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Nikki Chats to Amy and Duncan Findlater of Smith & Gertrude
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Smith & Gertrude
26 Hamilton Pl,,
Edinburgh,
EH3 5AU
0131 629 6280

When Amy and Duncan Findlater relocated to Edinburgh, they already knew that they wanted to create the kind of neighbourhood wine bar they had experienced elsewhere, it was just a case of taking the final plunge and doing it. Inspired by the hospitality and wine scene of Melbourne they gave up their jobs and set up Smith and Gertrude. Now into their fourth year, we catch up with them over a glass.

Smith and Gertrude captures a laid-back vibe, the pared back setting is warmed by candlelight and the obligatory vinyl collection is now too big for the shelf, staff club their tips together to add to the record collection most weeks. It’s the kind of place where you can pop in for one glass or stay for many.

The Findlaters are sparky, down to earth and open about their wine journey. While Duncan fell in love with wine while living in Italy, their real inspiration comes from Melbourne.  "In Australia, we realised that you could be at a vineyard or in a wine bar and be learning while drinking; it was a case of try, chat, learn, enjoy – so different from the UK”. 

This forms part of Smith and Gertrude’s DNA, their list is eclectic, and reflects their tastes and changing palates. They use their three glass flights to tell stories about the wines and introduce customers to wines they would never usually get to try – at times including scarce bottles or pricier wines that customers probably wouldn't buy by the glass.

There’s something immensely personal about Amy and Duncan’s connection with wine, they are enthusiastic about everything on their list, something which they infectiously share with their staff, who are encouraged to try everything, and learn as much as they can. More so, they know what their regulars drink and enjoy delighting them "sometimes at tastings we’ll try a wine and just know one of our customers will love it” smiles Amy.

This year sees them collaborate with various similar-minded businesses, book clubs with Golden Hare are sold out until June, and a series of supper clubs with Jess Eliot is on the cards.

February has a focus on South African wines with some new wines on the flights. Exciting times now dry January is over. (N. Welch)

drinkwidely.co.uk

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