If you’ve just finished your last beer or wine and desperately need more, there are plenty of online bottle shops focused on same-day or even same-hour delivery. These hyper-convenient services tend to have pretty standard ranges, is the only thing.
If you’re after something more special, check out these passionate independents. Some do offer same-day delivery in Adelaide, but if not, there are rewards for your patience, in the form of local small-batch wines, limited-edition beers and craft spirits from around the country.
Start at the top of this list if you’re looking for a generalist shop with a bit of everything. Towards the bottom of the list, you’ll find a more concise list of specialists that might focus on a single spirit or even wine from a single country. Happy browsing.
Big Easy Drinks
Set up by a bunch of young bartenders (the same people behind Nola, Anchovy Bandit, The Stag Public House and Yiasou George), this colourful online bottle-o has the works: wine, beer and spirits, with the vast majority of them made here in South Australia. The 100-plus wines come from the likes of new-school labels such as Ngeringa, Charlotte Dalton, Koerner, BK, Architects of Wine and Vinteloper, with a healthy amount of oranges and pét-nats among the reds and whites. Beer likewise covers most styles and favours locals such as Big Shed, Little Bang and Mismatch. Shipping is free on orders over $100.
East End Cellars
Since 1998, this Vardon Avenue retailer has been one the city’s better places to shop for the titans of Australian wine, with a particular focus on SA. If you’re looking for Penfolds, Henschke, et al., the 1500-strong range is a good bet. But where owner and wine savant Michael Andrewartha really excels is with the European stuff. Italian nebbiolo, Austrian gewürztraminer and French pinot noir are all well represented, with prices occasionally tickling $1000 per bottle for the most prestigious wineries. Among the 150 spirits, you’ll find whisky, gin, cognac, armagnac and more. The huge range and lack of search filters make it a bit hard to find what you’re after, but East End’s not alone in this sense. Delivery is $15 per case of wine.
Leigh Street Wine Room launched this wine store quick-smart after coronavirus hit, with its former floor staff now working as delivery drivers. Like its real-world counterpart, Juice Traders offers some 400 or more wines, with a focus on all things natural and minimal intervention. Local heroes include Sigurd, Gentle Folk, Travis Tausend, Manon and BK Wines. Some of Europe’s most revered natural-wine labels are also in the mix: Gut Oggau, Laurent Saillard, l’Octavin. Same-day delivery is available if you live within 15 kilometres of the CBD.
Loc Bottle Shop
English expat Olivia Moore launched this online store last month. It’s a select list of delicious lo-fi drops from across Australia and Europe – a mix of hard-to-find gems, boundary-pushers and local favourites. Among 160 wines, there are drops from SA producers such as Gentle Folk, Borachio, Jauma and Shobbrook, plus old-world stunners from l’Octavin, Alice & Olivier de Moor, Cantina Giardino, Tschida and Gut Oggau. All the wines are organically farmed and some are biodynamic. Sulphur is minimal or absent altogether. Beer, spirits and non-alcoholics are coming soon. Same-day delivery is available to addresses within 15 kilometres of the CBD.
Good Pair Days
Good Pair Days has a unique model: new customers fill out a clever quiz describing which flavours they do and don’t like, then begin receiving regular shipments of wine tailored to their individual tastes. Customers rate each bottle on an app, further refining their profile and informing future shipments. If this sounds a bit like getting help from a sommelier at a restaurant, that’s because it is. Good Pair Days was co-founded by former Attica sommelier Banjo Harris Plane, who’s back living in his native Adelaide and manages the range. You can buy bottles individually, but that’s perhaps missing the point. Wine subscriptions start at $50.
Son of Dot Drinks
Jay Marinis launched this distribution and events business (named after his sassy mum, Dot) in January 2019 and represents just a handful of natural winemakers: Commune of Buttons, Scintilla (formerly Little Things), Travis Tausend, Mount Gambier’s Limus and NSW’s Frankly This Wine Was Made By Bob. When bars and pubs shut in March, Marinis teamed up with his friends at Thunderbus Road to deliver the wines to your door, complete with party lights and a DJ set. Place your order at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This online store was founded in 2017 to champion Australian spirits. It’s a side project by a couple with day jobs, which means the range is quite small. There are a couple of rums and liqueurs in the mix, but whisky is the main thing here. On the simple, browse-only pages you’ll find Australian drams from the likes of Starward, Overeem, Archie Rose and Limeburners, plus many more from Scotland and Japan. Shipping takes 2–6 business days.
Applewood Distillery/Unico Zelo
Brendan and Laura Carter are some of the most agile, innovative thinkers in Australian drinks right now, whether they’re releasing yuzu vermouth, using ugly fruit to make mandarin liqueur, or running their own digital happy hour. Their small online store retails all the newest Unico Zelo wines and Applewood distillates, plus the occasional product from friends. Sign up for a subscription to keep the good times rolling.
Alpha Box & Dice
Collaboration is the name of the game at this young McLaren Vale winery. While Alpha Box & Dice wines are the main draw of its online store, there’s a bunch of mixed six packs that include bottles from Delinquente (which also has its own online store), Ngeringa, Henschke and Brash Higgins. If you just love Alpha Box & Dice, make a beeline for the value packs of 18 bottles that start from $349. Same-day delivery is standard if you live within 10 kilometres of the city.
Others around Australia
Beer Cartel, Sydney
Black Market Sake, Sydney
Blackhearts & Sparrows, Melbourne
Bucket Boys, Sydney
Carwyn Cellars, Melbourne
Different Drop, Sydney
Gin Society, Sydney
Nick’s Wine Merchants, Melbourne
P&V Wine & Liquor Merchants, Sydney
Prince Wine Store, Melbourne
The Bottle Shop, Sydney
The Oak Barrel, Sydney
Whisky Loot, Sydney
Wise Child, Perth
World of Whisky, Sydney