Coogee Wine Room will swing open its doors on Tuesday 17 September, revealing a selection of more than 400 wines and a Mediterranean-inspired menu.
The venue concept has been developed over the past ten years by Coogee locals Tom Hardwick and Michelle Morales, inspired by their visits to many of the great wine regions and wineries of the world, as well as Australian and European wine bars.
The wine list will cover nearly all the major wine regions of the world, offering a range of more than 50 varietals, origins, vintages and price points. Curated by Hardwick and venue manager Brooke Adey (Bea, Chiswick, Yellow), it’s a representation of the wine varietals that are typical of the region from which they are sourced. There’ll be a collection of limited-edition, hard-to-find back vintages available too.
“We’ve worked hard to create a balanced list that showcases the best examples of wine varietals that are synonymous with the great wine regions of the world,” says Hardwick. “There’s a lot of smaller, boutique producers on the list but at the end of the day, we love great wine, no matter who produces it.”
Half bottles will be available to purchase, along with more than 25 wines offered by the glass. Roughly half of the 400+ wines will be priced at less than $100 per bottle.
Head chef Sandro Di Marino’s (A Tavola) mediterranean-inspired menu will change frequently, adapting to produce availability and seasonal influences, while taking care to showcase the wines. Designed to share but mindful of solo diners, the menu includes a selection of cheese and charcuterie as well as small and large plates.
Nibbles include Sydney rock oysters, Cantabrian Spanish anchovies with coffee butter, Baccala fritto with yoghurt and pickled red onion, and pork cheek sliders with cavolo nero.
The mushroom carpaccio topped with shaved manchego and a dressing of smoked paprika and thyme and the Greek-inspired char-grilled octopus with lentils are perfect for a light meal, while more sizeable shared plates include eggplant roasted with chermoula and served with a bulgar, green olive and almond salad, market fish with gazpacho and snake beans, lamb rump with spring greens and tarragon sauce, and the 800g steak with rocket and Reggiano.
A chocolate board featuring selected chocolates from wine regions including Barossa and Margaret River and classic ricotta cannoli are on the dessert menu, with sweet drinks such as CWR sgroppino, a frothy Italian dessert sorbetto cocktail made with lemon sorbet, vodka and Prosecco, and an affogato available too.
The refined, casual space, which is split over two floors, was designed by architects TomMarkHenry (Bistecca, Ramen Zundo Sapporo, Indigo Café). The existing industrial elements of the building such as exposed brick walls and concrete floors are a reference to rustic cellar doors, while the introduction of warm timbers, rich leather and marble merges classic with contemporary.
Green hues from the Mediterranean and nearby Coogee beach features consistently throughout. Think Green timber cladding the counters of the bar and kitchen and a façade wrapped by green cladding. The custom-leather wine menus and tabletops share the same deep forest-green tone, as does the upstairs leather banquette lounge. In the middle of the venue a blackened steel staircase wraps the ground level wine collection. The front bar has seating for 21, while there’s an intimate space with seating for 46 upstairs.
The capacity full for Coogee Wine Room is 105. Bookings are accepted but there will always be seats reserved for walk-ins. In addition, the upstairs space is available for private bookings of up to 60 guests.