Our guide to the best sites for wine enthusiasts.

There’s something about the weather getting colder and the nights drawing in that make a good glass of wine taste all the better. With this in mind, we thought it a good moment to share some of our favourite sites for choosing, buying and selling wine – whether its finding a bottle featured on a restaurant wine list, tracking down a rare vintage or reading reviews from other wine drinkers.


With a deliberately small wine list, FromVineyardsDirect.co.uk aims to stock only the most delicious and best value wines, including favourites such as Chablis, Pinot Grigio, Sancerre, Pouilly Fuisse, Champagne and Port as well as a number of other including Clarets from Bordeaux and Pinot Noirs from Burgundy. Take part in the Cellar Plan to ensure you have a continuous stock of wine delivered straight to your door every month.


Offering top brand vintage ports and wines from some of the world’s most renowned family producers, VintageMarque.com often features vintages that are usually only available on restaurant wine lists. By browsing wines grouped into regions and producers, visitors can learn about the producer and the wider region each wine comes from and feel encouraged to try something new.


If champagne is a bit pricey, but you fancy some bubbles, it’s well worth remembering Sparkling English Wine, which, as the name suggests, specialises in English sparkling wines from the country’s top producers. As the climate get warmer in England, the wine industry is really taking off and sparkling wine producers have recently started to bring home international awards for their efforts. Why not give some a try and see what you think?


An alternative wine merchant that sells biodynamic, organic and vegan wines, Festival Wines searches the world for ethically and environmentally produced wines that not only taste good but are true to their terroir. The list is small but interesting with each wine listed alongside tasting notes, information and technical information, as well as its Low Sulphur rating (which can help wine drinkers avoid hangovers and headaches.)


A wine forum containing thousands of honest reviews from every-day wine drinkers, Lovethatwine helps visitors to make informed decisions when buying wine. Search for specific wine by supermarket, colour, country, price, grape or food type to find reviews. Alternatively, the full wine list shows all the wines alphabetically. Once a specific wine has a number of reviews, it is given an average rating, which is a useful tool if you're contemplating a purchase.


One of the most venerable English wine merchants, Berry Brothers & Rudd offers an information-rich site for those seeking to buy or learn more about wine. Search for wines by country, grape variety and vintage as well as sweetness level, maturity, bottle size and price range. Pre-set lists such as ‘Best Sellers’ or ‘Fine and Rare’ can also aid your search while events, a buzzing wine club and a cellar plan for those keen to build their collection and try new wines are all worth bearing in mind too.


This might not be the prettiest of sites, but Cellar Tracker’s two million plus strong community speaks for itself, never mind the fact that Simon Berry of Berry Brothers & Rudd has named it as one of his favourite websites. The site lets wine lovers download a virtual cellar book, keep track of the bottles they own, value their collection and share their tasting notes and opinions with other members as well as Facebook, Twitter and wine bulletin boards.


An authoritative voice in the wine world, Decanter offers snappy editorial, combined with useful tools such as the Wine Finder; the Vintage Guides, where you can assess whether your bottles are ready for drinking yet; and the Fine Wine Tracker, which keeps track of the changing auction values of the world’s top wines. The online Learning Route takes enthusiasts through all the basics. Meanwhile, watch out for the latest news on wine events, competitions and awards.

Emily Jenkinson

10th October 2011