There were no scattered rose petals or naked winged babies, but that didn't stop Edinburgh Yelp Elite from falling head-over-heels in Vin-Valentine love at Yelp Edinburgh's February Elite Event: a Hotel Du Vin wine tasting. As 30 Edinburgh yelpers made there way through the gorgeous enclosed courtyard and into the whisky snug, admiring the decadent building that was once the city's Asylum, the wines were being poured next door and canapés prepped in the Bistro.But not before a welcome glass of Prosecco and a tour around the hotel. Du Vin by name and Du Vin by nature, from the wine-glass chandelier on-high above reception, to the exclusive wine-tasting room, air-pressured and cooled wine cellars and deliciously-scented Bistro, we couldn't agree more with Lou V who, whilst wandering the building, mused 'you forget that you're in the middle of the city when you're inside of it. You could just as easily be in an incredibly luxurious chateau in the middle of the mountains.'
Led into the aptly named Burke and Hare room, named after the notorious Edinburgh body-snatchers who are immortalised on a wall of the room with their own mural, and surrounded by paintings of the macabre, the yelpers were treated to some of life's finest luxuries: a tasting of three phenomenal wines led by the head Du Vin Sommelier: Seb.
It was love at first sip for many the yelpers. Led through the Limoux Vanel Chardonnay (which absolutely did not taste like vanilla), the Pinot Rosé "Croix d'Or" and the Limoux Vanel Merlot the yelpers learnt about carbonic maturation, what the size of bubbles in champagne means, the perfect temperature for serving wine and where to find the most up-and-coming wines (South America, if you must know). Catriona C was 'smiling for most of the time' and in the remainder was 'staring through a wine glass looking at the naze. Yeah, that's right, the naze… cause I learned me some good stuff about wine.'
If the yelpers liked the wine, then they loved Seb more. Steph D has only one request of him: 'Please, please, please take me all around the wine regions of France on your motorbike and help me sniff and taste all of the fantastic wines! I will notice the tears and the colour all the other stuff that you told me about… if you just talk about wine to me for-ever!'
And it wasn't just the ladies who were charmed. Luke D thinks that 'Seb was the real star of the evening. Anyone with a passing interest in wine-food pairings absolutely should have a meal at Hotel Du Vin, request assistance from this walking explosion of wine knowledge, actually listen to what he has to say and not just order the second cheapest red (I'm looking at you, Luke D), then sink blissfully into sensory heaven.'
After all the sniffing, sipping, swirling and swallowing of good wines, there may well have been romance in the air especially for Jurgen D: 'The red – aaah the red – hello red – I like you – will you be my friend? So good in fact I promptly went upstairs and ordered a couple bottles for drinking!' And so to the bar everyone went, infused with Seb's knowledge, passion and advice on wine imbibing.
The yelpy banter continued into the wee hours of the night, and after a few more glasses of Du Vin wine in the bar upstairs, Emily V left the event saying what everyone else was thinking: 'Hotel Du Vin is one of those places you walk by a million times, each time saying "man that place looks cool, I really have to go there some day" and you you just never get around to it. Until, of course, your CM arranges an awesome Elite event there. I’m definitely going to have to come back, and hopefully Seb will be there to help me pick the perfect wine to accompany the gorgeous food.'
And so the most gracious of thank yous to Hotel Du Vin, and Seb, for the best Vin-Valentine a yelper could ask for; the Hotel Bistro for the delectable canapés; Robin for the photies; and, of course, the yelpers for bringing the banter and making it the party that it was, and always is!
For all the vin-vin-voom reviews, have a wee look here; have a peek at the rest of the photies here; find out all the yelpy buzz on the Hotel du Vin here; and if you're curious to know more about Yelp, Elites and events have a read here or just get in touch with Jenny L!
Until next time!
Yelp Edinburgh Community Manager