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Great British Pub Awards

Pub Awards: Best Wine Winner - The Red Lion & Sun, Highgate, north London

By Daniel Woolfson , 08-Sep-2016
Last updated on 06-Oct-2016 at 14:13 GMT2016-10-06T14:13:01Z

Heath Ball
Heath Ball

The Red Lion & Sun, in London’s leafy suburb of Highgate, has a wine list both adventurous and accessible, driven by licensee Heath Ball and his team’s dedication to providing the best possible offer for their customers.

Somewhat astoundingly, 60% of wet sales now come from wine – no small feat, even considering the surrounding area’s affluence.

As well as a thorough list covering traditional and slightly more ‘out there’ grapes and vintages, the Red Lion & Sun has invested in an Enomatic machine, meaning it is now able to serve fine wines by the glass for as little as £4.50 for 50ml of Chambolle-Musigny 2009. Prices range from around £20 to £80 per bottle (not including the special vintages served via the Enomatic).


Heath and the team work closely with their supplier Bibendum, hosting staff tasting evenings and collaborating on training. Staff –  some of whom have been with the pub for upwards of three years  – are focused on engaging with customers, not just learning their tastes, but challenging and encouraging them to try new wines.

The Red Lion & Sun is a robust business that performs exceedingly well when it comes to wine, but ultimately it’s the team’s passion that shines through above all else – Ball and his staff are genuinely excited about wine and they want to share that.

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