The Real Wine Drinking Guide: Naughty Piglets
Naughty Piglets opened in 2015, the mischievous porcines in question being the husband-and-wife team of Margaux and Joe Sharratt. Their neighbourhood restaurant/bar was soon to charm the locals, and later to beguile one Andrew Lloyd Webber, who subsequently invited the piglets to run the restaurant in his recently refurbished theatre (The Other Naughty Piglet).
The unpretentiously furnished basement wine bar has seats overlooking the kitchen, with a mixture of high tables and lower tables in the cosy back room. There is a comforting bistro feel with classic natural wine posters, blackboards listing daily specials, and candlelit tables with an eclectic mix of music playing in the background.
The food offering might be characterised “modern European with the occasional Asian twist”. The emphasis is on sharing plates - a recent menu featured such dishes as fried mussels, whipped cod's roe; confit duck, Bramley apple, cinnamon; blood cake, spinach, cured egg yolk; and crackling and BBQ pork belly, sesame, Korean spices.
The wine philosophy is straightforward, highlighting and celebrating small artisan producers whose wines are a true expression of their terroir, which, in turn, is achieved by minimal intervention in the winery. The list itself – 290 references - is exceptional, chiefly comprising small French producers but also containing a good smattering of natural wines from other European countries. Ask (very) nicely and you may be guided towards some of the off-list gems. Margaux has a particular penchant for the wonderful natural wines of the Jura. Here the icons of natural wine rub shoulders with humble relatively unknown young vignerons – the choice is mouthwatering.
Producers we love: Nino Barraco, Partida Creus, Athenais de Beru, Dominique Belluard.
Look out for the lesser-spotted: Overnoy/Houillon; Jacques Maillet; Thomas & Charlotte Carsin.
We really like: A choice of 12 wines by the glass with daily-changing specials.
Do: Ask about wine tastings, and small events in the basement bar.
Key wine person on site: Margaux Aubry Sharratt.
Naughty Piglets | 28 Brixton Water Lane | SW2 1PE