Rumour has it that the Polish church in Randolph Place’s Tudor House couldn’t accommodate Edinburgh’s booming Polish population, so they moved out. The adjacent La P’tite Folie seized the opportunity and, post deconsecration, duly converted the church into a wine bar called Le Di-Vin. The towering wine bottle storage bins behind Le Di-Vin’s long bar and the numerous fridges show how seriously Le Di-Vin take their wine. This is further demonstrated by the wine menu of biblical proportions; Le Di-Vin offer around 60 glasses of wine by the glass and more by the bottle.
We ascended the staircase to Le Di-Vin’s mezzanine level, where the monotonous painted walls are in need of artwork. Le Di-Vin offer table service, although our high altitude location meant the service wasn’t as attentive as it should have been. Le Di-Vin has made great use of natural materials to produce an interior which is sympathetic to the building’s past, but whose future is geared to fine wine drinking.
An abundance of seats whether at the long bar, around the periphery or in the open space, mean Le Di-Vin is equally suitable for a quick glass of wine with your partner or several bottles of wine with friends and family. Thankfully background music was played at a level which contributes to the enjoyment of your visit. It was noted that a few comfortable leather sofas, surely necessary for a long evening in most wine bars, would be welcome additions. That said I’d still award Le Di-Vin high marks for the good wine bar design they have brought to Edinburgh’s West End.
The wines we drank at Le Di-Vin were:
Pinot Grigio Ramato (Rose) Giovanni Puiatti 06/07: A vibrant coloured rose with a defining raspberry flavour. Very palatable. ¬£4.95 for 175ml.
Bergerac, Chateau des Eyssards 06: Fantastically fresh and fruity taste from the Sauvignon, which benefits from the weight of the Semillion. ¬£5.25 for 250ml.
Mezzacorona, Castel Firmian 07: A great non-obtrusive Pinot Grigio with a clean and crisp flavour. Probably my favourite glass of the afternoon. ¬£6.00 for 250ml.
We also had a glass of the Australian sparkling wine (¬£4.95, but name unfortunately forgotten). This was a good less dry alternative to Le Di-Vin’s Prosecco and, judging by the sound of the cork popping from below, was fresh out the fridge.
Obviously better value is given if drinking wine by the bottle at Le Di-Vin. Their wine selection really is impressive enough and interesting enough to keep both the casual wine drinker and wine aficionado coming back for more. The adjoining La P’tite Folie will obviously look to benefit from increased trade as wine drinkers look for good French food after a few glasses of wine. However Le Di-Vin itself offers a small menu which is entirely appropriate for the dazzling array of wine on offer. A small selection of cheese with bread is ¬£6 or can be made large for ¬£16. Smoked salmon and cucumber on a bed of soft cheese is ¬£6.50 or a selection of saucisson, salami, home-made terrine, rillettes, ham and bread is yours for ¬£8.50 or ¬£15 depending on size. Disappointingly there were no chocolates available; given the choice of dessert wines it would be great for Le Di-Vin to offer a small selection of luxury chocolates.
I do hope Le Di-Vin are particular about the number/intentions of people allowed in at the weekends. The nearby Indigo Yard and Sygn lose what style/luring quality they have on Friday/Saturday nights when hundreds of drinkers descend and cause bottlenecks throughout the venues. Le Di-Vin strikes me as a wine bar for the discerning customer and a venue where couples and groups could enjoy a Friday/Saturday night out without having to push their way to the bar or shout to make themselves heard.
In summary Le Di-Vin is a very welcome addition to Edinburgh’s wine scene and provides a quiet, enjoyable and welcoming recess from the hustle and bustle (not to mention tram disruption!) of Edinburgh city centre.
Le Di-Vin Wine Bar is located at 9 Randolph Place, Edinburgh.
Telephone 0131 538 1815.