Escape to the Grape: Discover Edinburgh’s Top 7 Wine Bars
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Edinburgh, the enchanting Scottish capital, has often been described as leading a “double existence.” This delightful duality manifests itself in the city’s unique blend of quaint medieval streets and a vibrant, decadent culture. As a journalist with a penchant for exploring the finer things in life, including sports, music, cinema, gadgets, and technology, you’ll find Edinburgh to be a treasure trove of experiences that extends far beyond its UNESCO-listed old and new towns. In this article, we invite you to join us on a vinous adventure as we explore seven of Edinburgh’s most exciting wine bars, each with its own unique character and charm.
Mistral: A Gem in Leith
Location: 1 Leith Walk, EH6 8LN
Nestled in the vibrant neighborhood of Leith, Mistral has transformed from a humble wine shop into a bustling bar and restaurant. While you can still purchase bottles to take home, the real treat is enjoying their selection in-house. As a journalist, you’ll appreciate the blend of Scottish flavors, with offerings like Scottish oysters and mussels, creating a perfect pairing with your chosen wine.
Spry: Where Wine Meets Art
Location: 2 Castle Street, EH2 3AT
If you’re seeking a wine bar with a touch of sophistication, Spry is the place to be. Its sleek interior feels more like an art gallery than a wine bar, making it a visually captivating spot to savor the finest natural wines. The emphasis on Scottish ingredients in their culinary creations adds a local touch to your experience.
Good Brothers: South African Wine Oasis
Location: 11 Roseneath Street, EH9 1JH
Are you a fan of South African wines? Good Brothers is your go-to destination. In a bid to support the industry after the pandemic, this wine bar has doubled down on South African varieties. Their sister property, Little Rascal, located in the west of the city, offers even more wine exploration opportunities.
Le Di-Vin: The Fun French Connection
Location: 9 Randolph Place, EH3 7TE
Le Di-Vin has dispelled any notions of formality to become Edinburgh’s most enjoyable wine bar. Established in 2008, it boasts an array of wines, with a healthy selection from France, unsurprisingly given its French owner. With approximately 30 varieties available by the glass, you’re sure to find a glass that suits your palate.
The Green Room: A World of Wine
Location: 19-25 William Street, EH3 7NG
Another West End favorite, The Green Room, may not have the longest wine lists in the city, but it excels in diversity. You can explore wines from Bulgaria, Georgia, Hungary, as well as classic Old and New World selections. Pair your wine with resolutely Mediterranean cuisine for a complete experience.
Nott: A Turkish Delight
Location: 21 Bernard Street, EH6 6PW
Halfway down Leith Walk, Nott is a hidden gem with Turkish owners offering a taste of their homeland alongside an impressive wine selection. Their specialty platters even come with wine pairings, making it an ideal choice for both wine connoisseurs and food enthusiasts.
Smith & Gertrude: Cheese and Wine Harmony
Location: 26 Hamilton Place, EH3 5AU
Smith & Gertrude specializes in the art of pairing cheeses with selections from its extensive wine cellar. It’s a favorite among groups and those eager to expand their knowledge of flavor pairings. If you’re intrigued, you’ll be delighted to know that their winning formula has recently expanded to Portobello.
As a journalist with a passion for all things geeky and the world of sports, music, cinema, gadgets, and technology, you’ll find these wine bars to be ideal settings for both work and play. Edinburgh’s diverse wine scene offers a delightful escape for those looking to unwind and explore new tastes. So, whether you’re sipping fine wine at Mistral, indulging in art-inspired ambiance at Spry, or embarking on a South African wine journey at Good Brothers, Edinburgh’s wine bars are waiting to be discovered.
This article was produced exclusively for National Geographic Traveller (UK) and is featured in the September 2023 issue of the magazine. For more captivating travel stories, be sure to subscribe to National Geographic Traveller (UK) and embark on new adventures from the comfort of your reading nook. (Available in select countries only).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Edinburgh Wine Bars
Q: Can I buy bottles to take home from these wine bars in Edinburgh?
A: Yes, many of these wine bars, such as Mistral, offer the option to purchase bottles and enjoy them at home.
Q: Are these wine bars suitable for wine enthusiasts with a diverse taste in wines?
A: Absolutely! The Green Room, for example, offers wines from various regions, including Bulgaria, Georgia, and Hungary, along with classic Old and New World selections.
Q: Do any of these wine bars specialize in particular types of wine?
A: Yes, Good Brothers is known for its focus on South African wines. They have expanded their offerings to support the industry, making it a great place to explore this specific wine variety.
Q: Are these wine bars family-friendly or more suitable for adults?
A: These wine bars are primarily designed for adult patrons. While some may allow families during specific hours, it’s best to check with each establishment for their policy.
Q: Do I need to make reservations at these wine bars, or can I walk in?
A: It’s advisable to check with each wine bar’s reservation policy, especially during peak hours or busy evenings, to ensure you have a seamless experience.