Wine guys Mark Nelson and Lyndon Kubis have poured a respectable quota in their time. Along with partner Renton Carlyle-Taylor, their wine-bar/shop mini-empire includes The Alps, Toorak Cellars, Milton Wine Shop and The Hills. Their snug Collingwood 75-seater, The Moon, opened in September 2017.
Just to be clear, this is not a moon-themed bar. Architect Camilla Burke and I am Not Mason can take credit for the deftly minimal fit-out that uses lots of natural materials including concrete, stone and stained wood, plus the veritable calling card solar eclipse wall lights.
There are around 400 wines to either take away or consume in-store (for added corkage), with 20 rotating by-the-glass options that are thoughtfully curated with help from sommelier Campbell Burton. Sidekicks include a small selection of low-maintenance “classic wine-bar fare” – as Nelson describes it – such as toasties (filled with, in one instance, pulled brisket and jalapeno), charcuterie (from nearby Meatsmith) and the ever-agreeable cheese plate. More considerable “snacks” include lamb ribs with fennel, pork ribs with chilli, and saganaki.
Nelson and Kubis are particular about their wine. For them, it’s about region and environment, compared to, say, the reputation or hand of the winemaker.