What makes a bottle shop more than just a bottle shop? Free wine tastings each week? Masterclasses with importers and suppliers? Or the knowledge of the staff? Whisk together all of the above and you get Rathdowne Cellars.
Bee and Cameron Kidd purchased the store from Cameron’s father Eddie in 2016. But Cameron no stranger – he’s been working in the store since the early 2000s. Bee is the winemaker at Riesling producer Crawford River Wines in Western Victoria.
The shop stocks the best wines from Australia and beyond. Premium selections from Bass Phillip, Craiglee, Mount Mary and Henschke sit alongside smaller, one-man operations such as Thick as Thieves and the internationally renowned Armand Rousseau. If it’s hard to find, it will probably be here.
A large selection of beer, spirits (primarily gin and whisky) and aperitifs are also on hand. The bare bones of the store remain with some cosmetic upgrades, leaving an established go-to for well-heeled locals and aspiring wine buffs.
The extensive range can also be purchased online, but it’s better to visit the store, where trained staff will deliver based on your taste, your meal or most commonly, your price point.