Somerset is home to some fabulous independent wine shops, run by passionate aficionados. Often a hybrid of bar, deli and thriving drinking venue these are places where you can educate your mind, expand your palate, or just enjoy a glass of delicious vino with friends. Here we suggest a few to try for experiences that will linger long after the last sip.


Max and Philippe met when working for Marco Pierre White in the early ’90s. They briefly went their separate ways (Max to open as front of house for Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck, while Philippe worked for BBC’s Great British Menu judge, Oliver Peyton), before their paths converged in 2018, sparking the idea for an intimate establishment encompassing a restaurant, wine bar and bottle shop in Taunton’s Independent Quarter.

Wine-wise, if you fancy going off-piste, you'll find quirky bottles sourced from lesser-celebrated regions. Tipple from Turkey anyone? There are also European classics, organic bottles and a choice of spirits. Check out their bespoke tastings for parties of six or more. An à la carte menu and tapas awaits next door, or stop by the deli for exceptional cheese and charcuterie to take home.

Great British Life: The Cellarhand, Bruton Photo George ReadThe Cellarhand, Bruton Photo George Read


Husband and wife team, George and Javiera, met while working in a winery in Casablanca, Chile in 2011. Both have qualifications in viticulture and enology, and after many years working for other wine businesses around the world, Bruton born-and-bred George thought the picturesque Somerset town would make the perfect location for a specialist wine merchant. The couple set up the shop, online and wholesale business in 2020, with a focus on great-tasting, high-quality wines and spirits from small artisan producers around the globe at a fair price point. You’ll find everything from conventional and organic to biodynamic, natural and vegan wines, plus enthusiastic hosts ready to point you towards your next favourite drink.


Founder, Kent and head of wine, Sarah, bring a library of wine to the streets of Frome, shining the spotlight on independent winemakers dedicated to organic, biodynamic and sustainable production. Housed in a two-storey building with floor-to-ceiling windows and views over St Catherine’s Hill, this hybrid restaurant, wine bar and wine shop, does café-bistro vibes by day and buzzy, elegant dining by night.

If the shop’s 400-strong wine list sends your brain a bit twirly, fear not - the mission here is to demystify wine and make it as fun and accessible as possible. Check out their line-up of regular Supper Clubs and themed tastings. Once you’ve picked, you’re free to enjoy onsite (£15 corkage) or choose from 10 on tap, 50 by the glass, or more via enomatic dispense system - best guzzled in winter beside the wood burner.

Great British Life: Bloom Wine Company, South Petherton Photo Dan WoodingBloom Wine Company, South Petherton Photo Dan Wooding


Snuggled at the bottom of the church steps, Bloom is a cosy shop-slash-bar where you can perch for a coffee, stock up on posh deli bits, or sit quaffing vino with friends around a beautiful slab of polished tree. Owner Lyndsay’s knack for creating gorgeous, inviting spaces, helped transform this village nook into a trendy, easy-going venue. Nkuku homewares line the walls, shelves of wine are tagged with brown labels, artisan breads and pastries bedeck counters on Saturdays.

There’s not a jot of pretension about the place - the friendly team function as a fun, welcoming family who love what they do, with Manager Dan in his element whether it comes to hosting or suggesting a bottle. Come Christmastime, expect boozy coffees, festive foods, a slew of wine tastings and a New Year’s Eve party.


Andrew Kinnersley got into the business of wine almost by accident. After finding temporary work for a wine company in France, he ended up staying for 10 years, picking up wine knowledge and qualifications along the way. Returning to the city where he grew up, he opened his own wine shop, where he prides himself on personalised customer service and dispelling any notions of wine snobbery of stuffiness. You’ll never feel foolish for not knowing the difference between a Carmenere and a Cinsault here.

Local wines feature from Somerset’s vineyards, Fenny Castle, Aldwick Court and Dunleavy and there is locally-produced cider and beer on offer too. Don’t miss his ‘informal walkabout’ tastings of over 50 wines, held in June and November.

Great British Life: The Somerset Wine Co. Photo Dave Watts Photography The Somerset Wine Co. Photo Dave Watts Photography


Headed up by wine guru Camilla Wood and her knowledgeable team, this cheerful emporium houses 500 carefully-curated wines from small producers across the world. ‘Terroir’ is the buzzword here, and there’s a strong focus on minimal intervention wines with close connection to the land.

As well as a beautiful bar brimming with wine choice, a good-to-know-about garden and cosy interiors, you’ll discover West Country craft beers, cider and spirits proudly showcased, including their own Somerset Dry Gin, Sweet Track.

Want to become a wine connoisseur? Camilla runs certified WSET wine courses Level 1-3, and there are tasting events with award-winning food writer, Lucas Hollweg. For less formal wine nerdery, pop by on Thursdays and Fridays to sample dishes from local food suppliers, paired perfectly with your booze.


Somerset’s answer to Gloucester Services (without the filling station), Teals houses a dazzling array of produce, which focuses heavily on sustainable West Country fare from local producers. As well as an extensive food market, butcher, deli, onsite wellness classes, restaurant and gift shop, you’ll find a bottle store curated by wine genius Camilla from Somerset Wine Co. With the motto ‘all killers, no fillers’, Teals brings some of the best, mostly organic, low intervention and natural wines from smaller vineyards to this upmarket A303 stop-off. The wines sit alongside local gins, vodkas, rums, the odd English whisky, as well as low and alcohol-free options.

Great British Life: Vintage & Vine, Clevedon Photo Dom Lamy & Tess ListerVintage & Vine, Clevedon Photo Dom Lamy & Tess Lister


If you want to compare productivity levels during the Coronavirus lockdown, Alex and Dom Lamy really excelled themselves. The couple (who also run Escala tapas restaurant on the seafront) spent this time converting what had previously been office space, into a stylish, spacious bottle shop and drinking venue, opening in November 2020.

If you’re looking to restock your booze cupboard, or discover some obscure, stellar bottle of wine, there are around a thousand varieties of plonk to drool over, including those from local vineyards and South West producers. You’ll also find 40 different gins and an array of spirits and draft beer. If that sounds like too many to fathom, pull up a pew and take your time pouring over the possibilities, cup of coffee or glass of vino in hand.