’ve got our eye on this N.V. Arcobello Prosecco Brut, Vino Spumante, Ermes Mansue with golden apple and pear flavours. Costing just £9.56, it’s a steal.
Another online retailer, Slurp, is a real lockdown go-to and has free delivery on orders over £100. If you order before 12pm, you can enjoy next-day delivery.
It has mixed cases too which start from £27.50, and monthly offers. For November, you can save up to 30 per cent on some of its bestselling bottles, which is great timing.
As its London winery will have to close during lockdown, Roberson Wines will be sticking to online orders for now, with free next working day delivery to most UK addresses.
It offers a personalised service and carefully curated selection from Argentina, America, France, Brazil, South Africa and more and we love its weekly picks of vinos that compliment the weather.
If you’re planning on stocking up for lockdown by splashing out on a case of fine wine, take a look at Bauduc, which makes its wines at its Bordeaux vineyard, Château Bauduc.
The seller’s wines are found in the restaurants of Gordon Ramsey, Rick Stein and Hotel du Vin.
Currently offering free delivery in England and Wales for 12 or more bottles, now is the time to buy.
There’s plenty of choice to make up a mixed case with, too. We’ll be trying out the Rick Stein collection of signature wines, where a case of six bottles of Les Trois hectares blanc 2015 starts at £71.70. The dry white is described as gently fruity and aromatic.
Elsewhere, mother and son (Rachel and Rubén) run wine company L’Altre Vi, which caters to those who have a penchant for Catalan wines.
There’s sparkling, red, white, pink and orange wines to shop from, and if you live within 10 miles of Oxford, you’ll qualify for free delivery on Wednesday’s and Friday’s.
If Italian wine is your tipple of choice, pay a visit to Arthouse Wine, digitally that is of course. Its library is focused on organic and biodynamic wines – which eliminate the use of chemicals and employ the use of natural materials and composts during the manufacturing process.
A minimum order of six bottles is required so we’d suggest picking up a mixed case, so you can do a spot of wine tasting at your kitchen table. The food-friendly mix case, £103.50, is a great place to start to get a mix of everything it offers.
English vineyards delivering
Based in Dorking, Surrey, Denbies is one of the largest wine producers in the UK. Famous for its award-winning, cool-climate sparkling wines, we were very impressed with its Denbies Brokes Botrytis Ortega 2016 in our guide to the best English still wines.
While expensive, our reviewer found it was worth splashing out. “Rich but never cloying, you can almost chew on the vanilla and candied and preserved fruit flavours here, balanced as they are by notes of citrus and spice,” they said.
Currently it is offering 20 per cent off when you purchase six or more bottles.
Based in the rolling hills of Devon, close to the Jurassic coastline, Lyme Bay Winery produces award-winning English wine, fruit wine, cider, mead, liqueurs and spirits.
Our favourite is this Lyme Bay Winery classic cuvée that our reviewer found to be full of aromas of red fruits, honey and almond.
Any orders over £20 qualify for free delivery and there is currently a discount of five per cent on all orders over £150.
This vineyard in the South Downs uses the traditional champagne methods, with impressive credentials including producing wines that are regularly served at Buckingham Palace.
As explained in our guide to the best English sparkling wines, this Ridgeview Fitzrovia rosé was served to Obama during his state visit, so if it’s good enough for Obama, it’s good enough for us.
Delivery fees are £7.95 on orders of less than six bottles, while it’s free on orders of six bottles or more.
Founder Will Davenport started growing vines in Kent in 1991 and now owns a vineyard that produces more bottles of organic wine than any other UK wine producer.
In our guide to the best English sparkling wines, we loved its Davenport Vineyards Limney estate 2014.
Our reviewer said: “There’s a lovely softness to this wine, which has citrussy aromas with hints of buttery yeast and notes of baked apples and lemon peel.”
Delivery starts from £6.35 but is free for orders of 12 bottles or more.
Try Hampshire-based company Black Chalk, which specialises in sparkling wine. It is currently offering free delivery for three bottles or more to mainland UK addresses.
The Classic 2015 and Wild Rose 2016 sparkling wines are £35 each. Made in small batches, the classic 2015 is a crisp blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot Meunier while the Wild Rose 2016 is a summery mix of raspberries and strawberries that would suit a sweeter palate.
Cornwall winery Camel Valley is taking online orders, while its terrace and tasting room will remain closed this month. Delivery is £9.50 per order, and there’s a 10 per cent discount for orders of 12 bottles or more.
It was the first English wine producer to be granted a royal warrant, so with the royal seal of approval, you’re in good hands.
We’d suggest trying a case of the 2018 Camel Valley darnibole bacchus, £193.86, for a crisp glass to enjoy with dinner.
In the south-east, Kent winery Chapel Down has made delivery free on all UK mainland orders, so stock up your shelves now.
Delivery will take seven days and it has asked its customer to be patient, but while you’re waiting for your order, you can plan your dinner around your order.
The Chapel Down intro case is perfect for dipping your toes into the world of wine delivery. In a case of six for £80, you’ll receive a non-vintage brut, two bottles of Bacchus, a pinot noir gin, an apple cider and a curious brew.
The winery has also previously been featured in our guide to the best English sparkling wines, in case you needed more convincing.
Whether you’re a London local looking to call and collect after you’ve placed your order or are further afield and looking for a home delivery, Borough Wines has plenty of small wine producers and organic options to shop, either in single bottles or cases of three, six and 12. Delivery starts from £10.
If you’re wanting to try wine tasting, it’s hosting a series of live events via its website and Instagram throughout November, which is sure to keep your spirits up during the lockdown.
Read our guides on supermarket food delivery slots and the online food subscription services available for home delivery too
8 best wine glasses for enjoying red, white or rose
10 best wine coolers for keeping your drinks perfectly chilled
Everything you need to know about supermarket delivery slots
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6 best wine Christmas advent calendars to raise a glass to