P&V Merchants is part bottle shop, part community incubator and a whole lot of fun. It's by some of Sydney’s more innovative food and drinks specialists, including journalist, presenter and White Russian-loving Mike Bennie (sustainable food, wine and farming festival Rootstock) and some of the team from Mary’s, The Lansdowne and The Unicorn Hotel).
It’s pushing the boundaries of wine and liquor retail. It stocks some of the wines served at Mary’s and beers by local breweries. The team also collaborates with friends and local businesses including Earl’s Juke Joint, Mary’s and Bloodwood to create batches of takeaway cocktails in returnable bottles.
And it sells TV dinners by chefs from Mary’s and others. There are meat and vegetarian options, which you can pick up with a bottle of wine for under $50.
The exclusive wine blends M&V stocks are poured from a tap (available in 375 millilitres, 750 millilitres and growler size), and there are daily tastings between 4pm and 8pm. Wines are grouped “feel”. Expect to find bottles listed under “textural and exotic white” or “light and bright red” or “park wines”.
The design is low-fi: shelves made from recycled Australian timber; bric a brac for a homey feel. There’s a courtyard with native and introduced citrus trees and up-cycled furniture.
And it’s home to the Mike Bennie Centre for Good Wine, where Bennie hosts classes and special one-off tastings. There’s a small library of wine and drinks magazines and books; comfy chairs; and a table for 20 to host wine events.