Wine hipsters are one of the foodie/drinkie strands of the hipster clan, they are easily discernible by their distinctive dress sense, love of (super) natural wine, extreme beards, wine related tattoos and patronage of the capitals best bars and wine centric restaurants. The below will not only help you track a real one down and observe it in its natural habitat, it will also explain how to put together the ultimate wine hipster. We will be focusing on the male of the species here as the female is much harder to spot in the wild due to lack of beard.
What do they look like?
There are varying levels of wine hipster but the finest examples will have their hipster cranked up to eleven, exhibiting full on beard action and/or accompanied by a circus strongman style curly mustache.
Headgear can involve everything from a porkpie hat to a beanie you could fit your leg in, often worn half off the head. Haircuts usually involve a shaved back and sides with plenty of growth up top, along with a well defined side parting. There can also be a fair amount of scarf action going on in the colder months, sometimes this can get out of hand. Four wine hipsters died from scarf suffocation in 2014 alone, many blame this on Lenny Kravits
A check shirt is often part of the mix up, usually accompanied by some form of contrasting braces and even a waistcoat for good measure. Bowties are always a big plus though some of the more refined will go with the buttoned up shirt après tie or similar style granddad collar.
Visible tattoos also garner extra points, these will often feature a favourite grape variety but be careful, there are many fakes out there, especially when it comes to Riesling. Trousers are likely to be of the skinny persuasion and never quite manage to reach the (usually loud) socks, in extreme cases there will also be a drastically lowered crotch.
Footwear can show great variation, anything from colorful, often pastel style trainers to crisp brown brogues, even black DM’s are fair game.
Where can I see one in the wild?
East London is your best bet, though they have been known to head into central and even South London of a Saturday to graze and sometimes mate. Head to the following neighborhoods where they are known to roam and you might get lucky;
Dalston, Hoxton, Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Broadway market and even as far north as Clapton in deepest, darkest Hackney. To confirm you are observing the real deal and not just any old run of the mill hipster you will need to either sight them with a copy of Noble Rot or stalk them until they enter one of the following shops/bars/restaurants;
Brawn, Sager + Wilde, Mission, Newcomer Wines, Noble Fine Liquor, Peg + Patriot, Passione Vino, Verden.
Terroirs, Antidote, Duck Soup, The 10 Cases.
40 Maltby Street, Toasted, Bar Tozino, José (or anywhere else Sherry might be served).
If you are unable to find a wine hipster at one of these spots just sit down and order a glass of something, you’re probably in one of the capitals best wine spots and I’m sure they’ll be one along soon, they have rather good taste (in wine).
To view this species en masse all you need to do is buy a ticket to RAW the artisan wine fair, held once a year at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, you will not be disappointed, it’s really something to behold!
What you need to build your own wine hipster
Philippe Bornard Bow tie £20.48
Check Shirt £15
Some charity shop off Brick Lane
Colourful knit socks £20
Assorted wine related tattoos £50-£2000
To stock up your wine hipsters cellar, concentrate on small artisanal producers working in an organic and or biodynamic fashion in the following regions;
France; Beaujolais, Loire, Jura, Savoie.
Italy; Friuli Venezia Giulia, Etna, Sicily.
Slovenia; Brda, Istria.
Austria; Burgenland, Kärnten, Südsteiermark
The only glasses allowed to be used are these ones from Chef & Sommelier (don’t ask me why).
DISCLAIMER – I have nothing personal against hipsters, people with beards/tatt’s/braces/bowties etc. In fact I find them fascinating to observe. No hipsters were hurt in the making of this article which was written to lampoon (love that word) and in jest, if you have been offended I’m sincerely sorry.