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Definition of
winefly (noun): a person who spends a lot of time in wine bars.

 

We are on a mission to seek out the most interesting wine bars across the UK. Not just tasked to work through a wine list, our aim is to introduce you to the array of independent and exciting wine bars on our doorsteps, waiting to be discovered.

If you’ve got a favourite neighbourhood wine bar for Winefly to review, do let us know!

The 10 Cases

The thought of visiting this renowned London wine establishment created a frizzante of excitement. This is where the wine industry drink for enjoyment, not just for work. This is where an eclectic, eccentric wine list awaits the adventurous and the bold.

A skip and a hop from Covent Garden, The 10 Cases is a cosy, sophisticated establishment; made up of two bars side by side. The Bistrot à Vin is more restaurant in style, with dark wood tables and a bar with high stools; whilst next door, the Cave à Vin is an informal café bar and wine shop, where walk-ins are welcome.

Having opened over 10 years ago, The 10 Cases Bistrot à Vin is all about putting the fun back into wine, with a fairly priced, constantly changing wine list. And true to their name, the team only ever order 10 cases of any wine at one time, each available by the glass, so there is always something new to sip and savour.

If you’re up for testing your tastebuds with new wines, many from small, independent producers from the old and new world, this wine bar is perfect. Surprisingly inexpensive considering its location, the staff are happy for you to try the wine before you buy too.

Date of visit

Autumn 2021

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Feels like…

A French bistro with a cool-yet-unpretentious buzz

Best for…

Pre or post theatre or Opera House drink and nibble
First dates
Chilled evening with friends
People watching

svg+xml,%3Csvg%20xmlns%3D%27http%3A%2F%2Fwww.w3 - Winefly at The 10 Cases

Glasses

Focussing on the Bistrot (the Cave has its own wine list), and due to its ever-changing wine ethos, the wine list is displayed on two large chalk boards over the bar. Featuring 10 whites and 10 reds, each available by the glass, 500 ml carafes or by the bottle.

The white wine list was varied if not on the young side, examples being a 2018 Chardonnay from Langham in Dorset, a 2018 Pinot Blanc from Hungary and a 2014 Rolle (Vermentino) from Provence. We started with a glass of a 2020 old vine Chenin Blanc, produced in South Africa’s premium Chenin Blanc producing region of Swartland.

The reds, on the whole, were on the lighter side, with a 2017 Spätburgunder from Germany and a 2018 Zweigelt from Austria amongst contenders, the only two more full bodied examples were a 2014 Merlot/ Cabernet Sauvignon / Shiraz blend from Franschhoek, South Africa and a 2017 Tannat from Madiran in France, both of which we tried, tested and enjoyed.

There is also a list of ‘Reserve’ reds and whites, separate to the wine list board, for those looking for a more premium drop.

Love local wines?

From the 20 wines on offer (on the chalk board), only one was from England, a 2018 Chardonnay from Langham Estate in Dorset.

Plates

The fluffy bread was warm, the butter salty and the small plates great for sharing. We worked our way through padron peppers and summer crudites, fried cod cheeks and rabbit rillettes, the dishes are simple yet were well matched to our glasses and ranged from £5 to £9.50 per plate. There are larger plates with bistro-style accents for those who still have room for more.

The Team

Tricky this one, as the team were busy on the night, and it felt a little rushed. We would have loved to spend more time with them, as no doubt they are avid wine experts, but overall the Cave team seemed slightly more open, friendly and willing to offer advice.

The Buzz

The place was hopping, it’s noisy enough to be fun but quiet enough to chat. Mix of hipsters meets Chelsea crowd.

Do you have to be a Winefly to drink here?

No, there is enough variety to keep wine newbies and wine nerds equally happy. Having over 20 wines available by the glass is a fun way to explore varieties from across the globe, what The 10 Cases lacked in classic wines it made up for in unusual grapes and styles, and it’s all about trying something new here.

Other pips ‘n pieces

There are two private dining rooms where oenophiles can host 5-14 guests for dinner, with a wine tasting as an additional experience. There are a number of outdoor tables to enjoy a glass on a warm evening, whilst a seat at the bar is a must-try-perch in order to be bang in the middle of the bistro buzz.

The Bottom Line

Glasses of wine range from £5 to £9 each for 125 ml*

*Please note, wines, dishes and prices are correct at time of visit and may be subject to change.

 

The 10 Cases
16-18 Endell Street
Covent Garden, London

Opening times
Monday – Thursday (lunch and dinner)
Friday & Saturday (open all day)
Sunday (closed)

10cases.co.uk