The City Wine Shop is a lot more than a wine shop. It is a lovely little place serving great food and wine, which just happens to be attached (part of the same thing) as a Michelin star restaurant. Find out how Mr Smith got on relaxing, eating great food and drinking amazing wines…
When out on a stroll Mr Smith had spotted the City Wine Shop, which very conveniently was just round the corner from the hotel, and made a note to get there as soon as possible, which he did on his second night out in Melbourne.
The day had been warm and people were sitting outside enjoying the evening warmth, but Mr Smith headed in to the bar to check the place out. There is a wall of wine for sale on the left and the bar on the right. Mr Smith had a good browse through the wines and made some mental notes of some wines to try. After the browse he took a seat at the bar, the normal place for Mr Smith.
The staff were really welcoming and were more than happy to talk through the wines and food and came up with plenty of suggestions for drinks. Starting off with a delicious Chenin Blanc, perfect for a nice warm day, Mr Smith made his choice on the food. The menu looked good and some nice specials on the board as well. So decisions made and the food ordered. Mr Smith settled down at the bar, partaking in one of the best sports, people watching. Also, chatting to the staff about life the universe and wine.
Mr Smith had ordered the Pork & Duck Terrine for the starter, which was to go with the Chenin Blanc. This was absolutely delicious, great meaty texture and flavour, served with a lovely sourdough, a great way to start and a perfect dish for sitting at the bar.
For the main, Mr Smith had plumped for one of the specials, the Pan Roasted Ocean Trout, Fried Polenta and Caponata and after lots of discussion with the bar staff he had plumped for the Crawford River 2014 Young Vines Reisling to match with it. OK, so the food first. This was basically fish and chips, but quite possibly one of the best versions of fish and chips you can get. The skin on their trout was absolutely perfect, super crispy, full of flavour, perfectly seasoned and just divine, but underneath was a superb piece of fish that was full of flavour and great texture. The polenta chips were great, crispy and flavoursome. This was so good the first comment that Mr Smith made was to say that the skin was perfect and to pass compliments on to the chefs. Some may think the fish was a little salty and although Mr Smith is not a huge fan of lots of salt it was absolutely spot on with the fish, it was needed.
Mr Smith later found out that the restaurant adjoining the bar, The European, has a Hat (Australian version of stars), and you can tell that the cooking from there filters through to the bar.
And now for the wine. There had been some discussion with the staff as to why it was advertised as Young Vines, which is not something that Mr Smith had seen before, yes Old Vines all the time, but not young. However, no one really knew, but that did not matter as the wine was delicious. Crisp, fresh and vibrant and worked perfectly with the fish, cutting through the salt and oiliness of the fish, whilst complimenting the Polenta and Caponata. Mr Smith also found out that Crawford River also had a couple of other Reisling’s, including a 2004 reserve. He was so taken with the wine that he made a note to hunt out more Crawford Riover later in the trip, which he did and also managed to snag a bottle of the 2004 (at another wine shop in Melbourne), which actually went with him for 2000km’s across Australia and was eventually drunk and finished on Australia Day in Sydney. That is how much of an impression the wine made.
So did Mr Smith enjoy, The City Wine Shop? Yes, would he go again? Yes. Did he go again? Yes, but only to buy a bottle of wine, it would have been too easy to just keep going back and Mr Smith wanted to try lots of different places.