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Scottish Claret

For the upper classes in Scotland, claret remained the firm favourite until at least the eighteenth century. In Edinburgh it was wheeled in casks around the streets; its popularity began to wane, however, with the ending of free imports at the end of that century. There is a brief but interesting snippet in Boswell's Diary showing the selection of beverages one could expect in a gentleman's house of the day. Of the meal which he and Dr Johnson enjoyed as guests of Captain Macdonald of Kingsburgh, in Skye, and his wife, the former Miss Flora Macdonald, he says: " As genteel a supper as one would wish to see, in particular an excellent roasted turkey, porter to drink at table, and after supper claret and punch."

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