About Prohibition Wines
We’re Paul and Louise, a local wine loving couple who, frustrated by not having anywhere decent to buy a bottle of wine in Muswell Hill, decided to open a shop ourselves. We opened on Valentine’s Day 2013 and our first bottle sold was a Californian Viognier. We’ve sold a few more bottles since. We now stock around 550 wines, an expanding range of funky spirits and a carefully crafted range of beers from London and further afield. We don’t sell crisps.
The shop is still staffed by just the two of us (and Mrs Prohibition Wines has a proper job elsewhere) although we’re working on making it three. We’re assisted once a week by our deceased newsletter editor, Andrew Volstead, who lets our customers know about new wines and upcoming events. You can sign up for his musings here.
We work with a wide range of importers, buy a few wines direct, and we are a member of the VIndependents, a buying group of like-minded independent wine merchants. We try, with rare exceptions, every wine we sell, including new vintages of existing lines. If we don’t like a wine or don’t think it is worth its price, we won’t sell it.
We specialise in wines from Spain (including loads of Sherry) and North America and have plenty of other interesting wines from around the world. Most of our wines are from smaller producers and, unless there are compelling reasons to make an exception, we try not to sell anything available in supermarkets or Majestic (and don’t get us started on The Wine Society – they have great taste too so sometimes we can’t avoid a crossover).
We run free and informal tastings most Friday evenings, often hosted by suppliers or winemakers. There’s no pressure or obligation to buy and we usually give a discount on featured wines purchased on the night.
We’ve picked up a few awards along the way. Decanter Magazine named us their Small Retailer of the Year 2017 and their Spanish Specialist Retailer of the Year 2017. In the 2017 Observer Food Monthly Awards we were named as a runner-up for Best Independent Retailer in the UK.