I’ve always felt like Glasgow has been lacking in quality wine bars. Sure, we aren’t short of bars and pubs, but more often than not, the focus there is on their craft beer selection. They always have a few token bottles of wine for us non-beer drinkers, but the quality is more often than not sub-par.
Enter Hooligan Wine – a new venture from the team behind 88 Dumbarton Road. Like its predecessor, the focus at Hooligan is on quality, hand selected natural and organic wines, paired with seasonal small plates. Everything from sparkling to shiraz, with more unusual options like the up-and-coming orange wines.
This vast and regularly changing wine selection is paired with beautiful, delicate small plates, like sweetcorn fritters with cumin, garlic and red pepper, or n’duja and pancetta terrine with egg, bravas sauce and manchego.
In recent weeks, Hooligan has introduced a Sunday tasting roast at £30 per head. All the classic flavours and components of a Sunday roast, but with a modern twist and, if so desired, paired with wine for an extra £25.
The tasting experience starts with a selection of starters including Hooligan’s own focaccia, Freedom Bakery sourdough and tarragon butter, courgette warm tartare and tempura samphire, and a choice of either cod roe emulsion or butternut and cashew dip. These nibbles are a perfect way to kickstart a relaxed Sunday lunch – the tarragon butter smeared on the fresh bread is particularly joyous. Honestly, is there anything better than the simple pleasure of buttered bread?
What comes next though is where things really move up a gear, with a choice of either spatchcock poussin with chicken sauce, or 48hr beef picanha with burnt rosemary butter and beef jus. Both served with hasselback potatoes, roast tenderstem, braised carrots and red cabbage. I was immediately drawn to the beef, although there is also a vegetarian option of roast seitan with beetroot jus.
The beef, thinly sliced and still with a little blush of pink, was beautifully tender, and is accompanied by a slow cooked pulled beef stew topped with pickled mustard seeds – an unexpected treat!
The final plate is an incredibly rich, smooth caramel chocolate cremeux with popcorn ice cream, ending the meal with complete and utter indulgence, as any good Sunday lunch should.
Even more exciting, Hooligan have recently introduced a Monday tasting menu, with SEVEN courses for just £28, or £49 including a wine pairing. If that’s not a reason to forego the stove on a bleak January Monday, I don’t know what is!