It’s all well and good making the trip to wine country and vineyards’ cellar doors, but what if you’re just too busy? This cool city cellar door in Sydney means you can stay in the city but still enjoy that winery experience and it’s seeing a change in how people experience wine. Plus, check out their whole new take on the frosé craze…
Two of our all-time favourite things to do is travel and try new wine. So when Mrs Romance and I heard about Handpicked Wines and their ingenious business model, of course we were intrigued.
Imagine being able to travel the world through the wine that you’re drinking, and not only can you stay in the same winery cellar door, you don’t even have to leave the city!
This is what Handpicked Wines have curated: a range of wines from 21 of the finest wine regions around the world – from 3 continents and 5 different countries.
Back in Sydney, they’ve set up their Urban Cellar Door for city folk too busy to make the journey to places like Chile’s Central Valley or Bordeaux in France… or matter the Barossa or Margaret River in Australia for that matter.
It’s such a good idea, and the cellar door itself is stunning.
The recently redeveloped site of the old Carlton Brewery in Chippendale seems like the perfect spot for a fresh youthful wine brand with an eye on sustainability. It certainly fits with the way this suburb has changed.
At the cellar door you can sit at the bar for a more traditional style wine tasting or you can grab a table in the lounge area. There’s also a tasting room for special events and group bookings.
Did I mention Handpicked do cheese?
At first you’d think the food options here are limited (the cellar door is right next to places like Spice Alley and Central Park Mall after all), but then you realise that the page is pretty much all cheese.
And not just any cheese – it’s cheese from Ocello – probably one of the best cheese dealers in the country. These guys are incredible. This creamy truffle-veined Brillat Savarin from France is mind-blowing.
Prosé – makes frosé look a bit silly
If the wine, the cellar door experience and cheese weren’t enough to convince you that this place is a bit special, then this should do the trick.
The smart folk at Handpicked have come up with a way of trumping the craze of frozen rosé that leapt up a little while back.
They call it prosé.
Now, it’s definitely something you can do at home – I’ll give you the how-to in a minute – but enjoying this bubbly cocktail at the place of its birth is much better. Plus you don’t have to wash anything up after.
Handpicked Prosé recipe
Making Prosé – as in a kind of ‘frozen’ Prosecco – is simple yet effective. Here’s what you do:
1. In a mixing glass, put 1 scoop of lemon sorbet and gradually pour in a serving of Handpicked’s Prosecco from Veneto, Italy.
2. As you pour, mix with a small whisk or fork until you get a smooth slightly frothy texture.
3. Pour the mixture carefully into your coupé style champagne glass.
4. Finally complete the drink with the toppings Handpicked provide: cotton candy and tiny flowers.
Obviously, this isn’t for everyone. I preferred my glass of Yarra Valley Pinot Noir, but Mrs Romance enjoyed the whole experience immensely.
Handpicked Urban Cellar Door
50 Kensington Street
Of course, an urban cellar door will never quite replace the whole experience of travelling to a wine region, meeting the different wine makers at each of their cellar doors and trying their wines.
However, if you want to experience the feeling of travel without movement, of venturing into the taste of the wine world in an afternoon, Handpicked holds the stamp to your passport.
Handpicked are now also offering a Monday-to-Friday lunch option, where you can pick up a delicious sandwich or ploughman’s with a glass of wine for $18 and $24 respectively.
Think organic brie and jamon serrano, truffle salami and aged cheddar, roasted eggplant, beautiful pecorino, sourdough… much better than what you’ll bring to work from home!
What’s your favourite thing about visiting a winery cellar door? Would you try a glass of Prosé? Talk to us in the comments!