>City Wine Shop is a lovely new addition to Melbourne’s wine world. Right next door to the famous European restaurant, it is a small but friendly place to buy wine by the bottle, partake in tastings and classes, or simply enjoy a great wine platter with a glass or two of an evening after work.
Noela, Mena and I took our wine blogging work seriously. We’d researched where we could be sure of getting more than one sparkling wine by the glass, so that we could try more than one on the night without breaking the bank. On a warm summer’s evening we convened seriously at a sidewalk table, and our waitress Theresa helped us choose.
Our first choice was a Yering Station Yarrabank 2001, the most expensive on the list at $11 a glass. Australia is well known for its excellent quality sparkling wines (although to be honest we seem to keep the good stuff for consumption on these shores). We were hoping for a Party Sparkler or even a Special Sparkler from this one.
How disappointed we were. After the first sip we looked quizzically at each other. It actually didn’t taste of anything much. Our notes of the evening stated: “Neither dry nor sweet. Bitter after-taste. Bland.”
Theresa could see we were disappointed, and offered us our choice of any of the sparkling wines being poured by the European as well as the City Wine Shop’s selection. We chose a Pol Clement Brut, a French “vin mousseux” but not from the Champagne region. It was $8 a glass and I was expecting a Dud or perhaps a Party Sparkler if we were lucky.
Sensational! This wine had a fresh floral aroma and a crisp taste. The bubbles persisted for as long as it took to drain the glass. So we did. Then we ordered another, and then we threw caution to the wind and ordered a bottle: At $16 a pop (plus corkage), who wouldn’t?
We sat for the whole evening watching the world go by, the Pol Clement flowing along with the conversation.
Every twenty minutes or so the Indian tram they commissioned for the Commonwealth Games floated past, lights ablaze. The lights of the Parliament building opposite made a fitting backdrop in the summer night.
Count us in for the next WBW!