You’ll never guess what Beaconsfield Wine Bar is about or where it’s located. Okay, maybe you will. But while there’s a prosaic quality to the name of Beaconsfield’s newest drinking establishment, don’t go thinking this is some colour-by-numbers wine bar. Vivid jolts of teal (freshly painted walls! Porcelain tiling throughout!) bring this born-again cake shop to life; custom furniture from Remington Matters beautifies the room; the drinks offering roams far and wide and takes in everything from blue-chip wines and big-night-out champagne to thoughtfully chosen non-alcoholic options. In short: owner Matt Sharples has thought long and hard about making Beaconsfield Wine Bar a destination for all.
“We want to be a neighbourhood wine bar for everyone,” says Sharples, a former venue manager at Madalena’s. “We’ll always find something delicious for guests to drink, even if it means we have to open something new for you.”
While it’s reassuring to know that Sharples is happy to raid the cellar to quench guests’ thirsts, the bar’s early drinks lists suggest that probably won’t be necessary. The by-the-glass options include snappily priced Australian fizz and gluggable Adelaide Hills gamay and Margaret River rosé. (While new-generation winemakers feature prominently on the list, the wine choices eschew the wild and woolly and favour well-made, approachable styles.)
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Non-wine choices are limited to straight-shooting cocktails – Negronis, Saison vermouth and soda – overseen by bar manager Jackson Gwynne while teetotallers, designated drivers and those spacing their drinks can rehydrate on Cielo sodas, Mischief Brew softies, Seedlip and tonics and other non-alcoholic pleasures. Expect plenty of movement on the list from week to week, as much to keep guests interested as to help Sharples and team move through the bar’s 200-ish collection of bottles.
Foodwise, Beaconsfield Wine Bar is staying faithful to the French cave a vin model with cheese, charcuterie and tinned seafood forming the cornerstone of the menu. In a neat nod to Sharples’s time in Adelaide – the Londoner spent time working with well-known Adelaide chef Andre Ursini – the menu also includes “cheesy crisps”, a cacio e pepe-inspired snack that sees potato chips showered with an unholy amount of shaved pecorino and pepper. (Sharples says the idea came from legendary Adelaide wine bar, Hellbound.)
Baked goods from friends at Teeter and Hunter Bread will also be on the menu with Sharples hoping to invite guest chefs to do pop-ups in future. But, for now, the focus is on getting to know the locals and making sure Beaconsfield Wine Bar is somewhere that the neighbours will want to make their own.
“We really didn't want it to feel like a bar,” says Sharples. “We want guests to feel like they’re in our kitchen or living room. You’re just sitting down at my house, we’ll have a chat and I’ll bring over a glass of wine that I think you’re going to like. But it’s very much going to be about seeing what the people want and making sure there are always good things to eat and drink.”
Beaconsfield Wine Bar
4B/115 Lefroy Rd, Beaconsfield