This the kind of bar you dream of coming across – super wine list; great atmosphere; friendly, engaging workers; interesting and appealing food choices; and in the heart of Fremantle. On a sunny autumn day we stumbled across it after lunching elsewhere and ducked in to have a look – and so glad we did. On South Terrace, taking the place of what I recall was a coffee shop, this small bar, open for about three months, is carving itself quite a reputation.
It is not a large space, but has been decorated in eclectic style – along one wall the seating consists of old Transperth bus seats, elsewhere tables, chairs, high benches and stools. Seating on the footpath out front completes the picture. A large wine rack on one side holds an excellent selection of wine.
The list is not overly large but contains some brilliant wines, and a good cross section of varieties, regions and countries. Clearly thoughtful consideration has gone into its construction and shows a wonderful commitment to quality. Many of the wines available (quite a few of which are produced organically) are little seen on lists around town – La Violetta from the Great Southern, which turns out stunning wines, is prominent – Das Sakrileg Riesling, YeYe Blanc and U among the whites, their Almirante y Obispo among the reds – Castelli also feature – for example, their tempranillo and viognier – and other excellent labels are highlighted – Yelland and Papps, Hither and Yon, Shobbrook, Marchand and Burch, Higher Plane, Paul Nelson and Si Vintners.
We were particularly taken by two sections of the list – one of orange wines – something rarely seen – in fact the only other orange list of such quality noted recently was at Temporada in Canberra – more than a dozen wines are listed with Brash Higgins, Radikon, Wines by KT and Zidarich among them; the other section was of Petillant wines – mildly sparkling and included the outstanding La Violetta Spunk Nat – a rosé style sparkling.
A blackboard announces the wines served by the glass, and the list changes regularly. We settled, initially, for a glass each of Manse rosé made from pinot noir – dark cherry aromas, full of earthy pinot flavours on the palate, almost to our taste a light red rather than a rosé, but lovely all the same; followed by Si Vintners red blend, a wine we have had on a number of occasions – from cabernet sauvignon, malbec and petit verdot, naturally fermented, this has lifted berry and spice on the nose, a fresh, fruit driven palate, with some underlying minerally notes.
The menu includes octopus carpaccio, a cheese board, a cured meat board, treacle cured salmon, mushroom and lentil paté, lamb ribs and duck fat potatoes. Unfortunately as we had already partaken we did not try the food on offer – but we will be back, soon, to do so.
This is an absolutely brilliant little spot and deserves to be wildly successful; and Sophie Rose, the Cornish lass who looked after us can also turn out a top notch gin and tonic, to which I can attest. Vin & Oli is highly recommended.