The 10 Cases
Driven by quality, excitement and value rather than trends, the wine loving team at 10 Cases never want to be become stagnant or predictable.
Tasty, Simple, Ingredient Focused Plates
Wine Buyer and GM, Gus Pollard, gives context to Covent Garden’s 10 Cases Bistrot and Cave a Vin, opened in 2011 by friends, Will Palmer and Ian Campbell. ‘Fed up by static, predictable and overpriced wine lists, they decided to open a place with a fairly priced, constantly changing, unpretentious and fun wine offering.’ The result is a ‘buzzing and unpretentious little restaurant, built around a list of ten white, ten red, sparkling, rosé and sweet wines, all of which is available by the glass, carafe and bottle, and purchased always in 10 Case orders.’
In seven years of trading, the same wine has not been listed twice, Pollard confirms, ‘even with vintage changes, which makes the wine buying role a lot of fun.’
The food menu also shows an enquiring mind, built around three starters, such a prawn and jamón risotto with puntarella, three mains, such as tandoori caulflower with quinoa and smoked cheese, or rack of lamb with Dauphinoise gratin, and three puddings, as well as a range of wine-inclined tapas type dishes and daily specials ‘with a vast and broad European influence.’
In 2013, the team undertook the logical expansion of opening the Cave a Vin wine bar, shop and cellar next door. ‘Offering the same menu but on a walk-in only basis, the wine list is what sets the Cave distinctly apart from the Bistrot.’ Here, another 16+ regularly changing fine wines are offered by the glass as well as 300+ listings by the bottle, offered at retail price to take-away or to drink in with an additional £12 corkage. ‘We may be located in Covent Garden but we aim to offer the best value drinking in London.’
Pollard, Palmer and Campbell are fortunate to be able to raise wines in their cellars. ‘We are conscious of not wanting to only list current vintages and really appreciate great wines with a bit of bottle age so lay down products - in 10 Case parcels or smaller.’
Be sure to check out sister restaurant, Parsons, too.
By Douglas Blyde.
A lovingly put together wine list in an enclave of good drinking on the edge of Covent Garden. Something of a wine geek destination, 10 Cases is a two-sided affair consisting of a 'Bistrot à Vin' and a 'Cave à Vin'.
The Bistrot à Vin is a small restaurant ( a monthly changing menu of modern European fare) with a short wine list: 10 white, 10 red, one sparkling, one rosé and two sweet wines. As the company name suggests, they only purchase 10 Cases of any one wine. Once a wine has sold through, the list changes – so the same wine will never be listed twice. Everything is available by the glass, carafe and bottle. As well as an eclectic range of fine artisanal drops, there's an eyebrow-raising selection of magnums and an excellent range of sweet stuff. In short: something for everyone to discover.
The Cave a Vin is a wine bar and shop with a dynamic 150+ selection of great wines from all over the world at all price points, aiming to offer the best value wine list in London available to drink in or take away. The overall aim here is to give guests access to incredible wine at the best price in a relaxed, fun atmosphere. And it's true that, for such a central location, the feel of the place is like a homely neighbourhood hangout. Retail sales at the wine bar ensure the fun can continue once you leave.
Interesting selections include Nicolas Joly's Coulee de Serrant Savennières, Burgundy-style Chardonnay from Sandhi in Santa Barbara and a 2001 Château Musar.
By Zeren Wilson and Darren Smith