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A Little Wine Bar Guide

words by kim batto

Spice up your day – stop whining, and start wine-ing

I am by no means a wine connoisseur, but having been in the hospitality industry a while you learn a thing or two. Let me tell you about the big 4 S’ of wine tasting.

  • See – Look at the glass from every angle. Observe its colour, and clarity – just like a diamond (in the sky)
  • Swirl – Do this to release its aroma. Find a flat surface and swirl your glass using your pointer and middle finger.
  • Sniff – try identifying different fruits, flowers and herbs. You can even say it smells like a ‘wet dog’ or ‘freshly cut grass’ (truth) and the French will know what you mean.
  • Sip – Leave it for your taste buds to decide if you like it or not (please don’t embarrass yourself, and do it with a closed mouth)

Now that’s out of the way – here are a few places you can try out that swirl:

Just across the road from QT Melbourne, with a very inviting ambience of dark floors, natural wood, exposed brick walls, low lighting and loud music have got you set for the whole night. They have an amazing offering that focuses on Australian and European wines, and their staff will guide you all the way (even with food pairings) so you’re never left in the dark.

South Melbourne’s pocket rocket version of a wine bar, Smalls concentrates on boutique wine producers – mostly from Europe. The place seats up to only 24 people so it’s very intimate, and is an amazing date venue. They have wine tastings every Thursday so be sure not to miss out. Trust me, head down there and you’ll instantly score 100 brownie points *wink*.

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From 5. Drinkity, drink, drink.

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Bellota Wine Bar
The name Bellota (Spanish word for acorn) is inspired by Spain’s famous jamon iberico, a cured ham that comes from black Iberian pigs that live on acorns (proof that anything you say in Spanish is sexier). Go on an adventure, walk straight through, and experience something exotic – with hanging charcuterie left, right and centre you would think you’ve been magically transported to La Boqueria in Barcelona.

The Town Mouse
Now this one is a bit different as it is more of a restaurant with an extremely good wine selection than a wine bar per se. If you’re after a proper sit down dinner with an amazing bottle of wine, look no further. The Town Mouse in Carlton is for people who need an actual meal with their wine. Top tip: Whatever you order, don’t miss out on their butter lettuce leaves – just don’t. You’ll thank me later.

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Table 5, by @kristofferpaulsen

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Milk the Cow
Okay fine, Milk the Cow is not a wine bar but could very well be one. It fits the mould and is a licensed fromagerie. The perfect pairing. Milk the Cow is the place to go to if the person you’re with doesn’t enjoy wine (either have them go here or ditch them altogether). They have cheese and booze flights where they pair pretty much everything (wine, beer, cider, whisky, sake) with cheese.

If the above did not satisfy your need to swirl, head to Pascale Bar at QT Melbourne – open daily from 12 noon onwards. Not only do we have a banging vibe, we’re proud to say we have an amazing wine selection as well. Ask one of our bartenders, and you have a peek at our wine cellar too.

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Sometimes #wine is a necessity ?: @lovelulu8

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