It seems apt that Enoteca Centro is opening on the cusp of summer. This airy, open-plan wine bar will be a welcome balm for the CBD workers seeking something different to the selection of moody, corporate-chic bars that populate the city centre. Enoteca Centro is on Wesley Lane, hidden from the hustle of Hay Street by the towering 19th-century Wesley Uniting Church. The bar’s courtyard is bathed in the dappled sunlight of surrounding trees with the warm red brick of the church creating the ambience of an Italian piazza.
“Enoteca” means “wine library”, and in Italy they are considered a vital community gathering space. But according to Brendan Jansen, co-owner of Enoteca Centro and a “master of wine” (one of only 26 in Australia and according to Jansen the only one in Perth), this doesn’t mean the bar is exclusively for “wine geeks”. “We’ve got wine experts here, but it’s a snob-free zone. It’s not about showing how much you know and going through what you have tasted and where you’ve visited,” Jansen tells Broadsheet.
Jansen is a psychiatrist by trade, but when his family moved to Italy for a few years in 2010, he could finally follow his passion for wine. He began what he calls his “Everest”, and spent almost 10 years working towards his master of wine qualification. “My superpower, if you can call it that, is I can taste a wine and have a pretty good stab at where it’s from, how old it is, and what the variety is. But most importantly, I know quality,” he says.
Save 20% when you buy two or more Broadsheet books. Order now to make sure they arrive in time for Christmas.SHOP NOW
Alongside Jansen’s 130-bottle strong wine list, which is broken down by taste, head chef Michael Ingham has crafted a menu of European-inspired share plates that will change with the seasons. The menu currently has the kind of fresh, vibrant dishes you’d slowly indulge in while sipping chilled wine in the sun (think burrata with pickled fennel, lemon and mint).
For Jansen, Enoteca Centro is about sharing his love for wine. Whether that’s by introducing a novice wine appreciator to the bar’s Italian wine flight, or by taking a deep dive into Western Australian wines. And for city workers heading home after eight hours of fluorescent lights and screen-time, a taste of European relaxation at Enoteca Hour (where wines are 25 per cent off from 5pm until 6pm) is the ideal antidote.
Shop/10 Wesley Lane, 93 William Street, Perth
(08) 9215 0200
Mon & Tue – 11.30am–9pm
Sat & Sun closed