9.12pm, Monday 24th October, Haymarket, Edinburgh (Tartan Town), Scotland
OK that’s Day 1 finished in Scotland, and Tartan Town has been extremely good to us! Graeme – our Wine Importers man – was my baby sitter today. The easiest way to describe the 4 days that we’ll be up here with our distributor is that it will be like playing “Pass the Parcel” – and I’m the parcel! Charlie, Neil, Jon & Ian will be the babysitters through until Friday, and it looks like I’ll be in very good hands.
So what was in our wine bag today? 2009 Y Unwooded Chardonnay, 2009 Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier, 2008 Yalumba Eden Valley Shiraz Viognier, 2008 Yalumba Scribbler Cabernet Shiraz, and the Antique Tawny.
The easiest way to run through the day is to do it with pictures – don’t know why I haven’t done it like this before. Here we go:
1. Drink monger- anyone that’s anywhere near Bruntsfield should pop in and see Kami & Jamie at this new shop – very nice wines out front, very very very nice wines out the back!
2. The Bon Vivant Companion – is wines with a deli (nearly gave in to the Smoky bacon and chilling jam rolls!) and spirits with a special cocktail bent. You need to see Jamie & May – but go in with some time up your sleeve, there’s a lot going on!
3. Angels with Bagpipes – up on the Royal Mile, which takes you right to the gates of Edinburgh Castle – you’ll find this top restaurant right next to Roxburgh Close. (made me think straight away of my boy Richard Roxburgh – excellent Australian actor who may very well be about to start filming the second series of the magic TV show ‘Rake’ . Cleaver Green will be back on the job)
We’re thrilled to bits to have two wines on here by the glass – The 2008 Scribbler and the 2009 Eden Valley Viognier. Thanks David, for supporting Australian wines across the board. A very nice address 16000 km from their ‘point of origin’.
4. The Whisky Trail – are Whisky specialists – we’re still up on The Royal Mile, but they have a hefty wine store as well. All I’m going to say is that Bailey the Red is one of the great characters in this city, and really knows what there is to know about Scotland’s spiritous world. Dont take my word for it though, go and introduce yourself, and let him take you into his world. And it looks like he’s pretty quick on the uptake when it comes to wine as well – parallel worlds of aroma, flavor and texture stuff really.
5. Cornelius – beer and wine specialists – I always learn a lot out on the road, and at the end of my day, it was the massively successful but still tiny Scottish brewery Tempest that I added to my ‘must do whilst I’m in town’ list. This is what happens when there’s folks like James who own their own store, and only stack on the shelves what they like to drink themselves. Nice!
6. Magnum Pub – I knew I was in the right place for dinner – thanks Graeme – when as soon as I sat down to read the dinner menu, Thin Lizzy came on the sound system with ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’. Phil Lynott is still with us folks. Then I got talking with the absolutely delightful blokes behind the bar, they knew our wines and it turns out that the chef is Australian. Things just kept getting better by the minute! So I decided to take the plunge, and see what an Australian take on haggis looked like. I chose the small starter serve of ‘Traditional Haggis with creamy potato mash, neaps, and Whisky & Thyme cream’. I have to be really honest here folks……..its actually top stuff! But filling. I would have liked to try the ‘Chocolate & Cherry Bakewell Tart with Chantilly Cream’ but just couldn’t! Good reason to go back really. There’s a reason why the Magnum was jumping on a Monday night! Thanks boys for making me feel like a local.
And that was Monday!
And for my Scots mate Jan……hope this last pic makes you homesick! Yum!