Hattie Lloyd 03/02/22
Dan Long has just opened a wine bar.
He’s calling it… dan’s.
Not after himself, mind, but after the iconic Aussie liquor supermarket, Dan Murphy’s. See, Oz is where he built his career in wine, starting out selling fine wines and going on to work at Sydney wine bar Love, Tilly Devine. Cue the pandemic turning the world upside down, and Dan (Long) started his own online wine shop, Natty Boy Wines, in the summer of 2020.
Now, he’s essentially pouring all that knowledge, plus his hand-picked stock of over 600 bottles, into a relaxed, easy-going wine bar just off Dalston’s Kingsland Road. Operating as a bottle shop by day and a bar by night, it’s a bright, whitewashed space decked out with friendly, communal tables; a little candlelight and greenery; and some fun, boozy artwork adorning the walls.
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Despite the name, the focus here isn’t purely on natural wines. Instead, it’s a selection that combines high-quality with a fresh feel – or as Dan puts it, “very, very good wines done as low-brow as possible.” Rather than sticking to strict natural wine criteria, he’s more interested in championing sustainable winemaking. That means many of the producers aren’t just in the winery, they’re hands-on in the vineyard too.
So what does that mean in terms of the bottles you’ll see here? Well, Dan’s keen to move away from the more formulaic wine lists he was putting together in his early jobs, balancing out colours, regions and price points. Instead, he’s just going with what he likes – which is good news for you, because it’s like going to a wine bar with a really knowledgeable friend who can cut the wheat from the chaff. So you’ll find a nice mix of classic bottles that are “benchmarks” for a region or style, alongside some of the more cutting-edge stuff.
“You can come in and be drinking a bottle of skin fermented Moscatel from Valencia and be sat next to someone polishing off some fizz from Leclapart. Whatever floats your boat”, he says. All the 600+ bottles he sells online are available here to take home or drink in for £15 corkage, alongside a regularly rotating list of wines by the glass, representing Dan’s top picks of the week.
To go with it all, there’s cheese and bread from Newington Green’s Jumi N16 (they specialise in Swiss cheese), or he’s just as happy for you to order in pizza from round the corner.
Which sounds good no matter how you slice it.
NOTE: dan’s is open Tues 12-6pm, Wed-Sat 12pm-late. There are no reservations, so just drop in – find out more HERE.
dan’s | 2-4 Tottenham Road, London N1 4BZ
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2-4 Tottenham Road, Dalston, N1 4BZ
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