Cambridge Wine scene.

Cambridge must have one of the most vibrant wine scenes of any city in the UK: we have no fewer than seven independent outlets in a city of 100,000 people – that’s one for every 15,000-odd people and doesn’t even include all the outlets just outside the city centre.

Cambridge Wine Merchants has the city’s biggest presence with branches on Bridge Street, King’s Parade, Mill Road and Cherry Hinton Road.

Next comes Bacchanalia with branches on Mill Road and Victoria St – last but by no means least is Noel Young in Trumpington.

Where to go for what

All our local independents have a great range of wines and also do different tasting events.

You can find out more about the best wines each merchant has to offer each month on Tom Lewis’s Wine of The Month column on his blog, City Connect and also broadcast on Cambridge105.

In addition to this, Noel Young has an award-winning range of Austrian wines, as well as Magpie Estate from Noel’s winery in Australia’s Barossa Valley which he co-owns with wine-maker Rolf Binder. He has also recently start a Wine Club.

As well as wines, Bacchanalia has an extensive range of real ales in bottle and on draught available from its Mill Road shop.

Cambridge Wine Merchants has a wine bar at its Cherry Hinton Road branch, an award-winning range of sherries and fortified wines and an extensive range of around 350 whiskies.

Another award-winning merchant, based in the genteel market town of Saffron Walden, is Joseph Barnes Wines; owner Charles Hardcastle specialises in sourcing characterful wines from the Languedoc in southern France and from northern Spain direct from the producers. He also has a Wine Club.

Beyond the city walls

Just outside of Cambridge, Private Cellar are based in Newmarket and have Master of Wine Nicola Arcedeckne-Butler as their buyer. As you might expect, their range is big on the classics, especially France, and of impeccable quality.

Based at Burwash, Cozzi and Boffa aim to discover new and emerging winemaking talent from lesser known regions that can often deliver well above their perceived value, whilst just south of Cambridge is Hedonist Wines and at Chippenham, there is The Wine Store at La Hogue.


With all that going on, why would you ever buy wine at a supermarket ?

Food and Wine / Wine and Food

Good wines come as standard at Michelin-starred restaurants and Cambridge has two of these – the two-starred Midsummer House and the recently-awarded Alimentum.

If you want good wine with food and without the Michelin-star price tag, you’ll need to avoid the tourist destinations and check out:

The Punter on Pound Hill

Fitzbillies, a Cambridge institution brought back to life after a Stephen Fry tweet

Hotel du Vin has not only a great wine list but also holds regular food and wine events with Champagne dinners, Croatian wines and a port dinner

For something more informal, pick up some traditional Italian food and a bottle of wine from Limoncello on Mill Road. Or for something more intimate and rather hush-hush, check out Cambridge’s only private members’ club, 12a.

Further afield, The Old Bridge in Huntingdon, a handsome, ivy-clad C18th townhouse, is run by Master of Wine John Hoskins and features an Enomatic machine that keeps opened bottles perfectly fresh to be sampled by the glass.

And if you want to visit a vineyard, then take a trip out to Chilford Hall near Linton to see their 18 acres of Müller-Thurgau, Ortega, Pinot Noir and others. The wines, many of them award-winners, are all produced on-site and available to buy.


Bacchanalia – website
Cambridge Wine Merchants – website
Joseph Barnes Wines – website
Noel Young Wines – website

Private Cellar – Private Cellar

Cozzi and Boffa – Cozzi and Boffa

Hedonist Wines – website

The Wine Store at La Hogue – The Wine Store at La Hogue

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