Oh Hobart, you ever evolving troublemaker. What was once a town where a trip to the Birdcage Bar was seen as the height of imbibing lavish liquors now has many more (and better) options to choose from. Here in the first of a series we check out a couple of the new kids.
Hop Vine & Still
Andrew Wilcox dreamed of opening a bottle shop, the type of bottle shop he wanted to shop in. With his wife sharing this passion they recently opened up Hop, Vine and Still on Murray Street.
The store they’ve created is striking and contemporary. Rows of bottles are accented by decorations of flowers. Natural light streams in from the windows that front one side. Most of the work designing the space they took on themselves.
Wine is sorted not by grape but by flavour : think ‘Dry / Fruity Blueberry Blackberry’ or ‘Light Herbal Grassy’. It’s a comprehensive range with a lot that was unfamiliar to me but regular tastings are held to educate and Andrew was very knowledgeable and helpful when we visited. More natural wines are planned to be added soon.
They’ve also spirits from all over the world and a very respectable range of craft beers, including being the sole local distributors for the excellent Bentspoke range. As well as tastings they’ve many more events in the pipeline and a loyalty card has just been launched.
Hop Vine & Still are located at 158 Murray Street, Hobart
Johnston & Miller
Advertising themselves as a combination of cafe, wine bar, bottle shop and providore; Johnstone & Miller opened on the first floor of the new Icon Complex in May.
The bottle shop features a wide array of wines both local and overseas. There’s some very interesting drops at very competitive prices. Local beers and ciders are also well represented.
Plenty of opportunities are available to taste all that is on offer as well. Any bottle of wine from the racks is available to drink there with a set $20 corkage or $4 per bottle for beer and cider.
And from their huge range of spirits things get even better. Flights of gin and whisky are available from $10 and they are all available to purchase individually as 10ml tastings.
The providore has much to take home and enjoy; with cheeses, meats and condiments both local and imported.
When staying for a drink there’s plenty to nibble on including pastries from Imago, various cheese and grazing platters, and more substantial meals such as pork and fennel meatballs. It’s not just alcohol either with some great coffee and teas as well. The space is bright and spacious, with plenty of room between tables, and the service friendly.
Johnston & Miller offers a quiet hideaway or takeaway in the middle of the CBD, 1st floor 55-59 Murray St.