ReWine is not your typical bottle shop. You may have seen owner Marshall Waters selling wine out of barrels at the Preston or Queen Victoria Markets, or at his newest outpost, a wine bar and shop in Brunswick East.
There are 12 large wooden barrels on display at Waters and Hugo Pinsent’s Lygon Street store, and slightly more at the Queen Victoria Market stall. (The original ReWine at Preston Market, which ran for 12 years, was recently sold). You can taste any wine you want from the barrels. The wine list is designed so there’s something for everyone, from shiraz and pinot, to less-mainstream varietals including verdicchio (a white-wine grape grown in central Italy) and nebbiolo (a red-wine grape predominantly from Piedmont, Italy).
Your first purchase at ReWine will come in a new glass wine bottle. When you’ve finished it at home, wash it with hot water and return to any ReWine outlet to have it refilled with the same wine or another. Oxidation and tainting of the wines is prevented with a special argon-gas system.
And you’re not limited to a 750-millilitre bottle, either – if you can carry it, ReWine will sell it to you. The cost of a refill is $3 less than buying a new bottle.
With more than 30 years’ experience in the wine industry as a restaurateur and wine supplier, Waters has strong relationships with big and small winemakers across south-eastern Australia. Because he works directly with producers, he can provide high quality wines at a fraction of the cost regular bottle shops charge.
This wine may be surplus to a winery’s bottling requirements for a vintage, or may be product from a boutique producer made on such a small scale it would be difficult to bring to market any other way.
The Brunswick East location opened last month. As with Queen Victoria Market, customers can purchase wines by the glass, but the Lygon Street bar has more space and closes later.
There’s a menu of small plates including cheese, charcuterie and jaffles. A food offering at the Queen Victoria Market location will begin in a few weeks. (Previously drinkers could bring in food from other market operators).
“I just love learning about wine and telling people about it,” Waters says. “We’re all about democratising and demystifying wine for people. People can come in and trust their own palate.” Everything in stock is available to taste, all of the time.
There are another benefits to refilling the same bottle, apart from producing less waste, Waters says.
“Your neighbours don't know how much you're drinking because you're not constantly filling up your recycle bin.”
ReWine Bar and Wineshop
522 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
1300 727 186
Wed to Sun 11am–9pm
ReWine Queen Victoria Market
Stall 92, A Shed, Corner of Victoria and Elizabeth Streets, CBD
Tue & Thu 8am–2pm
Fri to Sun 8am–4pm