Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Strangeloves or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Neighbourhood {Strangeloves Wine Bar Review}

My biggest concern when I moved away from Fitzroy was the loss of wine bars within strolling distance. How could I live without  Hell of the North and Carlton Wine Room? I love my local Irish Pub as much as the next red-headed lass but sometimes life calls for more than a New Zealand Sauv Blanc or a Barossa Shiraz.

Strangeloves to the rescue.

In the restaurant strip of Mt Alexander Road at Moonee Ponds, Strangeloves has a fairly subtle street frontage (unless you approach from the South and catch sight of the Dr.) and a simple elegant front room that flows through into lots of smaller private nooks and comfy couches.

By the time you reach the rustic looking bar you have entered another time and place where all you have to worry about is which wine you are going to choose. The list 'by the glass' is exceptional, changes regularly and there is always some interesting little gems. You can read about a previous experience here (you will need to scroll towards the end to get to my wine rave). If you have more time to linger, there are 14 pages of wines by the bottle with a good range of prices and styles. Make sure you ask the bartender what he recommends, the staff are passionate about wine and can be trusted with some superb recommendations.

We started al fresco in the wine garden (can't call it a beer garden in a wine bar right?:) with a crisp Voyager Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and an exquisite Central Otago Pinot (I forgot what it was, silly me), before the breeze picked up and we moved inside for our food.

In a very clever move you can order food to be delivered to you from local restaurants (a folder with takeaway menus is provided) allowing you to linger longer and enjoy more wine when the hungries strike. We ordered from Meltemi Greek Tavern. I was busy talking wine at the bar when the food arrived so didn't get any snaps (besides, it would be unfair to rate presentation of takeaway food) but it was delish, lots of lovely tender meat (awesomely charcoally), more dip, bread and salad than we could conquer and (naturally) a double serve of salty fried saganaki, all for less than $20 each- We will be going back to Meltemi, and definitely adding it to future wine nights. Strangeloves also have a great little tapas menu we have tried previously (top quality cheese plate!)

Being a Michael Hall devotee I couldn't go past  a 2010 Eden Valley Syrah; rich and spicy with cool climate elegance and we also downed a cheeky Galli Estate Camelback Sangiovese.

There is so much to love about Strangeloves. If you want to learn more about wine I highly recommend taking a seat at the bar and listening and learning. My inner wine geek (a bit more outy than inny, I will admit) left feeling very satisfied.

PS. The whimsical artsy pics must be credited to my buddy Lou, the regular looking ones are mine.

Strangeloves on Urbanspoon

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