79 Victoria Road, Cambridge, CB4 3BS
Established back in 1997, Bacchanalia is your classic wine merchant, with a huge selection of wonderful wines and also some of the best beers and idiosyncratic spirits known to man. At Victoria Road, owner Paul Bowes is nearly always behind the desk, ready to recommend wines and engage in banter, and an equally warm welcome is extended to customers by Jim on the other side of the river at Bacchanalia’s sister branch in Mill Road.
Most wines stocked are in the £8 to £15 price range and Paul does a great mixed case of six bottles from his ‘curated store cupboard’ wines for a fantastic £37. Paul’s knowledge is amazing, and it should be as he’s personally tried all the wines in the shop!
You don’t have to stand in Bacchanalia for very long before you start to get the sense you are in the wine equivalent of a traditional corner shop. It’s not just its location – where Victoria Road meets Holland Street – that gives it that feel, it’s more to do with the steady but gentle flow of customers, some of whom are obviously regulars, but who are all greeted warmly and enthusiastically. Paul and the rest of team Bacchanalia’s philosophy of enjoying themselves and being nice to their customers really is at the very heart of their success.
Customers are always welcome to come in and browse, but it’s also possible to get your hands on their lovely wines and beers through their website where you can download a list of the team’s current favourites as well as place your order. You can arrange to collect from either shop too and there’s a free delivery service in central Cambridge for all orders over £50 or talk to Paul if you are further afield.