Ask any New Towner – with or without red corduroys – and they’ll tell you WHIGHAMS is legendary. For close on 250 years, this enviable Charlotte Square location has encouraged the drinking of sumptuous wines with absolute abandon.
Even more delicious, is the menu – specialising in top notch seafood, as well as plenty of turf for us dedicated carnivores – prompting these bitches to make a cheeky reservation for two.
We’ve also signed on for their monthly wine tasting, or at least so we thought. Upon arrival, our host – the lovely David – explains their resident wine expert’s out with covid. TOTAL ECLIPSE!!
Cue 🎼 unbearably sad violin solo, “B-b-b-b-but,” we stammer. “How can can this be??? Are we destined to actually be sober … ish???”
David, consummate professional that he is, uses kind / supportive / inclusive words that effectively mean: Shoosh your bush bitches, why not have a wine flight instead?? They’re f**king great!!
Disaster averted, we find ourselves sampling eight rather lovely glasses of vino, and diving into a bowl of superb Gordal olives. Meanwhile the cleverly designed placemats give us potted histories & toasting notes. HUZZAH!
A few sips of the cheeky Courtesan Riesling – from Australia, crisp, tangy, dry, but not too dry – and actually it’s rather fabulous! [ Spoiler Alert: we’re going to say this is one our favourites about 30 seconds from now ]
Meanwhile the gorgeous Muscadet sur Lie owes its lustre to four generations of winemakers, boasting notes of lime, pear & pineapple. Excellent with shellfish, or after reading about British politics, we highly recommend!
Also offering MUCH joy is the Made in Mendoza, Organic Malbec. Forest fruits, black plum & hints of milk chocolate, we are seriously wowed, though thinking it might be time to eat dinner, not just drink it.
Though NOT before discovering our other favourite: the Château Beaubourg from Bordeaux. With a palate of vanilla, cinnamon, blueberry, blackberry, & just a touch of strawberry it is seriously divine!
Mind you, this voyage of discovery has barely left harbour. So even as we attempt to glance the food menu, lovely David insists we try just one more cheeky red from Bordeaux #sorrynotsorry
Fortunately, our functional alcoholism is such, we can somehow still marvel at this St Emilion’s delicate notes of blackberry, morello cherry, and just a hint of Liquorice. Fabulous!!
Though now, finally, we say: “ENOUGH WINE, WE MUST EAT!” David tilts his head, raises an eyebrow, and waits for us to add: “and, well … okay then, maybe a teensy, weensy bottle of the vinho verde”
Soon our glasses clink, yet again, as we happily devour a mountain of rich, spicy Haggis Croquettes with whisky & wholegrain mustard, and the Crispy Calamari – finely sliced, with plenty of mouthwatering crunch.
We’re also enjoying the ecstasy of a large bowl of Shetland Blue Shell Mussels – lightly steamed & surrounded by a fabulous white wine sauce. A favourite dish, cooked to perfection.
With seafood a speciality of the house, Isaac ignores this completely & moves on to a Whighams 6oz burger with brioche bun, sriracha ketchup, Scottish cheddar, and best of all: chorizo jam.
His mouth overly full, it’s difficult to make out actual words. But through the under-rated art of mime, he seems to be attempting the word: orgasm – undoubtedly a compliment!
Meanwhile, I’m LOVING the Beer Battered Haddock with homemade tartare sauce. Every bite, a triumph. The fish is top notch, the batter perfect, and the peas: OMG, BEST EVER! Their simple secret: mint and a shedload of butter.
“Magnificent, David,” we say. “We couldn’t possibly eat another thing!” And by this mean: we can only just squeeze in one more bottle, dessert & perhaps a cheeky glass or two of port.
Which brings us to the dazzling Pina Colada Cheesecake. The latest in a long line of tributes to Chef’s fave cocktails, it boasts pineapple, coconut, rum & the creamiest cream cheese known to man. Wow!!
Easy to see why this fabulous wine cellar is well into its third century, these bitches have had a truly delicious night!
Reviewed July 2022
Whighams Wine Cellars
13 Hope Street