To enter through the bright red door of Pour Diane’s Victoria Street shopfront is like stepping into the 1970s. The decor at this wine shop and bar from Andy and Tina Buchan, the husband and wife duo behind La Cave Garage (the tiny natural wine shop opposite Soi 38) is playfully nostalgic.

Pour Diane’s eccentric centrepiece is an orange velour rotating bed, complete with tiger print covers – it’s great for lounging by the window across from a wall of French, European and Australian natural wines. It’s paired with vibrant green chairs centred around a cherry-red table, chrome lamps, a panther statue, chess set, fireplace and wood panelled bar.

Chances are whoever is pouring your vino looks like they’ve stepped straight out of Magnum PI or The Love Boat, whether they’re in a safari suit or an ostentatious ruffled shirt. Pour Diane is pure fun.

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“The outfits [of the 1970s] are truly fabulous and the interior design was just spectacular, with a level of decadence I’m not sure we will ever see again,” Andy tells Broadsheet.

“I’ve never really understood why, but natural wine evokes a sense of freedom of expression in me and a bit of playful fun, maybe taking life a little less seriously and creating a bit of a fantasy, which is what we want to evoke in people when they come to Pour Diane.”

Andy is a trained mathematician and a winemaker for Adaption, a small two-acre organic winery in Harcourt (for which Pour Diane is the unofficial cellar door), and Tina runs fashion agency Lady Ranger.

The venue is named for Tina’s mother and nods to the combined Australian and French influences. “We visited Paris last year and really enjoyed the natural wine scene there,” Andy says. “We loved the little neighbourhood venues like Delicatessen Cave, Chambre Noir, La Buvette and Aux Deux Amis, and these have all inspired Pour Diane in some way.”

The eclectic shop has an epic selection of somewhere between 200 and 300 cellar bottles – Andy hasn’t counted – and natural wine lovers can sit in and drink by the glass or by the bottle, with a flat $25 corkage fee.

“We just open a few bottles each day and really, it’s whoever is first in each day gets to choose what we open, then we sell or drink that until it’s finished,” Andy says.

The emphasis is on small, boutique wineries, and Pour Diane has a group of passionate importers to thank for the French and European selection.

“Next time you enjoy that delicious glass of boutique natural wine, it’s worth remembering that someone trekked to the other side of the world, not exactly sure what they were looking for but hoping they would find the amazing wine you’re drinking – and then when they found it they brought it back just for you to enjoy!”

The food for now is simple – bread, tinned seafood, cheese and the occasional terrine or tapenade. But eventually, the Buchans want to offer a home-style one-pot meal. And while they’re loving these warm nights with guests sitting out on one of the footpath tables, Andy says the pair are looking forward to cosy winter evenings in front of their stunning vintage copper Coonara woodfired heater, glass in hand.

Pour Diane
472 Victoria St, North Melbourne
No phone

Hours:
Thu to Sat 3pm–9pm

@pourdiane