Strangeloves Wine Bar
Chris and Nikki Exell are the husband-and-wife duo behind this cosy wine bar, which has been welcoming Moonee Ponds locals since 2010. It’s much homier than the slick, design-led wine bars typical of the CBD, with comfy furniture (including lounge chairs), conversation-level music and vintage wallpapers and posters. Like the local pub, it’s a place where bookings are optional and you can pretty much stay as long as you like.
With nearly 500 bottles, the wine list deserves a lot of your time. Just under 20 wines are offered by the glass, favouring classic and established labels over natural or avant garde. Local names like Babich, Rockford, Balgownie Estate and Turkey Flat dominate, alongside a smaller number of options from New Zealand, Argentina and Europe. Golden age cocktails like the Vieux Carre, Martini and Corpse Reviver are also possibilities, alongside an impressive number of whiskies, scotches and gins.
The kitchen turns out drinking-friendly shared plates, including jamón serrano croquettes, arancini bites, charcuterie and cheese boards that might include baked brie and baked Camembert. Once you’ve got food in one hand, leave space for a suit of cards in the other. Strangeloves also has card and board games, to keep you entertained for hours.
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