Among the concrete jungle of Sydney CBD lies a little piece of wine heaven. Handpicked Wines is a little cellar door located on Kensington st in Chippendale. I check out Handpicked Wines Cellar Door recently on a Tuesday night.
I love wine so I really enjoy seeing all the wine bottles on display. My friend ST and I have had an epic few days at work so we are looking forward to chilling. We sit down for an evening of wine, cheese and meats. It's a nice venue for a date or an after work drink.
ST and I sit at one of the tasting tables and meet sommelier Alicia. Alicia has a wealth of knowledge in wine and talks us through the options. There are three options for wine tasting:
- Experience Tasting ($10) with your choice of 6 wines, 4 from the regional selection and 2 from the collection selection
- Discovery Tasting ($15) with your choice of 6 wines. 2 from the regional section and 4 from the collection selection.
- Explorer Tasting ($20) the 'posh' choice where you choose 4 from their collection range and 2 from their single vineyard range.
If you buy two or more bottles of wine then the tasting experience is free.
My friend ST and I both go for the Discovery Tasting. ST chooses Pinot Grio from Delle De Venezie in Italy which is a cooler climate. Pinot Grio is fast becoming my favourite kind of white wine - light, fruity and balanced.
These days I generally prefer my red wines, generally the full bodied shiraz or cabernet sauvigon but I am starting to appreciate the pinot noirs and cabernet merlots. Hand Picked wines has a really nice Shiraz from the Barossa Valley in South Australia in their collection selection which I recommend trying. The Barossa Valley is known for their shiraz so it's hard to go wrong. I drink the velvety, deep plum flavours and let it soak in my soul.
While I haven't bought a bottle of Moscato for about 10 years since my palette has matured - Alicia gives ST and I the hot tip. The Moscato D'asti from Piedmont, Italy is the perfect accompaniment to the blue vein french cheese. I keep this in the back of my mind. She's very helpful.
Because it's been an extra long few days. ST and I continue drinking.
For a limited amount of time you can make your own frozen champagne cocktail - a prose. It starts with a lemon sorbet and some prosecco. Get ready to whisk the sorbet/prosecco mix and then DIY garnish include fairfloss and edible flowers.
Naturally, the fairy floss and the lemon sorbet adds quite a bit of sweetness. I love the DIY element as it adds to your childhood creativity. I am loving the fairy floss. Cheers my friend.
To complete our Handpicked Wines Cellar Door Experience, we had to order some of the freshly sliced proscuitto from San Daniele. It's perfect with the olives and bread sticks.
Given ST has lived in France and has some cheese knowledge, we both enjoy the Brillat Savarin with Truffles which is an indulgent triple cream with a layer of truffles from France. We also get some of the Mons Roqueford which is a strong, raw sheep milk blue cheese from France. ST tells me about how rare this cheese is as it was first discovered in a cave in France. The internet tells me that all Mons Roqueford cheese has to spend 3 months these days in these caves to mature.
I am in cheese heaven. The truffle cheese is so delightful with creamy textures and that truffle delicious flavour. That Mons Roqueford has the delightful strong blue vein taste and I imagine ST in a cave in France.
ST and I leave very happy and satisfied. Cheers!
Summary: A little piece of heaven in the middle of the City. I really like my wine and enjoyed the tasting experience at Handpicked Wines Cellar Door. The staff are friendly and helpful. The limited time - DIY cocktail was so much fun.
Keep an eye out for all their events as well. You can do yoga with wine or create a floral arrangement.
Price: Depends on how much you like your wine.
Location: 50 Kensington St, Chippendale.
Mon - Fri - 10am to 10pm
Sat - Sun - 11am to 10pm
Weekend Food Escapes dined as guests of Hand Picked Wines Cellar Door. All photos, words and opinions are my own