Inside the quaint Field Blend Wine and Cheese Store on Balmain’s Darling Street owner Aaron Taylor is ready to help customers with his expertise. Before opening this shop he was sommelier at excellent seafood restaurant Cirrus Dining in Barangaroo and, before that, he and partner Martina Brazdovicova owned the Cellar Wine Door in Victoria’s Beechworth.

At Field Blend the focus is on small-scale operators. Nothing it sells is mass-produced in a giant winery.

Examples include a 2016 Piano Piano chardonnay from Beechworth. And a 2017 riesling by Mallaluka in Canberra’s wine district, which benefits from skin contact. There’s a good selection of French wines too, such as the La Sagesse grenache blend from the family-operated Domaine Gramenon in Côtes du Rhône.

A large glass fridge is packed with Australian and French cheeses, and meats from the likes of Romeo’s Fine Food in St Peters. Like the booze, the selection changes regularly, and alongside salumi there are rilettes, patés and terrines. There’s also a coffee machine, with Allpress the house blend.

There are some nice touches, including a vintage meat slicer, handmade timber shelves and blown-glass light fixtures. And best of all, its proximity to the wharf means you can grab a bottle of vino, some meat and cheese, or one of the store’s takeaway hamper boxes, and have a picnic in the park. Lay out a rug and watch the ferries go by.

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Updated: May 8th, 2019

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