Thursday, 16 September 2010

Edinburgh - a wine festival

Yes, there really was a Fringe event with a programme of winetastings on a barge on the canal at Fountainbridge near the city centre. It semed to be better sold than the majority of the Fringe too. The tastings were carried out by Claire Blackler of Case Studies Wine School and had catchy titles including

Left, Right & Centre - an intro to Bordeaux
American Beauties - big, full & juicy!
Purely Portugal - corking quinta-sensuals
Regional Heroes - Australian terroir-tories

You get the picture.

Claire is teaming up with Tony Crolla to present a programme at his new and beautifully appointed Enoteca 'Divino'.

Tony is the owner of the Vittoria restuarants in Edinburgh. Divino is the only Sampler type establishment outside London.

We think it may be only the third in the country after The Sampler itself and Selfridges.

In any case this is just the thing Slotovino approves of, especially when the wines offered include a great Fumin, a white Chambave, a Pigato
and much of interest besides. Divino is not really a wine bar and certainly not a restaurant. It is a place for people who are serious about wine and want to taste many different ones. Sebastiano ('Bas') took care of us and certainly knows his stock. Bravo Tony.

A rival outfit, just as serious about wine is indeed a restaurant: Giuliano's.

This seems to be as much an epicentre of Scottish/Italian life as Valvona and Crolla or indeed Vittoria. We had met Sr. Giuliano two years ago and had debated the content of Mancini's 'Il Blu'. We became firm friends and Sr. Giuliano had wanted nothing more than to take us home and give us a taste of his home-made wine. This time he not only remembered us but recounted the sad story of 'Il Blu' which had ceased production owing to the failure of the Ancelotta component.

Nevertheless we had a wonderful meal of Polpetone and Lacrima di Morro d'Alba. The restaurant was heaving and the Italian waiters dressed in Tartan were terrific,

singing Happy Birthday to customers and providing a tremendous service.

Raeburn Fine Wines were closed when we passed by but Villeneuve were open until late in New Town (geddit?). There we finally succumbed to the selfsame bottle of Ribolla Gialla from Slovenia which he had seen in 2008 having understood it was an Orange wine.
We also picked up a Greek white called Savatiano after the grape from which it is made.

What a town. Glasgow, are you listening?

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