First up: If you've visited us in the last week or so, you've probably spotted that the shop is looking at least 150% better than it did at the end of 2020.
We couldn't be happier with the work Thomas and his team has done for us and would wholeheartedly recommend him for any fancy signwriting you're needing done. (now we just need to get that light on the right fixed)
If you look closer, you will see that I have stuffed the window full of Austrian wine. This is because in the 15 years the shop has been going, we have never made a feature of our range and I felt it was a good as time as any to give them a bit of a push.
We sell far more Austrian wine than you would think: Admittedly it's mostly just a handful of very popular lines which do the numbers, but we keep adding interesting and exciting new discoveries at the margins.
You're reading a blog on the website of a wine shop, so you're probably already aware of just how good Gruner Veltliner can be. We have a bunch of options: Mostly of the youthful, fresh, herbal, peppery kind which goes down a treat with seafood and summer bbq fodder. We also have some richer styles, including the Funkstille - which at £10 is more than a match for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc at that price bracket. We sold a small mountain of this stuff during the first lockdown, and now, almost a year later, we've got a goodly amount of it again.
Our other big seller is the Meinklang Mulatshack a biodynamic orange wine blend of Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer. Like a lot of this sort of thing it's quite hazy and rustic in appearance, but the palate is appley, yeasty and fresh, with hints of rose and lychee. It's not (quite) our cheapest orange wine - but it is a bit of a bargain and it certainly has those reductive, funky notes that natural wine aficionados look for.
Possibly more interesting is the Weingut Kiss Neuburger - a great wine hiding in a slightly ugly bottle.
Neuburger is often thought of as a dull, workhorse sort of grape. Here it is elevated by some truly impressive winemaking into something complex, mineral and slightly saline - like a heftier chablis.
It also ticks all the trendy, natural winemaking boxes - unoaked, wild yeast, skin contact, low sulphur etc
WAS £17 - NOW £15
We also have (an admittedly smaller) selection of Austrian red wine. Including some interesting little Zweigelts, St Laurents and blends, but with my limited space/time/attention span, I suppose I should just cut to the chase and tell you about our most popular. Rather unsurprisingly, it is a superbly crafted, very polished, organic Pinot Noir from just South of Vienna . It's not exactly "out there" - but it is bloody delicious with neither the confected strawberry notes of a Southern Hemisphere Pinot, or the silly price tag of a Burgundy.
WAS £17 - NOW £15
At the more premium end )and a mouthful in more ways than one) lies the Wieninger "Nussberg" Gemistcher Satz: A biodynamic white field blend from a tiny vineyard in the heart of Vienna. The wine has complex aromas of citrus fruit, pineapple, yellow blossom and sweet herbs. Lively acidity is evident on the elegant palate which has a touch of minerality alongside subtle notes of spice.
This is a notable wine, as one of the few bottles that all of us at the shop are in total agreement about and is consequently what we traditionally kick off most staff gatherings/piss ups with. It really is lovely stuff.
All of these wines are, of course available for Edinburgh delivery when ordered as part of a case of six and you can always email us or phone if you want a run through of the many Austrian wines I've not mentioned here.
But if you can't be bothered thinking about it and you trust us with your cash, we've thrown together a wee selection box you can order, HERE
Okay, that's it: I'm now off to have another cup of tea and spend a few more minutes admiring the new sign.