There was more than a touch of the decadent, of a burlesque establishment, especially in the little private bar that the eight of us squeezed into. It all harks back to the buildings 1880’s origins when it was known as the British Seaman’s Hotel. Its long history has always, it seems, been associated with wine. Now it is the home of Wine Odyssey Australia; a place every wine lover desires to be on their doorstep.
A restaurant, private areas, a fascinating wine aroma room, but the highlight has to be the ‘wine journey room’.
“Our wine journey room allows you to serve yourself any of our 44 delicious Australian wines; a mix of secret gems you won’t find outside of their own wineries, alongside rare icons such as Penfold’s Grange. We serve all these wines in a taste, a half glass and a full glass.”
It was here, thanks to the generosity of Naked Wines Australia, that a 25ml sample of Penfolds Grange 1994 was consumed by each of our little group. I didn’t keep a record of the prices but I recall the Penfolds came in at AU$25 for 25ml. That’s about a mouthful…
Wine Odyssey Australia was simply fantastic. While being so enraptured with sampling the wines one neglected to photograph the plates of food and, more than once I have to admit, I left a well-financed ‘Journey Card’ in the Enomatic Pouring machine. #embarrassing I think the most suitable twitter tag would be.
How it works is simple. Pre-load one of the Journey Cards with money, grab a glass, insert said card in the machine and buy a wine by selecting one of three sizes – a sample, a half glass or a full glass.
For me some of the highlights included
- Torbreck Woodsutters Roussane-Marsanne-Viognier 2010, superb apply overtones, a hint of spice and some tight acidity.
- Freeman Rosé Rondinella 2011, pure summery fun with a savoury edge to the dry palate with peach and strawberry flavours
- Ample Pinot Noir, Tasmania 2010 very light in colour, fresh and lively, primary fruit aromas
- Holmfirth Pinot Noir, Tasmania 2010 decent fruit, wonderful complex black fruit flavours
- Fermoy Nebbiolo 2010 purple, dark hued, striking richness and food friendly palate
- Magpie Grenache The Fakir 2008 superb value, light in colour but big on flavour
The wines placed in the Wine Odyssey Enomatic Pouring and Preservation system are changed frequently.
I was in my element I have to admit; but didn’t get to sample all 44 wines available. For some reason we had to leave – a brief 5 minutes in the aroma room, a peak into a couple of the function rooms, and then we were shown the door. I think they were closing…
39-43 Argyle Street, The Rocks, Sydney, NSW 2000