Gavin Duley sends in the one and only review of an independent wine merchant in Australia (have the Ozzies given up on wine?). Thankfully there is one wine merchant still going strong...
My favourite independent retailer has always been East End Cellars, in the east of the Adelaide CBD. It has, of course, a great selection of wines, from the most classic and well known (e.g., Penfolds, Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux) to the boutique and unusual (e.g., Nicolas Joly, Lucy Margaux Vineyards). It's always a great place to go and grab a bottle of something interesting.
Impressively, they seem to know many of their better customers by name. I've never been one of their better customers, but got the same treatment simply because I was a wine science student. It finally counted for something! Impressively, after being out of Adelaide for a few years, the then manager Gus still remembered me.
One of the weirdest coincidences that's ever happened to me revolves around this shop, too. One of the staff was going on holiday to France, and I gave him a few suggestions of places to visit in Burgundy, including a small restaurant in Beaune. I visited Burgundy myself later that year, and of course visited what is my favourite restaurant there. Part way through the meal, the same person from my local winestore was sat opposite me by the waiter. No planning, I didn't even know when he was going to be in France! I'm still not sure how this worked out ...
When not following me around the world (it's the one time this has happened, honest...) their staff provide friendly, helpful service and they all know their stuff. They also have tastings from producers - both from nearby and further afield - which have provided a chance to try some interesting wines.
This is all making me think about wine! Which reminds me, I must go back and see what they've got in stock that's interesting ...
East End Cellars
23 - 25 Vardon Avenue
South Australia 5000
tel +61 8 8232 5300