When A and I first started dating we headed into Fremantle for lunch. On our way back, A stopped in East Fremantle to go to one of her favourite wine stores, conveniently named The Wine Store. I remember choosing to sit in the car while she ‘popped’ in, thinking that she’d only be a few minutes. Twenty minutes later, A was still nowhere to be seen and I was getting restless. I was also intrigued to know what had kept her occupied for so long so I ventured inside. This was the day that I first met the brilliance of The Wine Store.
So when I got the email from one of the owners about the opening of their new wine bar, A and I were both excited to attend. Unfortunately at the last minute A was called into work and couldn’t accompany me on the night. Regardless, I headed along by my lonesome to check out the new wine bar in East Fremantle.
The Wine Store Wine Bar is situated next door to The Wine Store and is across the road from Hubble’s Yard. When I arrived, I was nerdishly on time, so I took the opportunity to wonder around the new venue. The decor is clean, modern, minimalistic and features natural coloured furniture, wood and lots of greenery. There are a few walls which are plastered with grainy photographs and the other walls are left with the natural brick work or painted white. The decor is lovely and it’s a very comfortable surrounding to be in. I especially love the plant features which add a little colour and vibrance to the rooms.
Once you enter the bar area to the side, you are introduced to an area that encompasses wine. There are wine bottles punctuating the area on different surfaces and the ‘windows’ on the back wall are actually windows into The Wine Store next door. I particularly like this feature as it links the two establishments nicely.
The bar is stocked with options, so if you aren’t a wine drinker you’ll still be catered for. There’s a great beer list, with beers on tap and in bottles, which features local and international beers. There’s also an extensive cider list and spirits are also available.
I made my way to the bar to try one of the many wines on offer. I chose a glass of the Jed Blanc de Blanc Sparkling from Argentina ($9). It’s a light bodied but acidic glass of sparkling, made only with white grapes. At the time of ordering, I didn’t realise that one of the owners of The Wine Store also co-owns Jed Wines, which produces and imports wine from Argentina. It was my first time trying a Jed wine and I would definitely order it again.
I was excited to try the food and sat near the kitchen to watch the preparation. The food began to arrive and over the night I tried numerous different options from the food menu. I have also heard that they plan to continuously change the food options according to seasonal produce and availability, so some of the dishes mentioned below might not be available if you venture to The Wine Store Wine Bar in future.
The first hors d’oeuvre to arrive were Fig with Blue Cheese on fresh bread squares. These aren’t on the menu but were a lovely addition to the night, as the figs were grown on premises.
The second arrival were fresh Oysters, which The Wine Store Wine Bar offer ‘au naturel’ or with Vanilla, Lime and Pickled Fennel ($3.50 each).
I was intrigued to try the next dish, which was Fremantle Sardines on Toast, ‘Bloody Mary Style’ ($11.50). I don’t normally eat sardines but for some reason I wanted to try this dish. A huge recommendation follows – the sardines were fresh and the light tabasco flavour in the tomato salsa underneath was extremely appealing.
The Warm Green Beans, Wild Mushroom Butter and Toasted Almonds ($8.50) dish had great flavours and was a very pleasant dish, as the beans were crunchy and the flavour of the wild mushroom butter came through nicely. The Chicken Liver Parfait, which was served with Toasted Brioche ($14.00), was a definite favourite of the night. The Chicken Liver Parfait had great flavour and texture and would be a great dish to share over a bottle of wine.
There were a few other dishes floating around which I wasn’t able to get a photo of, including the Beef Empanadas ($12). These empanadas were really good and another recommendation from PFJ who had two on the night!
On the food menu there are other options, such as handcut chips, grilled prawns, croquettes and olives. All the dishes seem to be created especially to match the style of the venue, and it is very French/Apéritif style. In France, an apéritif is a snack that precedes a meal and is normally accompanied with a glass of wine or spirit.
The Wine Store Wine Bar has only been open for just over a month now but already it has gained attention from Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine, who recently mentioned the small bar in its April issue as an “instant hit”. You can tell the owners and staff are passionate about their wine and food, and have put a lot of effort in the opening of The Wine Store Wine Bar. I particularly like the idea of The Wine Store Wine Bar’s food menu and would recommend going to The Wine Store Wine Bar for a pre or post dinner drink and nibble (aka Apéritif).
I am looking forward to returning soon for a French-style apéritif!
A special thanks to Rob, Anna & The Wine Store team for inviting PFJ to the opening!