When I first visited Old Palm Liquor last year, the house wine really impressed me. If I could only drink that for an entire night and had to ignore the 300-plus other wines on the list, I’d be perfectly happy. Truly.
The first of three house wines, a perfume-y blend of cabernet franc and cinsault from the Barossa, is made by Tom Shobbrook, one of the very first natural-wine producers in Australia (and still one of the best).
The other two come from brothers Damon and Jono Koerner, winners of the 2019 Young Gun of Wine Award, who inherited their Clare Valley vineyard from their parents. They make a fresh, zesty, minimal intervention riesling, plus Bright Red, a wacky blend of 10 grapes (chardonnay, riesling, vermentino, cabernet franc, malbec, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese, pinot noir and petit verdot) served slightly chilled. They’re both excellent.
Old Palm Liquor buys these three wines in huge volumes, up to 4000 litres at a time, and serves them on tap. Ordinarily, they’re sold by the glass, for the astonishingly good price of $9. But with all restaurants restricted to takeaway in the wake of coronavirus, Old Palm has started selling this wine in old school milk bottles to take home. A litre is just $20 and disappears faster than you’d think. Draught beer, sold in the same litre bottles, is $10.
On this topic, Old Palm Liquor is one of the many restaurants that’s pivoted to takeaway food this week (see our full, live list here). A revised menu is on Uber Eats, but you can also call (03) 9380 2132 and order directly, like I did last night.
The battered shallot with cashew sour cream and pickled jalapeno – arguably 2019’s bar snack of the year – is still available, alongside a crisp pork-shoulder samosa with peri peri sauce, a bunch of wood-fired open sandwiches that are easy to eat with your hands, and a baked cheesecake for dessert. It’s all delicious – especially so with that house wine, which is only available for pick up.