Well done people, despite the best efforts of the forces of darkness, you’ve nearly made it through to the end of 2017 and if you’re anything like us, you could probably do with a drink.
To help you in the process of gentle inebriation, this page will be where we shove all relevant festive updates if you plan to spend some of your hard earned cash with us over December.
Through December we will be open usual hours up until the 14th, when we will start opening at the ungodly hour of 10am Thursday- Sunday
We will be open 10am to 7pm on Christmas Eve and stay shut on Christmas day and Boxing Day
We will be open 10am to 7pm on Hogmany and take a few days off to recuperate, opening again on Friday January 5th.
Of course we have stacks of winter seasonal beers. Ideal for Secret Santa gifts or personal indulgence. I’ll try to keep this list reasonably up to date, but please bear on mind these are all pretty limited.
Chimay Grande Reserve Magnums (1.5 litre) £26
De Ranke Pere Noel £3.20/33cls
Delerium Noel £4.10/33cls
Gouden Carolous Christmas £4.70/33cls
Bocq Gauloise £3.50/35cls
Bernardus Christmas £4.60/33cls
Schneider Aventinus Eisbock £4.20/33cl
Erdinger Schnesweiss £2.90/50cl
Anchor Christmas 2017 £2.90/35cl
Loch Fyne Naughty £2.50/33cl
William’s Nollaig Growler £13/1 Litre
Stewart’s Fezziwig £3.20/50cls
Top Out Dubbel Chocolate £3.40/50cls
ToOl Santa Gose F&#%! It All £3.90/50cls
Lervig Christmas Shake £3.50/33cl
Brewdog Santa Paws £2.20/33cls
Natural Selection Aged Ancestor £14.50/75cls
We have a small selection of interesting glassware: Great for gifts, but pretty much essential if you are one of those arseholes that requires the “right” receptacle for their booze.
Boring/standard glasses £2
Fancy Belgian thingys £4
Big Steins £8
Poncy Kwak Glass & Stand £8
Port, Fortified & Sticky Stuff
We’ve been building up our selection of this sort of thing for a while and can offer a fair range of postprandial heavy hitters.
We have port of all styles; be it ruby, lbv, tawny, single quinta, vintage or colheita. We also have a small range of fortified “portalikes” from South Africa, France, California and Argentina. Prices start at a tenner and sneak up to the Forty-odd quid mark.
If you wanted to play it safe you could do a whole lot worse than this 1996, Britpop era, Colheita from Barros.
Being basically a vintage tawny, you can get away without decanting. Medium bodied, but with great length and grainy tannin. The palate has plenty of spiced fruit complexity underpinning flavours of caramel and walnuts.
Once opened, keep it in the fridge and you can get away with a wee glass every night through the festive season.
Yours for only £30. Zigazig-ah!
Also, in that corner of the shop we have a pretty decent selection of sweeties and stickies. Having a bit of a sweet tooth I tend to buy more of this stuff than is strictly necessary. But come December most of it will find a home.
You’re all sophisticated types and I’m sure you’re aware that there is a vast array of styles in what we broadly label sweet wines. From delicate, ethereal, sherbetty moscato to rich, oily, marmalade-like sauternes; there is a sweet wine for most occasions and most puddings.
Here are three, plucked from our range, simply because I took a picture of them.
Cazes Muscat de Rivesaltes £18/375mls
Great biodynamic winary in the deep South of France, specialising in ageworthy sweeties produced by arrested fermentation. This is medium weight, with a palate of dried apricot and mead. Has a slightly funky, yeasty character.
Meinklang Icewine £19/375mls
Super zingy and fresh. Despite it’s sweetness this wine is positively racy, like biting into a very ripe, very green apple. From our favourite organic Austrian outfit this is a bargain compared to the German or Canadian equivalent.
Acinatico Recioto di Soave £13/500mls
On the “dry” end of the sweet spectrum. A lush, tropical fruit packed Italian, produced from dried grapes. Quite a versatile wine that I particularly enjoyed with a maple, bacon & banana muffin from the neighbours
Of course, we also have an excellent selection of Sherry of all kinds. From sandpaper dry Fino’s to hazelnutty, toasted Oloroso’s and rich, indulgent, gloopy Pedro Ximenez.
But you’re probably not bothered, because nobody but Granny drinks sherry, despite it being the BEST VALUE WINE IN THE WORLD
We have a pretty lovely range of both prosecco and champagne, but I’m not going to bother telling you about them here because they pretty much sell themselves. Instead, let me recommend a couple of less obvious options.
Giol 1427 Raboso £24/75cl
Full bodied, champagne-method fizz from a well respected prosecco outfit. Dense, toasty and grainy with a palate finely balanced between generous berry fruit, buttered croissant and zesty lime pickle acidity. Has a fine, long lived mouse of teeny-tiny bubbles and a very lengthy finish.
(It’s also organic, if that helps)
Nuria Pinot Noir Cava £18/75cl
Yes, it’s a very pretty bottle, but the contents aren’t bad either: Really delicate with a light, gently fruited palate and prickly effervescence. This shows that Cava has a bright future if it embraces international grape varieties.
It’s perhaps a wee bit ethereal to drink with your Christmas dinner, but it will be guzzled within seconds as a very classy welcoming drink
Champagne will set you back between £24-£150 a bottle
I barely have a functioning/comprehensive list on the main site, so I’m not going to waste too long here, but here are three big, Christmassy reds that you might want to look out for.
Coto De Imaz 2010 £20/75cl
There’s no denying that El Coto are one of the bigger Rioja outfits, but a more boutique winery wouldn’t be able to produce a Gran Reserva Rioja at anywhere near this price. 100% Tempranillo from the finest vineyards in Rioja Alta, this is an exceedingly elegant wine with a really complex perfume. Toasted oak, coconut, leather and leaf mulch are the primary aromatics. The palate has plenty of vibrant red fruit- currants, cranberries and raspberries, tempered by a touch of creamy vanilla. 2010 was a big vintage and this should have decades of life ahead of it, but for now you simply cannot find a better pig lubricant.
Barolo di Serralunga d’Alba 2013 £24/75cl
Deep giallo red with an intense nose of vanilla and nutmeg. The palate is dry, with a decent amount of acidity. Managing to be full bodied and velvet -smooth. The dominant flavours are of sour cherries, rosemary and thyme. Still in it’s infancy, this is a wine that has decades of development ahead of it, but if you are looking for something top wash down a particularly salty meal- maybe gammon steak, olives or hard cheeses, then this is a very classy option.
Bertani Amarone 2014 £24/75cl
Seriously,- who doesn’t love Amarone? Rare, amongst top-shelf wines in that no matter the producer or vintage it always tastes expensive and indulgent (which makes it a great gift) Deep and dark, ruby and violet, this has a rich, complex palate of morello cherry, bramble and raisin, This is complemented by sweet spices, nutmeg and cinnamon. Equally at home amongst rich game (venison, goose) and spiced pastry (hello panettone) You really should be drinking an Amarone this Christmas, so make it this one.
We have a moderately awesome selection of gift boxed beer, many with glasses. Prices start at seven quid and creep up into the low twenties.
If you prefer the personal touch, we can gift box up your own selection of beer. Prices would start at about a tenner for four bottles, up to whatever you can stretch to (depending on quantity and style of beer)
We also have gift vouchers (just £10 denominations though) Handy if your in a rush or just can’t be arsed wrapping anything.
What James is Drinking
Grao Vasco Dao Red £7.70
I am of course, entirely incorruptible and totally above board, so I should point out I spent the start of October arsing around Portugal on a jolly funded by Sogrape (the massive wine conglomerate behind Mateus Rose) So it is entirely unrelated that I’m plugging one of their wines here. The Grao Vasco is an atypical medium weight, juicy and approachable blend of Touriga, Tinta Roriz and other unpronounceables. It has the dried fruit and spice character of the region, without the brutish alcohol and severe tannin I had come to associate with it.
It’s also a seriously good price.
What Heather is Drinking
Giol Prosecco could be the Prosecco to convert Prosecco haters. Unlike any other Prosecco this one has a complexity and depth (and flavour) so no need to extract your “Prosecco flavouring” from your baking box to give this Prosecco a dash of flavour. Although it’s not going to be to everyone’s taste I love this full flavoured dry Prosecco. It’s aged on it’s lees and has no sulphur added meaning that it’s going to be breadier and cloudier than your average fizz. It’s organic, sulphate free and vegan so ticks all the boxes for even the hardest to buy for friends, relatives and secret Santa’s.
At £11 a pop why not buy two?
What Miles is Drinking
You bought all of the Ironstone Zinfandel I recommended! So now I gotta recommend something else. Not a problem for a wino like me, of course. Last time, I started rabbiting on about how fabulous Italian wines are, then rather contrarily plugged an American version of an Old World Primitvo. This time, I’ll stick to my first love in wine and punt something properly Italian: Morgicchio Negroamaro. Like Primitivo, Negroamaro is a well-established native grape variety that produces rich, weighty wines, and like Primitivo Negroamaro is grown extensively in Puglia in the hot ‘heel’ of southern Italy. Negroamaro is often blended with other grape varieties (particularly Primitvo), but my pick is a single varietal wine from Puglia’s best-known appellation, Salentino, that really shows off what the “dark black” grape can do. Morgicchio is a deep red wine that boasts dark berry fruit flavours, brown spice aromas (clove, cinnamon) and full but smooth tannins (for great velvety mouthfeel). It’s an earthy, slightly aromatic, supple and complex wine. And like the wines produced by it’s Puglian cousin, this Negroamaro is big and powerful enough to compliment your tastiest Christmas roast.
Yours for 18 quid. Saluti! Bon appetito!
WHILE YOU’RE HERE
Just so you know, throughout the month of December we will be accepting donations for Leith food bank.
If you’re reading this thinking about buying some booze, then it goes without saying that you have at least some disposable income. Which means you can afford to sling us a bag of grub for people with a greater need. Check out the suggestions for what to donate HERE
Bit of an epic post this. Thank’s for making it to the end. As a little reward for making it this far, here’s Saint Carrie of Alderaan singing a very special holiday song to bless us all this Christmas
Now go roast your chestnuts.