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  • Writer's pictureEleonora Vanello

Fion Wine

Festival pop-ups

Miguel Crunia of Fion Wine

Miguel Crunia, Edinburgh-based Sommelier and co-owner at Fion Wines (importer & online merchant) has been listed as number 14 within Harper’s Top 25 Sommeliers 2023.

This recognition came for the consultancy work done for Whiskers Wine Bar & Bistro in Stockbridge where Miguel recently worked with Chef Patron Jonathan Cook to create a “cheeky” wine list. The interactive list invites guests to choose between two paths that will shape their wine experience at Whiskers. Customers can either “meander down memory lane” (where they’ll stay in their comfort zone drinking some of the greatest wines from classical regions) or “take a stroll off the beaten track” (exploring how deep the rabbit hole goes by discovering new regions and varieties).

Fìon imports wines, run pop-ups and events and has a dynamic online wine shop that rotates wines to allow their customers to discover new winemakers and regions.

To celebrate the prestigious Harpers nomination, Miguel and his partner Vera Cebotari, are launching a Pop Up this summer during the Fringe. They will open on four Wednesdays at radiCibus restaurant (2 Deanhaugh St, EH4 1 LY), also in Stockbridge.

The pop-up will be a hybrid wine bar/ wine club and each of the days will be themed while the main offer will be a wine flight paired with Ithe’s Bites (a local fine dining catering company run by Chef Euan McBride). Fìon will also have a wine list with references offered by the glass and by the bottle. Retail will be available too.

Dates and themes:

- 26th July: Unfortified Palominos.

- 9th August: Alternative Portugal.

- 16th August: Atlantic wines for Atlantic people.

- 30th August: TBC

3 pm until 12 am and walk-ins are welcome.

Review of the last pop-up at Indaba - by E Vanello

Manchego with Morcilla

Mrs. Bite and I do love a 'gastronomic date', a day of edible/drinkable experiences, and one of Fion’s pop-ups, at Indaba in Newington, was not to be missed.

Fion is a vibrant Edinburgh-based wine e-shop and importer founded by Vera Cerbotari and Miguel Crunia. They specialize in small producers from emerging and old regions with a focus on indigenous grape varieties that they think should be known and appreciated. You can shop by bottle, by the case, or join their Wine Club and receive three bottles a month carefully chosen for you.

Fion’s founders both come from hospitality backgrounds where they developed relationships with chefs and restaurateurs. When they launched their wine pop-up, where food is paired with wine and not vice versa, they put their connections to work, et voilà, secured venues and chefs to support them.

Indaba is a tapas bar and deli with an African influence but for this pop-up Miguel and Vera transform the space into a wine bar with the help of private chef Euan of Ithe Plates (Ithe means Eat in Gaelic). Once the wines are selected Euan imaginatively matches food to grapes.

A sparkling gold wine from the Palomino varietal following the ancestral method (2021 Bodega Vinificate Mahara Espatula Espumoso, Andalucia, Spain,) kicks off our date.

Mahara made from Palamino grapes

The food menu created by @ithe_plates (as Euan goes on Instagram) offers melted Manchego, Grilled Octopus, Grilled Asparagus, Braised Iberico Pork Shoulder Croquette, and White Port marinated Apricots and Nectarine. Wines include whites such as Hacienda De Dona Francisca, Palomino de Flor 2021, Palomino grapes aged in old barrels, and Jorge Perez, Pinka 2016, Caino Blanco grapes, a rare variety from the Ribeiro region; and reds like Pigar, La Cuvee de Susana 2021, a young fresh wine made from 100% Bobal grapes from 70+-year-old vines, and Alvar de Dios, Camino de los Arrieros 2019 a blend of grapes from the Douro.

My favourites? The Manchego starter, dipping the bread in the creamy cheese with morcilla crumbles and coriander oil is a dream, and the Alvar de Dios, Camino de los Arrieros wine, with its strong notes of strawberries.

Mrs. Bite and I had one of the best meals in a long time and the price of £35pp is good value. The stories behind Miguel’s carefully selected wines were fascinating.

Our recommendation is to keep an eye on Fion's Instagram account so as to not miss the next pop-up. You can go for the full food and/or wine menu, tasting individual dishes or wines and even take away! You will love it. (E. Vanello)

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