Located on the Woollahra end of Oxford Street (and does anyone really know the difference between Woollahra and Paddington?), The Wine Library is a European-style bar run by the folks responsible for Buzo. There’s a long zinc bar counter you can sit at (complete with hooks underneath for your bag), an impressive array of wines behind the bar, various tables dotted around and a friendly, subdued atmosphere that’s more sophisticated than funky. There are also some cute touches, such as the glass olive bowls made from severed wine bottle bottoms.
I’m here with the Wine Connoisseur, a woman who knows her Gewürztraminers from her Vermentinos, and in an attempt to impress I order the Grüner Vetliner Wachau, an Austrian wine from the Domäne Wachau co-op. Try saying that after a few glasses.
It’s a refreshing and cleansing wine that goes well with the olives and I like it so much I then try another Austrian wine, this time the Pittnauer St Laurent.
This is a vibrant red with a gentle aroma and, while I’m not initially enamored with it, it does grow on me. It also suits the charcuterie plate we order (The Wine Library even has a small glass-walled charcuterie storage space on the way to the outside courtyard where you can see the cured meats waiting in limbo). Charcuterie (meat) plates are improving in Sydney and this is a great one – I especially like the fennel salami and the pan con tomate (a Spanish snack of grilled bread with tomato rubbed on top) that is served with it. I’ve also heard that the meatballs here are worth trying.
Before we leave, the Wine Connoisseur and I try The Wine Library’s sangria. The interesting thing about sangria is that, even though it’s hard to find a good one, people love the idea of it so much they continue to order it despite the usual disappointment – or at least, that’s been my experience. Having said that, this is a decent take on sangria – hell, I’ve had a lot worse – but considering The Wine Library’s varied wine selection (they’ve got drops from all over the world) I’ll stick to wine the next time I come. After all, not ordering wine here would be like ordering vegetarian at a steak house.
The Wine Library, 18 Oxford Street, Woollahra. Phone 9360 5686.Open Mon to Sat, 9am-10pm and Sun 9am-6pm.
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate The Wine Library?