1 WINES AT 39
39a Queen St, Edinburgh, 013-220 6889
Stocks a range of French wines and champagne, most imported from small vineyards which Joe McHugh, the owner, has spent many years visiting. Joe ditched his IT career last year to open the shop and is a passionate wine enthusiast, always keen to share his tips and recommendations with his customers at informal tastings in the shop every week.
2 LOCKETT BROS, Wine & Whisky Specialists
133 High St, North Berwick, 01620 890799
Journey along the East Lothian coastline to discover this hidden gem. The shelves are peppered with interesting wines and cult vintages from growers all over the world. It's fast establishing itself as a strong independent wine merchant that oozes passion and enthusiasm.
3 WOODWINTERS Wines and Whiskies
16 Henderson St, Bridge of Allan, 01786 834 894
Recently scooping the Scottish Wine Merchant of the Year title for the second year running, WoodWinters really knows its stuff, offering dynamic wine from around the world. The shop is set out by style and variety rather than by countries and regions and has entertaining wines from 4 to 400. The business was set up by Douglas and Cara Wood, with the ethos that everyone should be able to enjoy exciting wines that are a cut above those available in the supermarket.
4 MARKINCH WINE GALLERY
61 High St, Glenrothes, 01592 750024
Run by Sandy Stewart, the gallery has been serving fine wines to Fifers for more than two decades. The secret of their success has been to move with the times to reflect great improvements in winemaking and take advantage of new areas of wine production. Cheerful, friendly service is paired with wines to suit every price bracket.
5 CORNELIUS BEER & WINE
18 Easter Road, Edinburgh, 0131-652 2405
Easter Road may not sound the most obvious location for a dynamic independent wine and shop but Cornelius is an established part of the thriving community at the top end. It has a decent range of well-priced wines with a slight emphasis on the European, including some interesting Italians and a fistful of rioja. There is usually a bottle or two open for tasting on a Saturday afternoon. The staff know their stuff and if you are spending a fiver or so, you are guaranteed to be going home with a good bottle.