Set in the base of Brunswick’s eco-friendly apartment building, The Commons, the new shop has a broad selection of minimal-intervention, small-vineyard wines from Australia, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, Portugal and Spain.

Owner Brad Lucas earned his stripes working as a sommelier at The Lake House in Daylesford, and he has traveled broadly through the wine regions of Europe.

Being a one-man band means that food is necessarily limited. Snacks are confined to Sicilian olives, artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, and his “signature”: a simple pair of hard-boiled eggs served with a dish of sea salt.

But wine, obviously, is the main event. Unlike other bars, Cult of the Vine has no formal list. Lucas chats with customers, offering drops by the glass based on a guest’s mood, fancy or fixation. He’s happy to open “anything within reason”. Cult of the Vine is about encouraging drinkers to wriggle out of their comfort-zones.

The space is done using architectural steel and plywood. Lucas has designed a web of shelving along its walls, and, with his own two hands, built a long central table and counter. He’s also painted a boozy Matissesque mural.

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Updated: May 25th, 2020

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