The Wine House is magical, it morphs into several things. Enter. The wine bar serves up a wide selection of wines and delectable meat and cheese platters; adjacent to this is the Wine Library where you can sip wine surrounded by walls lined with bottles of wine and learn a bit more about it all; head downstairs and it becomes a hidden gem of a cocktail bar with a luminescent bar counter; head upstairs to the beautiful function room and further up to the luxury bedrooms.
The Wine House is a joint partnership between acclaimed restaurateur Sep Marini and Zonin wines, one of Italy’s largest wine producers. The Wine House is a wonderful destination wine bar that is ideal for an after work drink, a catch up with friends or a place to learn a little more about the wine.
They have 130 wines in stock, 30 of which you can order by glass. If you are at all unsure of what you like to drink, they have fantastic staff and sommeliers on hand to listen to what tingles your tastebuds and match a wine accordingly.
I have to say that our sommelier got it spot on with both our glasses of fizz and our white wines. I like something slightly fruitier and sweeter, whereas my wine partner prefers it crispier, drier and sharp.
These are sparkling wines from Masseria Altemura made in a similar style to Prosecco. I had the Rosemaro Negroamaro Brut which is fruity – you’ll pick up strawberries; and the other was the Saliente Brut which is very crisp and you’ll pick up apples and herbs. Perfectly chilled and a great way to ease into the weekend.
For our white wines, our sommelier suggested the Aragosta, Cantina Santa Maria La Palma for myself.
The Lobster is the symbol of the gastronomy of Alghero, Sardinia, Italy and this white wine made from Vermentino di Sardegna grapes, is the ideal match. It’s a pale straw-yellow with soft hints of green and you’ll taste apples with a lingering taste of almonds (marzipan). Slightly sweet and dry but not harsh.
And the Calasole Rocca De Montemassi for my partner in wine. Another very pale straw yellow almost transparent wine. Gorgeous aroma of white flowers with spicy notes. Very fresh with alot of citrus.
Then came a feast for the eyes. The Antipasti Combo Sharing Platter overflowing with a selection of hams and salamis, cheeses and grilled vegetables, nuts, honey and grapes.
As well as some breadsticks and Italian bread with extra virgin olive oil.
If you tire of wine and want to escape the buzz of busy traffic outside and the chit chat from upstairs, you can head downstairs to the hidden gem of a cocktail bar. It’s cool, sleek and sophisticated. It’s elegant with lush leather sofas and marble bar tops and low tables. It’s a cocktail den of quietness and a place where you can really chill out (until everyone knows about it and it gets really busy).
Their cocktails are Italian inspired with Italian Classics and 1821 Creations listed in their cocktail menu. Under Italian Classics you’ll find Negroni’s, Garibaldi’s, Bellini’s and one that I would order the Tiramisu Martini.
The 1821 Creations serves up concoctions such as Mela Cannella with vodka and Goldschlager; and the Tocca Magico of Grapefruit infused Campari topped with Prosecco.
Our cocktails of choice were both from the 1821 Creations menu. The Stella Bella – a fruity rum infusion combining Flor de Cana Rum, three berry liqueur, fresh lime, demerara sugar, fresh strawberry, raspberry and blackberry.
Quite tangy and fresh served ice cold.
I went for the Coppa Estiva of honey and agave-infused Airbikie Vodka, Strawberry Never.25 spirit, blueberry and pineapple syrup, fresh lemon, maraschino cherries and cranberry juice.
A little sweeter, delicious and refreshing.
Now to wander upstairs. There are no elevators here so be prepared to walk up and down the winding staircase. On the first floor is the beautiful and fabulous event suite, absolutely without a doubt a stunning venue for a wedding or an extravagant dinner party. It’s contemporary style fused with Georgian grandeur with views on either side – one up to Carlton Hill and the other down towards Leith. It’s worth having a look if you are in need of an impressive venue as it’s available to hire out for celebrations and weddings.
One flight of stairs up and you find four boutique individually designed bedrooms all with views out over Edinburgh and down towards Leith and the Forth. The bedroom design is Luxury with a capital L, heavily influenced by European design with faux fur throws, plump cushions and bedding you just want to fall into, stunning low lighting, and predominantly a brown or grey colour palette. The bathrooms are very minimalist in design but gorgeous with lots of pale limestone and oversized showers.
I really do like this place. The staff are super friendly, are real wine buffs and very willing to show you around. I think it might become a hideout for the locals during the festival and I will certainly be back.
The Wine House 1821, 4 Picardy Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3JT. Tel : 0131 557 1821 www.winehouse1821.co.uk
My Spoon Award : Silver Spoon Award 8/10