It’s easy to find Paranormal Wines. Just head over to Provan Street, off Anzac Parade, and look for the big sign with the words “wine shop” in all-caps.
Don’t be fooled by the self-effacing signage and the plain brick shopfront, though – Paranormal Wines is seriously exciting. Owner Max Walker was previously the general manager at LP’s Quality Meats in Sydney and bar manager at Melbourne’s Movida Aqui, and he's brought that deep hospitality experience to his biggest love: wine.
At Paranormal, the majority of the wines have a minimal-intervention focus, with an emphasis on organic wines. It’s a broad remit, and local, interstate and international drops all get an equal share of the spotlight. You might find anything from skin-contact riesling blends from Germany, to easy-drinking Barossa rosés, to small-batch nebbiolos from Lombardy.
If you’re drinking in-store, corkage is $15 for bottles and $20 for magnums. But grabbing some snacks from Paranormal and nipping straight across the road to drink it in the park is also a solid option.
The decor is laid-back and approachable. It’s a friendly and light space with high ceilings and windows along the entire front facade. Outside, a collection of tables overlooks Hassett Park. Back indoors, there are shelves and wine fridges on one side and a blond timber bar on the other separated by a long share table in the centre. Some small tables are also dotted around. Just a few paintings hang on the walls, which focuses your attention on the eclectic, kaleidoscopic range of wine bottles in the fridges and on the shelves.
Not up for buying a bottle? There’s always a small line-up of wines by-the-glass. Plus a menu of share plates to enjoy. The menu will change often, but Ortiz anchovies, Cuca mussels, La Luna Holy Goat Cheeses and charcuterie courtesy of LP’s Quality Meats always feature in some capacity.