6.27pm, Friday 11th March, The Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
Evening again folks, and with that cold old drizzly evening out there, I’m glad that I’m having my dinner and heading up to bed with a hot honey and lemon drink laced with some of your local spiritous product…..to try and finally knock this hang around cold that I have….on the head! There’s a stack of hardy souls filling the pubs along the Grassmarket – The Fiddlers Arms, The Black Bull, The Beehive Inn, The White Hart, The Last Drop & Maggie Dicksons – you can already feel the town starting to swell with the Six Nations rugby fans – both Scots and French – ahead of their clash at Murrayfields on Sunday afternoon. And here’s me…..mere footsteps away from all those pubs and their traditional musicians on a big Friday night in Edinburgh, and I’m going to bed early! Yep….it’s the smart thing to do! But that’s tonight’s story. Let me fill you in what we did today….it was a good one.
It all started out with such an impressive morning……Edinburgh Castle looking good up there on its craggy perch above the city…
Our wines are represented up in this part of the world by Wine Importers, and today I went out into the trade with one of the nicest, seriously well informed and total Australian wines fan man in the business – Graeme – destination The Kitchin…..Edinburgh’s Michelin star restaurant with the ‘from nature to plate’ seasonal Scottish produce philosophy of chef Tom Kitchin. All I can say is that if you’re ever in Edinburgh……you should go. And we’re thrilled to bits to have two of our wines on the list – the Organic Viognier, and the 2010 Signature Cabernet Shiraz. And just for fun, here’s a couple of dishes from today’s Tom Kitchin menu that I think might go well with our two wines on the list – Firstly for the Organic Viognier I’m choosing “Sliced hand dived Orkney scallops marinated in a seaweed and lemon dressing served with winkles and brown shrimp”…..,,and for the 2010 Signature Cabernet Shiraz I’m going to give you the choice between “Hogget – selection of Highland Hogget served with roasted artichoke, raw artichoke and black olive” OR “Roe deer – roasted loin of roe deer from the Borders served with root vegetable mash, Apple and a juniper berry sauce”
Then into the city, and a full on staff training and tasting of just about our whole list! A tremendous session where we covered a huge amount of ground…..and just look at the magic group of blokes that we have to work with up here in Scotland….
Then I hiked up the Royal Mile – here’s another top Edinburgh eatery that has us on the list – thanks a huge amount to the folks at Angels with Bagpipes
And whilst up on the Royal Mile, it’s worth sparing a thought to our Indiana Jones intrepid traveller horticulturalist Yalumba family ancestor – Fred Caley Smith – he was right here in 1894…… Visiting St Giles
He actually hiked up from Holyrood Palace, along the Canongate to the Royal Mile and along to St Giles. After spending some time in the church, he made it up to the Castle in time for the 12 noon gun……fired every day……even now.
For me…..it was back to the hotel for a dinner of battered Loch Ness monster and a lemonade.
Oh and not forgetting…..go the Scots for Sunday!!