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The Wine House Hotel 1821
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The Wine House 1821
4 Picardy Place,,
City of Edinburgh,
0131 557 1821

 Mrs Bite is no wine connoisseur. She has friends who really know their Meursault from their Musar and friends who like nothing more than a large glass of Grigio. 

Having tasted many wines however, like you dear reader she knows what she likes. 

Palate is dependent on outside influences as well though such as age, food, company and environment.  So your crisp limpid Provencal rose will taste totally different in an Edinburgh pub in December compared to a beachside table in Le Midi in summer. 

The owners of Wine House 1821 understand this and have developed the concept of a Wine Library as a place to savour and appreciate the Roman god of wine Bacchus. 

Architect of the libraries, Claudio Silverstrin says that these should be spaces that enrich and be as ‘natural, warm, ancient and timeless as wine is’.  

There are currently Wine Libraries in Sao Paulo, ZONIN HQ and at the rear of the ground floor bar in Edinburgh. 

The Wine House in its entirety spans four floors encompassing luxury rooms, an event space and cocktail bar.  

Mrs Bite and fellow contributor Eleonora recently attended a tutored wine tasting on the third floor. The room overlooks vibrant Picardy Place and the Firth of Forth at each end respectively. Thin stemmed glassware and white linen set the scene and as we sip our Prosecco and chat we could easily be enjoying ‘aperitivo’ in Venice. 

When seated, Brand Ambassasor Tobia Salvai presents two white wines and two red to demonstrate the difference between the Northern and Southern Italian expressions of Chardonnay and Merlot. 

Chardonnay DOC 2015 from Friuli Venezia Giulia, Aquieia (£25) and Chardonnay DOC 2015 Frudi Principi di Buttera, Sicily (£27) come first. 

On the nose the north eastern Friuli is herbaceous and described as having high acidity but it is surprisingly smooth and easy to drink; a sophisticated crowd pleaser.   I wouldn’t have pegged it in a blind tasting as Chardonnay at all, unlike the Southern expression which has the characteristic oak, cream and tropical flavours you expect.

We pause to graze on generous amounts of taleggio, porchetta, bread, olive oil, grapes, salami and gnarly chunks of Parmesan. These sharing boards are available in the bar and are ‘delizzio’.

As our evening progresses we turn our attention to Merlot DOC 2014 (£25) again from Venezia and Merlot DOC 2014 (£30.50) from Sicily.  

The first has lots of liquorice on the nose, some tobacco and tastes of juicy red fruits. The Sicilian expression has bitter chocolate, coffee and lots of oak.

The evening is still young and we head to the basement cocktail bar where the list has been developed by the good folks at Bramble. The room is softly lit by the glow of the backbar and feels like a nightclub.

A ' Garibaldi' ( Campari, orange juice, orange blossom and rosewater) is a tasty well balanced post prandial drink and a great send off to an entertaining evening of wine, food and good company. (S. Wilson)

More Wine Bar reviews here 


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