Join the club and get bargains from a distinguished name

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IF Taggart still has the temerity to call itself that when it's been years since the gruff Glaswegian actually graced our screens, the distinguished Cockburns of Leith is quite entitled to use the word Leith - even though it's been a long time since it hung out there.

The company now resides at Abbeyhill Industrial Estate, just a bottle-lob from the old Elsie Inglis Hospital. Every wine on its list is discounted when you join the free wine club.

That translates as ten per cent off one bottle and 15 per cent if you buy 12 or more.

Buy regularly and after nine visits you're entitled to a further 2.5 per cent off your total spend.

As an example, the stunning Wakefield Estate Promised Land Shiraz Cabernet is 7.85 full price, 7.07 for members and 6.67 by the case.

Escheverria Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 (11.80, 10.62 members, 10.03 case) won gold in the International Wine Challenge 2003 and is a luscious dinner party slurper.

George Duboeuf 2004 Fleurie (7.99, Morrisons) has the classic bubblegum aroma of the gamay grape. It also has immense raspberry juiciness and electrifying acidity.

Winter Hill de Foncalieu Reserve Shiraz Cabernet (5.99, Threshers, three for two) is more than the sum of its name. It's extremely rounded, packed with "sweet" fruit, with a hint of pepper and layers of blackcurrant. Good value with burgers, bangers etc, hot off the coals.

Saumur Reserve des Vignerons 2004 Val de Loire (4.99, Majestic, but buy two and it's 4.49) is a smoky, mineral-flecked white that's a very attractive example of the chenin blanc grape. Delicious as an apertif, or with Thai or Chinese dishes.

Single Estate Grenache Blanc 2005 (5.49, M&S) has melon, liquorice and floral aromas, and is full fat on the palate. A mouth-watering aperitif, or with scallops, mussels or lobster if you're flush.

Chileno Chardonnay-Semillon 2004 (3.79, Tesco, until June 25, was 4.79) smells of melon with the odd spike of lime citrus shooting up the hooter. Its clean-cut acidity makes this refreshing and flavoursome.


Five different grapes went into the making of Claude Val Vendages 2004 Vin de Pays D'Oc (4.99, Cockburns of Leith, 4.49 members). Smelling of melon and honey with hints of tropical fruit, it's a summer sipper. Shellfish, or seabass will be good bedfellows.


Culley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2005 (8.79, Cockburns, 7.91 members) delivers delish elderberry, nettle, gooseberry and rich fruit. This Marlborough is sharp as a paper-cut. Warm goat's cheese salad or asparagus risottos are perfect partners for this New Zealander.