As I predicted in my round up of Top Trends for 2008, wine bars - and wine-themed restaurants - are already proving huge this year. New York and London seemingly can’t get enough of them and they’re even booming in smaller (but admittedly not so small) towns like Montpellier. The latest edition of Terre et Vins, a really excellent wine magazine which covers the south of France, devotes a whole feature to them.
Marylebone has been regarded as a foodie mecca for a while but the action's been mainly at the northern end. Now posh wine bar 28-50 has conveniently established an outpost at the entry to Marylebone Lane, not far from Bond Street tube - a new haven for weary shoppers or workers in need of a restorative glass of wine.
Even casual restaurants tend to have such good winelists these days that you might wonder whether there’s much of a market for wine bars. But from the heaving crowd at the newly opened branch of Vinoteca in Beak Street this week it looks like they’re on to a winner.