As the first bathers make their way to the sands of Coogee beach this spring, a brand-new European-style wine room will be pouring its first drops for the public. Coogee Wine Room will open in September, with a 400-bottle wine list encompassing almost every major wine region in the world and more than 50 varietals.
“While we want Coogee Wine Room to be a great place to come and enjoy some fabulous wine and food, we also want to offer an experience and an education,” venue manager Brooke Adey (Bea, Chiswick, Yellow) tells Broadsheet. “We want to do justice to the world of wine, which we didn’t think we could do if we limited ourselves. We wanted to represent as many regions and varietals as we could.”
More than half the bottles cost less than $100, and there’s a selection of limited-edition and hard-to-find back vintages. There will also be an impressive 30 wines by the glass.
“We want to make sure that guests can come in on a regular basis and try something new,” says Adey, who put together the wine list with the bar’s co-owner Tom Hardwick. “Our wines by the glass are also a snapshot of our whole list. Where we’ve gone to the effort to show the different styles of shiraz from around the world, we wanted to give people a choice between something from a cooler climate and something from their warmer counterparts. You might already know what you like, or you might want to try both and see what you prefer, and learn why.”
A succinct Mediterranean food menu will accompany the wine, crafted by head chef Sandro Di Marino, formerly of Italian restaurant A Tavola. It’ll include small dishes such as Sydney rock oysters; Spanish anchovies; and ricotta ravioli with chestnut, parsnip and butter. Larger dishes will include pork-cheek sliders and chargrilled octopus with lentils and herbs. Cheese and charcuterie will also be available.
“With the breadth of our list, wine will always be a huge part of what we do and what will hopefully set our venue apart. But, once you’re settled in, I know you won’t be able to go past ordering a snack or two,” says Adey.
The two-level bar has been designed by architecture firm TomMark Henry (Ramen Zundo, Bistecca, Dead Ringer). Original industrial features – exposed-brick walls and concrete floors – will be softened with warm timber, leather and marble. A blackened steel staircase will connect the two floors.
Coogee Wine Room is slated to open in September.