Little Prince Wine
Little Prince Wine is a small Euro-inspired wine bar, shop and deli on Acland Street that's almost hidden amongst the scale of its older sibling, the vast art deco Prince Hotel. It’s a spot that equally calls for casual glasses of pinot noir, a hunk of brie from the deli, or a mortgage-inducing splurge on a rare bottle from the cellar below.
The day-to-day is overseen by Laurent Rospars, a former chef and head sommelier at The Prince Hotel since 2011. Rospars grew up in France’s Loire region, bottling wine with his father and grandfather and shucking oysters for tourists. For Little Prince Wine, he’s curated over 4,000 bottles spanning the more accessible to the extremely rare. What you find depends on where you go at Little Prince.
In the bar, the wines are approachable, affordable and geared to pair with food. The full cellar selection is available to drink in by the bottle if you wish, but three or so wines rotate daily by the glass, like Silent Way’s Macedon Pinot Noir.
The food is simple – cured meats, cheeses, and a few small snacking plates. It’s not an exhaustive selection, but rather a few good examples of everything. You might find Fourme d’Ambert, a strong, pungent blue cheese from France, ideal with a crisp semillon or a half bottle of sauternes; San Daniele 16-month aged prosciutto; pork, prune and pistachio terrine by Savour and Grace; or crunchy toast with goats cheese, olive oil, vincotto, a red wine reduction. You’ll also find a takeaway fridge with bottled cocktails – classics like a Negroni or Martini – some beach-worthy rosé and a few half bottles.
Down in the cellar, you’ll find the fruit of years of work from Rospars, with rare and incredible examples of some of the best wine worldwide, and that’s no overestimation. Finding examples of the extraordinary – regardless of price or scarcity – is clearly part of the fun for him. That might include a bottle made with the Pineau D’aunis grape variety or a Rockford Alicante Bouchet. There might also be Australian classics like old vintage Bannockburn Pinot Noir and Yangarra’s High Sands Grenache, alongside Bordeaux’s flagship Petrus, Germany’s Trimbach Clos Ste. Hune Riesling or Pommery’s Champagne Louise 1996.
You can enjoy one of the drops in the bar, at the communal table in the cellar (also set up for private functions), or with an upscale pub meal upstairs at The Prince Hotel.
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