Conquering covid-19: these Scottish bottle shops still deliver

In a special article that he’ll update, Peter Ranscombe reports on which independent Scottish wine merchants can still deliver despite the coronavirus outbreak.

LIFE in Scotland changed dramatically last week, with thousands of people told to isolate themselves and millions more instructed to keep their distance from everyone else in order to save lives and reduce the pressure on hospitals.

We can no longer meet with friends and families in pubs, in restaurants or in other social gatherings.

With the on-trade closed, life changed for Scotland’s wine merchants too.

Yet our bottle shops and other businesses are rising to the challenge.

Many have increased their home delivery services and others are switching into deliveries for the first time.

It’s inspiring to see – and it means that we can still enjoy a glass of wine at home during the difficult weeks that lie ahead.

Don’t forget NHS Scotland’s alcohol guidance – we need to limit our weekly intake to 14 units in order to keep the risks to our longer-term health low.

And it’s worth following the link on that webpage to the UK chief medical officers’ advice too, especially the infographics on pages nine and ten, which explain how much wine, beer or Scotch makes up a “unit”.

Below is a list of Scottish wine merchants still delivering – I’ll update the list as more details emerge from bottle shops.

And, for readers outside Scotland, journalist and master of wine Jancis Robinson has a comprehensive list for other countries at https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/wine-retailers-wholl-deliver-self-isolators

Any Scottish bottle shops that aren’t on my list yet can contact me at pranscombe@scottishfield.co.uk

Aberdeenshire

Fountainhall Wines: Contact Fountainhall Wines – which has a shop in Aberdeen and a shop in Stonehaven – for details about its doorstep deliveries at http://www.fountainhallwines.co.uk/

Wine Raks: Plenty of interesting bottles to choose from at https://www.wineraks.com/ and Wine Raks also has two branches in Aberdeen.

Argyll & Bute

Ellie’s Cellar: There’s a great range of half bottles and other treats on the website for Ellie’s Cellar – which also has shops in Alva, Auchterarder, Crieff, Dollar, and Helensburgh – at http://www.elliescellar.com/

Ayrshire

Corney & Barrow: The 18th-century cellar beneath its shop in Ayr is a treasure trove of wine, and Corney & Barrow’s warehouse at East Kilbride is still supplying some splendid bottles to customers at home. Full details at https://www.corneyandbarrow.com/

Borders

Borders Wines: A great website, not simply for its specialism in Greek wines, but in a whole array of bottles, with no minimum order and free delivery on all orders over £70. Take a look at the range at https://borderswines.co.uk/

Villeneuve Wines: Lots of exciting wines, beers and spirits are available online at http://www.villeneuvewines.com/wine-shop-online/ for delivery from Villeneuve Wines, which also has shops in Peebles and Edinburgh. Telephone the stores to talk about the full range.

Edinburgh and the Lothians

Appellation Wines: Free delivery within Edinburgh on minimum quantities of wine. Great to see Ashton McCobb offering such a bespoke service. Find out more about the company at http://www.appellationwines.co.uk/ and then email him for details and suggestions at ashton@appellationwines.co.uk

Bellissimo Vino: If you’re looking for Italian still and sparkling wines then Bellissimo Vino in Edinburgh has a big range at https://www.bellissimovino.co.uk/ with free delivery within Edinburgh and the Lothians for orders over £45.

The Bon Vivant’s Companion: The Bon Vivant Group runs some of my favourite restaurants in Edinburgh – including The Devil’s Advocate, El Cartel and Lady Libertine. Its bottle shop, The Bon Vivant’s Companion, is a hidden gem on Thistle Street and does free delivery for orders over £20 within Edinburgh – more details at https://bonvivantscompanion.co.uk/

Cork & Cask: I miss having Cork & Cask’s Marchmont shop just along the road from me, but its website is going from strength to strength. I’m always impressed by its organic wines in particular. See what I mean at https://corkandcask.co.uk/home/

De Burgh Wine Merchants: Tarquin has some fabulous wines in his range and is now offering 20% off full price wines and free delivery for NHS staff. Find out more at https://www.de-burgh.com/category/latest-news/

Element Wines: Wholesaler Element Wines – which has some cracking organic bottles – is teaming up with Borough Leith bistro to run a pop-up takeaway and wine shop on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with delivery within Edinburgh too. More details at https://www.instagram.com/p/B-AQTY0DbhX/

The Fine Wine Company: One of my go-to websites, The Fine Wine Company also has a fun shop in Portobello too. Plenty of bottles available for next-day delivery as well at https://www.thefinewinecompany.co.uk/

Great Grog: With its shop and warehouse in Edinburgh, Great Grog offers free local and nationwide delivery for orders over £79. Check out its fantastic range of wines and beers at https://www.greatgrog.co.uk/

Haddington Wines & Whiskies: Offering free delivery for orders of 24 bottles or more to a radius of 10 miles from its shop, Haddington Wines & Whiskies has always been one of my favourite places to visit in East Lothian’s county town. See its range at http://haddingtonwines.com/

Henderson Wines: One of Edinburgh’s best-loved wines shops, which offers free local delivery for six bottles or more. Find out more about its services at https://www.hendersonwines.co.uk/

Lockett Bros: North Berwick’s Lockett Bros is encouraging shoppers to place orders for local delivery and is offering to pick-up other provisions too for people who are self-isolating. Check out its range of wines at https://www.lockettbros.co.uk/

Raeburn Fine Wines: I could spend ours browsing the shelves in the Comely Bank shop and Raeburn is offering free delivery within Edinburgh on all orders and free delivery UK-wide – including islands – on orders over £160. Check out the range at https://www.raeburnfinewines.com/

Smith & Gertrude: It’s fantastic to see Stockbridge’s Smith & Gertrude, one of my favourite Edinburgh wine bars, embracing home delivery – check out its exciting mixed cases at https://www.smithandgertrude.com/sg-home

Spry: And hats off to new wine bar Spry for shifting its focus to becoming a wine shop and delicatessen, with takeaway and delivery options. Find out why I love exploring its wines at https://www.instagram.com/spry_wines/

Valvona & Crolla: Edinburgh’s Italian food and wine institution may have closed its shop for the time being, but it’s still making deliveries, which are free for orders over £50. Lots of great wine ideas on its website at https://www.valvonacrolla.co.uk/

Villeneuve Wines: Lots of exciting wines, beers and spirits are available online at http://www.villeneuvewines.com/wine-shop-online/ for delivery from Villeneuve Wines, which also has shops in Peebles and Edinburgh. Telephone the stores to talk about the full range.

Vino Wines: With four shops in Edinburgh, Vino Wines works with Drinkly to provide one-hour delivery. Drinkly is now also delivering groceries to people who are self-isolating – read more in my article from last week.

Woodwinters: For deliveries in Edinburgh, Woodwinters is offering free delivery for six bottles or more, in addition to free nationwide delivery for orders over £75. Find out more at https://www.woodwinters.com/latest-updates

Fife

L’art du Vin: With a 12% discount and home delivery on all online orders, Dalgety Bay-based L’Art du Vin is giving customers a great to chance to try its range of awesome bottles, many of which are organic and biodynamic. Details at https://www.aduv.co.uk/blogs/news/lighten-the-mood-with-our-special-offer

Luvians: I’ve got such happy memories of Luvians bottle shop in St Andrews from my student days and its new website is looking excellent. It’s offering free delivery in Cupar, where it also has a shop, and St Andrews, and free delivery for orders over £50 in other parts of Fife; full details at https://www.luvians.com/

St Andrews Wine Company: It’s great to see Peter Wood at St Andrews Wine Company offering free local delivery and a drive-by collection service. Check out his range at https://www.standrewswinecompany.com/

Glasgow

Alexander Wines: It’s great to see Alexander Wines launching a retail arm to deliver drinks directly to consumers. The company’s range of wines for the trade and for private clients has always been superb, so I’m really excited to see its new website up-and-running at https://wine-line-glasgow.myshopify.com/– the minimum order is six bottles and it offers free delivery within Glasgow within 48 hours or delivery to other locations in mainland Scotland for £7.50.

The Good Spirits Co: With three branches in Glasgow, The Good Spirits Co is testing out free local delivery on Fridays and Saturdays within six miles of its Bath Street shop. Find out more and check out its range of wines and whiskies at http://www.thegoodspiritsco.com/

Sevslo: Former Gannet sommelier Séverine Sloboda’s exciting new business offers free delivery within the greater Glasgow area – check out her wine list and details of how to order at https://sevslowine.com/

Valhalla’s Goat: My favourite name for a wine shop ever, and one of my favourite wine shops to boot. Now doing home delivery – check out https://www.valhallasgoat.com/ for details.

The Wine Cru: I’ve been known to buy a bottle or two over the years from The Wine Cru in Glasgow for friends’ special birthdays. You can find its range at https://www.thewine-cru.co.uk/

Highlands

Woodwinters: For deliveries in Inverness, Woodwinters is offering free delivery for six bottles or more, in addition to free nationwide delivery for orders over £75. Find out more at https://www.woodwinters.com/latest-updates

Perthshire

Ellie’s Cellar: There’s a great range of half bottles and other treats on the website for Ellie’s Cellar – which also has shops in Alva, Auchterarder, Crieff, Dollar, and Helensburgh – at http://www.elliescellar.com/

Exel Wines: One of my favourite wine websites in the world – not just Scotland – has now extended its local delivery for customers in Perth and Perthshire. Read more at https://www.exelwines.co.uk/keep-on-keeping-on

Harrisons Fine Wine: Many a self-catering review for The Scotsman and Scottish Field over the years has included a visit to Harrisons Fine Wine in Crieff, which is now offering free local delivery – details at https://harrisonsfinewines.com/ – and, for those of us living further afield, check out the shop’s online retail arm, Wine Store, at https://www.winestore.co.uk/

Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire

Ellie’s Cellar: There’s a great range of half bottles and other treats on the website for Ellie’s Cellar – which also has shops in Alva, Auchterarder, Crieff, Dollar, and Helensburgh – at http://www.elliescellar.com/

Woodwinters: For Bridge of Allan, Dunblane and Stirling deliveries, Woodwinters is offering free delivery for six bottles or more, in addition to free nationwide delivery for orders over £75. Find out more at https://www.woodwinters.com/latest-updates

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