The Wine Library started quite simply because it was something that Falkirk didn’t have and five years down the line it has quickly become one of Falkirk’s favourite institutions. Angela remembers when she was told that “a wine bar in Falkirk simply would not work”. She is overjoyed that she has proven the naysayers wrong – even through a pandemic! They have built up an extremely loyal band of regular customers and still are being discovered by a new clientele.
The Inspiration Behind The Wine Library
Owners Angela and her husband Gordon were enjoying a weekend break in Amsterdam just over five years ago, decided to take an alleyway instead of the busy street and wound up in a cosy wee wine bar. After an afternoon and several glasses of wine they had decided Falkirk needed just such a thing! On their return to Falkirk, they were on a night out with friends and were struggling to find somewhere to have a relaxed drink. When they were walking towards the taxi rank, they came across the ‘For Let’ sign in 1 Princes Street’s window. So, as you do, Angela called on the Monday to be told that it had already been let. After another lease fell through Angela was feeling a bit discouraged and considered not going through with the wine bar idea! Until, that is, she received a call about 1 Princes Street and was offered the lease. She decided to bite the bullet and go for it. It was now or never as far as she was concerned. Her husband Gordan has kept his full-time job as an accountant but has supported Angela all along the way.
First step in opening The Wine Library was finding a sommelier and a manager. They both pretty much fell into Angela’s lap. Her neighbour’s cousin, Sam, who had previously been the sommelier at The Balmoral and Michelin star 21212, was at the time not working. She has small children and had stopped working as she didn’t want to go back to the commute after being off on maternity. When Angela approached her with a flexible part-time position in which she could work from home if needed she was all in. Sam works Friday and Saturdays in the Wine Library and runs every monthly wine tasting. From home she takes care of all the wine orders so that she can be there for her children. Sam is incredibly knowledgeable about all aspects of wine and if you happen to ask her about any bottle in the library she can tell you the taste, origin, how it was made, about the winery and sometimes even about the design of the label. Sam brings in new wines monthly and is continually updating their wine list.
When it came to management Angela knew just who to ask. A good friend of hers, Lynne, had worked in retail all her life. They were sitting around the kitchen table one night and Angela asked her what her dream job would be. Her response was “a deli with a wine bar.” It was not too long after that that Angela announced to Lynne that she would be opening a wine bar, and asked if she would like to manage it. Lynne was overjoyed but worried as she hadn’t done anything quite like it but neither had Angela and she encouraged Lynne to take the leap of faith with her. And no one has looked back!
The Past Five Years
Over the past five years, The Wine Library has become well-known and well-loved. They offer not only a lovely atmosphere in which to enjoy a night out with your other half, friends or work colleagues but are always putting on exciting events. Whether it be their monthly wine tastings showcasing new wines, gin tastings, rum tasting, supper club, live music evenings or their monthly book club! There is something for everyone at The Wine Library, even if that be just someone to chat to – their friendly team are always there to lend an ear and they have built a lovely community environment within the bar. They get to know their customers by name and treat them like family, The Wine Library family, with many stories to tell.
As well as offering a huge selection of wines and 30 gins, they also offer many spirits and are introducing a wider variety of flavoured rums, whiskies and tequila to their ever-evolving menu this year. They have also teamed up with Clark’s of Edinburgh, a supplier of speciality food for their delicious antipasti platters which are a very popular pairing with the wine! Their cheese and charcuterie boards are available every day.
The team are very active on social media and followers look forward to their Saturday Selfies each week, which are now famously framed on the wall!
The Fizz Edition
The team are constantly thinking of new ideas to keep the business growing and prospering. Since it is their 5th year in business they have decided to try and do something new and work is underway to open a fizz corner in the upstairs bar. The only complication has been getting the fizz! Champagne is currently in short supply as, due to weather conditions, they are missing a year’s supply.
All going well they will be offering a wide variety of champagnes, Prosecco by the glass and more by the bottle than they currently do. Their aim is to launch their new Champagne Bar by their 5th birthday in October 2021.
Tastings and Events
They are back open six days a week, every day except Monday! They are also offering their monthly tastings again and have linked up with Pernod so that they can offer spirit tastings as well. They are planning rum tastings, which is quickly becoming the new big thing.
Christmas is fast approaching and they are now taking bookings. The room upstairs can be booked for private functions on Friday evenings. Get in touch to find out about their different festive packages or to purchase a gift voucher to gift this Christmastime.
To find out more, follow The Wine Library on Facebook or feel free to pop in or call up!
They are also still offering wine deliveries – a service that they started due to the pandemic.