West End Wine Store
Bottles of wines clink and clank while Dan, the owner of the Prince Albert Hotel on Wright Street, chats to us about this idea that he and his mate Jono came up with. Jono, for the record, put in careful consideration of each of the bottles on offer. The floor of the Prince Albert, constructed in 1853, squeaks as he moves across it. Just standing in the front bar, it's evident that this place has a lot of history.
Dan (on the left in the picture above) has been at the Prince Albert Hotel for five years. He came on board after the previous owners developed a reputation for good food and good service. He is just the seventh free holder in the hotel's 163-year history. His desire is to continue that good food and good service tradition extends to including equally as good wine; that's where the West End Wine Store, run by Jono, comes into play.
Jono got into wine when he was 19 and - apart from a brief stint with the Army - hasn't left it. He started working at an Adelaide Hills winery, then moved to a cellar door, before being hired by East End Cellars. Following that, he worked at The Lane Vineyard, looking after the vines, and after a string of retail jobs selling wine in Stirling he got sick of working for people and took over his parents' abandoned vineyard.
“[West End Wine Store] is unique and hard to find. We're in the quietist city of Australia, and we're in the quietist area of the Adelaide CBD - and in the quietest room of the pub, too."
After bringing that back to life, he made 3 tonne of wine in the first year. 9 tonne in the second and 32 tonne in the third - which is this year.
Both Ben and Jonno believe the West End is in the midst of a big change. "They're (The Adelaide City Council) cleaning it up. Consumers' wants are changing, the after work pint and schnitty is no longer the desired meal."
"Because we are so hidden, people who discover us love it. 90% of our trade is from regulars."
West End Wine Store is a true-blue wine enthusiasts' store. With bottles hand picked to achieve balance, and a focus on non-commercial products, it must be high on your list of go-to places. Their tasting room is about to open, so get down to the West End Wine Store soon and let some of the flavours dance on your tastebuds.
Happy Friday Frienday West End Wine Store!