Since opening in 2012, Hedonism has fast become a Mayfair establishment, with a growing stock of more than 11,000 wines and spirits. And it continues to make waves, having recently collaborated with the magnificent Hide restaurant on Piccadilly to provide one of the biggest wine lists in London.
What unites every bottle in the store is that it is there to be drunk, says head buyer Alistair Viner, who joined in 2011. ‘From the very outset we came to wine retailing from a very different angle,’ he says. ‘We wanted to make things very accessible and take away some of the barriers and fear that people have of wine, in that it can be very intimidating.’
Hedonism fosters an informal environment for experienced drinkers and novices – they can select records to play while they browse through everything from top-line Burgundy to Armenian noir. ‘We have wines from all over the board,’ says Viner. ‘We have vintages that people can take away in their hands to drink tonight, which you might have to wait six weeks for with a broker.’
Most of the store’s specialists are former sommeliers eager to introduce regular customers to different regions, and there are 50 Enomatic tasting machines which have featured the likes of Lafite-Rothschild 1959 and Château d’Yquem 1981 for sampling.