Wine Tasting in Edinburgh: 9 Places You Have to Try
Even the most passionate fan of Scotland wouldn't describe it as wine country. The climate of this northern country is not exactly conducive to grape growing, and while there are a handful of active wineries in Scotland, don't expect the wine tourism options here that you would get in the Mediterranean. It's still Scottish whisky that reigns supreme here, and a whisky tour of local distilleries makes for a memorable experience and a great day trip from Edinburgh. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Edinburgh, though, and you'll find that the city offers plenty of wine tastings, wine tours, and other hidden gems in case the distillery tours aren't your cup of tea.
An evening of wine tasting in a wine bar is one of the best things to do at night in Edinburgh. It's also a good way to experience a side of the Scottish capital many people never get to. So check out some of these wine tastings to keep you occupied while you explore Edinburgh.
Located almost in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, Wine Unearthed offers one of the premium wine tasting experiences in the city. Located just around the corner from the Scotch Whisky Experience, this company aims to prove that there's more to drinks in the country than just Scottish whisky. They offer full day tours through the world of wine without leaving the old town of Edinburgh, and their registered courses are a great introduction to the sometimes confusing world of wine.
Their Edinburgh Wine Tasting Day allows you to try 15 different incredible wines, paired with great food designed to complement and bring out the flavor of the wine.
If you like to learn something new while on vacation, they also offer a Vine to Wine workshop that will teach you more about how wine is made. This course takes in wines from around the world to teach you the difference between an Australian Chardonnay and a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, and you'll come out of the Apex Hotel feeling like a real expert in wine. Although with so many wines to try, you may find yourself slurring like Sean Connery after the event is over. Best to have a designated driver unless you're only a short walk from your hotel.
Apex Grassmarket Hotel 31-35, Grassmarket, Edinburgh
Lothian Wine School
Lothian Wine School is a place to learn about wine in a serious way, with WSET-certified courses that will teach you everything you need to know about the world of wine. But they also offer regular wine tastings and events open to the public that are less formal and more fun. These range from an exploration of Italian wines to an exploration of local Scottish wines and everything in between.
Their Edinburgh Festival Fringe wine tasting event is always popular and means you can enjoy some of the city's best wines while enjoying live music and comedy at the same time. It's held every August during the festival but keep an eye on their website for other upcoming events as well.
Novotel Hotel, 80 Lauriston Pl, Edinburgh
If you're looking for a more casual wine tasting experience in Edinburgh, Veeno is the place to go. This Italian wine bar has locations all over the United Kingdom but started out right here in Edinburgh. They offer a range of wines by the glass or bottle as well as a selection of small plates designed to accompany your wine.
Their Aperitivo Hour is especially popular, with two glasses of wine and a plate of food for just £10. It's the perfect way to start an evening out in Edinburgh and means you can try a few different wines without having to commit to a whole bottle. Snack on smoked salmon while you enjoy wines from around the world, and you'll be combining the best of Scottish culture with international flavors for something truly special.
76 Rose St, Edinburgh EH2 2NN, UK
Smith & Gertrude
Smith & Gertrude is a wine shop and bar all in one, making it the perfect place to go for a casual wine tasting or to pick up a bottle or two to take home with you. They have an impressive range of wines from all over the world, and their knowledgeable staff is always on hand to help you choose the right one.
Their small plates menu is also worth trying, with dishes like charcuterie and cheese boards that make the perfect accompaniment to your wine. Or if you're feeling more adventurous, they also offer mains like chicken curry and lamb shank. Or you could try haggis, the quintessential Scottish dish made from sheep's heart, liver, and lungs, or black pudding, a popular Scottish blood sausage.
Located a little way out of town on the shores of the Firth of Forth, a trip to this wine bar gives you a glimpse of the beautiful scenery that surrounds Edinburgh. If you don't have time to visit stunning locations like Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park while you're in Edinburgh, this might be the next best thing. An ideal spot for lunch or dinner, this cozy wine bar feels much further from the city than it actually is and gives you the chance to enjoy incredible food and wine in a stunning location.
254 Portobello High St, Portobello, Edinburgh
Whighams Wine Cellars
Whighams Wine Cellars is one of Edinburgh's most iconic wine shops, and it's been serving the city's wine lovers for over 100 years. They offer a wide range of wines from all over the world, as well as a selection of Scottish whiskies and gins.
Whether you're looking to buy a bottle or two to take home with you or just want to enjoy a glass in their cozy shop, Whighams Wine Cellars is the perfect place to go. With its old-fashioned charm and welcoming atmosphere, it's easy to spend an afternoon browsing their shelves and enjoying a glass or two of your favorite tipple.
This iconic bar is certainly one of the more atmospheric wine bars in Edinburgh. With live jazz music most nights, it's a great place to spend a few hours sampling excellent wine and other drinks and unwinding from a long day of exploring the city. They even offer a free Wine Connoisseur PDF that you can download before you visit to learn fun facts and useful information about the different wines you'll be able to try there.
Their wine list has over 80 bottles, with 35 available by the glass, so you can try a great variety of wine. Plus, every two weeks, they choose two quality wines that are usually only available by the bottle and sell them by the glass, giving you an opportunity to try something new. They also host a monthly wine tasting based around a single wine region, with five different wines available to try, plus snacks.
13 Hope St, Edinburgh
Wine Events Scotland
Wine Events Scotland offers a range of different wine tasting experiences, from informal tastings in their shop to more formal events like their Wine and Dine evenings. Their knowledgeable staff are always helpful and will make sure you choose the right wine for your taste and budget. They offer a great selection of wines from all over the world.
Their Wine and Dine evenings are especially popular, with a three-course meal paired with six different wines. These take place in a variety of different venues around Edinburgh, so you can enjoy views of the city while you eat and drink. They also offer private wine tastings for groups, which is a great way to celebrate a special occasion or just enjoy some quality time with friends.
Eildon Terrace, Edinburgh
Appellation Wines is a small, family-run business that has been serving Edinburgh's wine lovers for over 20 years. You'll find a range of wines from all over the world and a selection of Scottish whiskies and gins here. They also have an excellent selection of cheese and meats to accompany your wine, making it the perfect place to stop for a drink and something to eat.
This is one of the few wine shops in Scotland that has its own tasting bar, so you can try before you buy and discover something new. They also stock an extensive range of beer, cider, whisky, and other drinks, so there's something for almost everyone at this popular shop. It's the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or gift for the people back home to celebrate your time in Scotland, whether it's your first trip or your 50th.
63 Comely Bank Rd, Stockbridge, Edinburgh
Festival of Wine
The Festival of Wine is an annual event that takes place on the grounds of Edinburgh Castle. It's a great opportunity to sample some of the best wines from all over the world, as well as enjoy live music and entertainment.
There are usually around 200 different wines to try, with something for everyone, whether you're a red or white wine lover. You can also buy wine by the glass or bottle to take home with you. The festival usually takes place in May, so it's the perfect opportunity to enjoy some summerish weather while sampling some delicious wine.
If you're looking for a truly unique wine tasting experience, the Festival of Wine is not to be missed. With its stunning setting and wide selection of wines, it's the perfect way to spend a day in Edinburgh.
Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, United Kingdom
Cairn O'Mohr Fruit Wines
Scotland isn't exactly crowded with wineries, given that grapes don't really grow here. However, grapes aren't the only way to make wine. About an hour's drive from Edinburgh, you'll find this winery that takes a unique approach to wine by using local fruits to produce some very interesting bottles.
Cairn O'Mohr has been making fruit wines for over 30 years, and they now have a range of over 20 different types. Their most popular include raspberry, blackberry, and elderflower, but they also make more unusual flavors like damson plum and Scottish bramble.
You can visit the winery to take a tour and learn about how they make their fruit wine, as well as taste some of their products. They offer both still and sparkling wines, so there's something for everyone to enjoy. If you're looking for a unique gift or souvenir from your time in Scotland, Cairn O'Mohr Fruit Wines is definitely worth a visit.
East Inchmichael, Errol, Perth
Admittedly, Edinburgh might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of wine tasting. But if you're willing to dig a little deeper, you'll find there are some great wine tasting experiences to be had in the Scottish capital, even if the country is usually more associated with whisky than it is with wine.
Plus, there's so much to do in Edinburgh that you won't miss the wineries. For some travel inspiration, check out our guide on how to spend three days in Edinburgh. Two nights may not be enough to enjoy everything the city offers, but it will give you a good overview of what makes Edinburgh so special.
As always, traveling is easier when you choose to travel light. Leave your bags behind at a Bounce luggage storage and let Edinburgh surprise you with all its sights.