For some time I have been anticipating the opening of this wine bar and wine shop which is a salute to, and celebration of, natural wine, organic wine, biodynamic wine, and just generally great wine.
The laborious process that they have been subjected to by the Licencing authorities, and especially the WA Police, has been something to be wondered at – security guards for crying out loud! Luckily some semblance of reality has descended and they opened last week – sans guards, thankfully –at the top of William Street, a tad before Brisbane.
It is a small space to be sure – licenced for 50 only – and with the ability, once the weather warms, to have 28 of those at tables outside on the footpath – stripped back floor boards, exposed timber beams in the ceiling, a rugged and old world look – with a beautiful stringy bark bar taking pride of place.
Racks of wine break up the space, and temperature controlled wine fridges take up one end of the room – there is an upstairs area, not yet opened, which will allow some expansion and increase in numbers down the track – but for now, well downstairs off the street, it is pretty delightful place.
As well as serving wines by the glass from the black boarded specials any bottle can be bought and consumed in-house – each is marked with an in-house price and a cheaper, takeaway price if you are wanting, for example, to dine at one of the myriad other restaurants a short stroll away or just take some home.
The food menu is small, simple, and suited to snacking while sampling one or two of the wines on offer – there the day after the opening a dish of Friarelli Bitter Greens cooked up with garlic and olive oil, accompanied by sour dough and butter hit the spot; as did the pork rillettes with cornichons and pickled chilli – took the edge off the hunger and matched our wines well. They have other dishes as well – think olives, salumi, sliced meats, white beans, cheese.
To the wine – we selected off the by the glass menu – and began with Express Winemakers 2017 Chenin – bursting with green apple aromas and sweet/sharp Granny Smith flavours, with a salty, lip smacking finish.
Followed up with Patrick Sullivan 2017 Waterskin – an orange wine – a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc it has all the tropical fruit and grassy aromas expected of these grapes, while the palate is bitey, and textural, and bright savoury crunchy apple and citrus flavours. Yowza!
Finally a glass of Margaret River winemaker Sam Vinciullo’s Red/White blend – Merlot and Semillon – a bit more weight than a rosé but takes a little chill well – slightly musky aroma, touch of red berries, and a palate that is chewy, tannic and full of chocolate and raspberry flavours. Yum.
Wines of While has been worth the wait. And I can’t wait to head back to try more of the brilliant wines they are selling. Get along…..