Vinoshis feels like your living room, not a wine bar. It’s the first hospitality venture for winemaking couple Jasmine Wakely and Yuri Zinenko, who wanted to bring both classic and left-of-centre natural wines from Australia and Europe to the previously under-serviced Ivanhoe East Village.
The pair met working at retailer Blackhearts and Sparrows, before going on to make their own small-batch wines. Wakely makes Le Timbre wine, while Zinenko is behind Calyx. Their passion is evident in their extensive (yet unpretentious) wine knowledge, which they generously share while offering you different drops to try. (They might even show you photos of the volcanic-soil vineyards some of their Sicilian wines are raised in.) The wine list is ever-expanding, with new bottles from Australia and across Europe rotated in each week (including Le Timbre and Calyx). The bar also serves a range of beers, sake, spirits and non-alcoholic wines.
Pair a glass (or bottle) with something from the share-plate menu. There’s oozing burrata with red capsicum dip and pickled Lombardi peppers; perfectly vinegary white anchovies; and a signature share plate with cured meats, cheese, house-pickled vegetables and All Are Welcome sourdough. You can expect to find many Victorian ingredients here – including Holy Goat cheese from Sutton Grange and salami from The Meat Room in Kilmore East.
The space is rustic and intimate, set at the front of the heritage-listed, redbrick East Ivanhoe Village. It was once the first home of the iconic Biviano and Sons grocer. When Wakely and Zinenko moved in, they ripped up the decades-old lino to reveal the original floorboards, which now contrast against the exposed brick walls. Their friend Marcus Carne of Cous Cous furniture made the sleek timber bar.
Once you settle into a bottle at Vinoshis it’s hard to leave. If you’re in a hurry, buy a bottle and some snacks to go. Suited for smaller groups of up to six, Vinoshis is a cosy, walk-in kind of place. But it’s worth getting a table early. Around 7pm on a weekend night, you’ll find the indoor and al fresco spaces already brimming with locals.
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