We all have favourite shops for jeans, underwear, olives: and I suspect many of us have a favourite bottleshop (bottle-o) that we like to visit. Maybe just whatever is closest to home, perhaps because we know it has a good range.
Wine shopping is one of my two favourite types of shopping – book shopping is the other one – and so when I have the time, or I need a good re-stock, I like to take my business to a good quality cellar. Most liquor outlets in Australia are owned by either Coles Myers or Woolworths. You go into one and it’s the same wines over and over again, and the attendants might know what they’re talking about, but more likely not.
Personally, I love to support independent sellers. The prices may be more than in BWS or Liquorland, but when you go into any of these stores, you know that the people who own and work there love their wines and beers, so they will have chosen the best drops to sit on their shelves and will be able to give you excellent, knowledge advice.
If you live in Brisbane and you would like to buy your liquor from independent sellers who are passionate about their product, here are some of the places you can visit:
Run by Tony Harper and his wife, Craft Red Hill has that wonderful feeling of a local store where you get to know the person behind the counter but the range is delightful. Stocking small vineyards, limited releases, Australian and international drops, Craft Red Hill is a thoroughly enjoyable place to shop if you enjoy your wine. They also have a creative selection of beers and ciders and a small but luxurious selection of spirits.
As a delightful bonus, on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons, they hold special tastings of beer, wine, champagne or spirits with the maker or distributor. Sign up to their e-newsletter for more information.
Tucked into the edge of the ‘fun’ part of the Valley, In Cider Trading has been operating for a while, selling an enjoyable selection of mostly small-vineyard Australian wines. The guys behind the counter are charming and always happy to help out with good suggestions for any budget (we once asked for a recommendation for a white under $10) Parking can be a problem, but if you go on the weekend to stock-up, it’s all fine.
I now go to In Cider trading mostly to pick up a bottle or two when having dinner out with friends in the Valley – they are open late in the evening – or you can enjoy a tipple in their back courtyard with some take away ordered from one of the excellent local joints.
CBD purveyors of quality beer, wine and whiskey. Independent, intriguing and indulgent. They even sell meals to take home, so you can be a CBD worker, swing past Malt Traders and pick up a quality bottle of wine and a meal on your way home.
In the CBD, Grape Therapy is more than a liquor shop. Open bright and early for coffee, you can return in the afternoon to buy a bottle to take home, buy a glass to enjoy with some food and live music, or buy a bottle to drink in-store ($20 surcharge).
Dealing in the finer tastes and open almost as late as Cru Bar is, Cru Cellar has an impressive top-notch range of wines and spirits. I would warn against popping to the cellar after the bar. It can lead to interesting purchase choices.
Nestled at Palace Barracks, Stewarts Wine Co has a long standing history of cellar quality. They host occasional events, so if you are a regular patron, it would be worth joining their cellar club.
Rather more than an cellar, Purple Palate is a SEQ business of Purple Palate has two stores in Brisbane – in Greenslopes and Hawthorne, one in Maleny, and a good online shop.