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New wine mecca: Lilydale

  • Blog Post by: Bill Ward
  • August 14, 2012 - 7:56 AM

For a city this size and a populace this sophisticated, we seem to fall woefully short in the wine-bar department. The quality is decent, the quantity decidedly lacking, in both the core cites and the suburbs.

So it's seriously cool to see the debut of Sunfish Cellars' wine and cheese bar in Lilydale. It's being steered by two of the Twin Towns' top mavens: Erica Rokke, late of France 44, for wine and Ken Liss of Premier Cheese Shop for the fromage side.

There will be small plates, a la the swell wine bar Toast, which like Sunfish cannot install a hood vent and thus has to keep the food in the flatbread/cheese/crostini/salumi bailiwick. 

But what makes this enterprise special are the brands and prices on the wine list, especially the by-the-glass program: the fabulous Shafer One Point Five cab for $20 (yes, that's a steal); Bethel Heights' wonderful pinot gris for $5.  These are retail prices in a wine bar, folks.

The BTG selection will rotate frequently and always include a mix of the familiar (Caymus cab, St. Supery sauv blanc, Kung Fu Girl riesling) and the lesser-known (Gamling & McDuck cab franc, Francois Chidaine Vouvray, Marcello lambrusco).

 "After many years of searching for, and not finding, a place to get some good wine at low prices we decided to do it ourselves," read the email from Sunfish announcing the opening. "We have selected a mess of wines that are exciting and delicious to drink and then we priced them so that you won't be drained of your money at the end of the night." 

True, that.

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