What has Ian Trinkle been up to?

Before the pandemic, Trinkle was one of the highest profile wine gurus in the city, a sommelier at Arc Dining who also oversaw Howard Smith Wharves’ wider wine program. Previous to that, he won the coveted Wine List of the Year award for his work with Aria Brisbane’s expansive cellar.

After its sudden closure, many of the Arc veterans slowly began to re-emerge in other restaurants and pop-ups in and around Brisbane, but Trinkle remained relatively quiet, besides the occasional consultancy and education gig. It turns out he and his wife, Liz Trinkle, were busy making longterm plans.

“We were sitting around during that first lockdown,” Trinkle says. “It was a good time to readjust and refocus and step away a little bit. And we felt it was just time to do something that was for us. That was the catalyst for Wineism.”

Wineism is a brilliant new wine store in Albion’s Albion Fine Trades precinct opened in partnership with Aaron Mullan, a family friend of the Trinkles. Primarily an online wine business, its headquarters are a slickly designed hideaway for those who’d prefer to drop in and buy their vino in person. The space itself is moody but simple, shelves and fridges stacked full of wine arranged around a pair of elegant bars, one stone and the other tiled. There’s some window counter seating and a couple of easy chairs for those who’d like to stick around to try something off a short by-the-glass list that changes weekly.

“You can come in and have a glass of wine,” Trinkle says. “You can buy a wine here and sit in-store and have that and then we have a snacks menu starting this week, which will have sardines, anchovies, salumi, breads and cheese plates. Just simple snacks that work well with the wine.”

As for the wine, expect a 600-bottle selection sourced from both Australian and international producers. The focus is on smaller winemakers, Trinkle leveraging his connections with the industry to stock some terrific deep cuts. You might drink a Hoffman Estate dry riesling from Germany or a Jilly Lone Ranger chardonnay from NSW or a Hochkirch biodynamic pinot noir from Victoria. Prices range from $20 all the way up to a $589 Poggio di Sotto 2015 brunello from Montalcino, and an Egly-Ouriet blanc de noirs Grand Cru that goes for $610.

Wineism is also set up for tastings, functions and education, a side room intended for WSET training courses. “I’ve worked with a lot of hospitality groups, helping certify their staff … so I think that aspect of the business will grow and we can develop that next wave of opinionated sommeliers,” Trinkle says, laughing.

It adds up to a compelling little wine spot in a neighbourhood that has recently welcomed a brewpub, Brewtide, and a distillery, Granddad Jack's.

“There was [a lack of exceptional wine stores] in the inner north,” Trinkle says. “There’s certainly an appetite for it. I’m always blown away by how hungry people are for these artisanal producers and willing to seek them out. Our point of difference is we have that area where you can sit and enjoy it and feel a bit more connected with the experience.”

97 Sandgate Road, Albion
No phone

Sun to Wed 10am–8pm
Thu to Sat 9am–9pm