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Nikki Chats to Cork and Cask
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Cork and Cork & Cask
136 Marchmont Road,
0131 447 7721

In these uncertain times we want to connect, not just consume, which is why ‘neighbourhoods’ are flourishing. In Marchmont, the appeal of genuine hospitality has extended beyond the bar and restaurant into the wine shop.  

You’ll find Cork and Cask in a parade of shops on Marchmont road, an impressive range of wines and beers, packed into a relatively compact space. Chris Mitchell set Cork and Cask up as a neighbourhood wine and beer shop. In a new phase, he has brought India Parry-Williams and Jamie Dawson in to help expand the range and reach of Cork and Cask. 

India and Jamie are responsible for sourcing the wines whilst Chris looks after the beers; I caught up with them to chat about the wine side. "They have to be delicious first, and we’re bringing in more wines with a lower environmental impact - be it natural, organic or biodynamic so they’re good for the planet too.” It’s no surprise that India, co-founder of Wild wines, is bringing her experience of natural wines to the shelf and this combines with Jamie’s wine buying experience, his time in Australia shaping his desire to connect the drinker more closely to the winemaker. 

The neighbourhood ethos rings out in every aspect of their work. "We know what everyone is having for dinner, we make so many recommendations for food matches, and the nice thing is we get to find out how it went next time the person is in.” It’s clear from the customers in the shop that they trust the recommendations they get, which makes them more prepared to try wines out of their normal comfort zone.

 The fact that the people sourcing the wines are also responsible for selling them is unusual, but very positive.
"We all know about the wines, who made them, and why we stock them. And we get to hear from the customers what they did, and didn’t like, so we’re always getting better at what we do.” 
There are plans afoot for the team too; an online portal is on the cards, as is a second wine fair in the year and wine bar pop ups nearby. Even if you don’t live in Marchmont it’s worth a trip.  (N. Welch)



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