Magnum + Queens
Kirsten Dickie and Virginia Selleck launched their smart and thoughtfully curated online wine store, Magnum + Queens, in 2017. Following its success, they transformed the online experience into a physical store in South Melbourne in June 2018. With slate green walls, a charcoal-grey communal table and warm lighting, it makes shopping for wine an almost calming experience.
And while it is definitely a wine store, there are a few differences to your local bottle-o. There isn’t a counter as such – it’s just part of the communal table where staff are waiting to offer advice. There will also always be wines on offer for tasting, and customers are encouraged to sit and chat about what they like and don’t like before making a decision.
With more than 700 bottles to choose from, that’s probably a good idea – and you’re in good hands. Before launching Magnum + Queens, Selleck spent time as a sommelier at Rockpool, Cumulus, and the Stokehouse.
Other than wine, the store offers a small and well thought-out selection of spirits, vermouth and an ever-changing selection of local and international beer. There are a few esoteric drops such as Escubac from France – a gorgeously presented juniper-less botancial liquor – and Seedlip, an alcohol-free distilled spirit from the UK.
With “magnum” in the business’s name naturally there are some of those in store as well, but it didn’t come from the large-format 1.5-litre wine bottles. Rather, it’s a tribute to another Selleck – Tom – and the moustached ’80s private investigator he played on Magnum, P.I.. The “Queens” addition? Inspired by the famous New York burrough of the same name, which Dickie and Selleck were travelling through in a taxi while brainstorming names for the store.