Wines on Wednesday: Speakeasy

Wines on Wednesday is a new weekly blog feature in the spirit of zany American morning show hosts Kathie Lee and Hoda who sample wines on Wednesday mornings. (Sometimes things get a little crazy…and awkward. But it’s all in good fun!)
There won’t be any inappropriate drinking before noon here (sorry if I got you excited about that) but there will be some sipping and reporting on wine bars and wines I come across. Note: I have almost zero wine knowledge but I enjoy trying new things and a good Malbec. 

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This week, we adventure to Speakeasy Bar in Bondi. Situated near the corner of Curlewis and Glenayr, this is one of several small wine bars that have popped up around the ‘hood in the past couple of years. The small wine and tapas bar has a welcoming eclectic decor with cozy couches, several small tables and bench seating at the front window for people watching and catching a breeze.

The wine menu is perfect for someone like me – it provides unpretentious and helpful descriptions of each wine. The captions give you just the right amount of information, like this one for Dusty’s Desire Barossa Valley Shiraz: “smooth and easy like chocolate” Um, sold.

The night we went it was on the chillier, damper side of spring weather – you know, red wine drinking weather.  Mr. F ordered the 06 Bodego Vistalba Corte Malbec Merlot from Agentina, “smooth earth, spice and cherry.” And I had the 08 Pindarie Tempranillo Sangiovese Shiraz Barossa, “we love this blend. smooth & earthy.”

I have been a Malbec fan for the past couple of years. Malbecs sold in the U.S. are nearly always a good deal and a nice red to have on hand. I have had trouble finding them in Australia, especially for the same good value. I was happy Mr. F ordered the blend so I could have a sip. It was really nice, although I would have liked to try a Malbec without the Merlot blend.

In my efforts to educate myself on wines, and Australian wines in particular, I had come across a little article on Aussie Tempranillos. Tempranillo is a type of grape native to the Rioja region in Spain that has taken off in Australia in the past few years. It makes for good fruity flavors with a low acid. I know I liked several of the Rioja region wines we tasted in Spain so I was excited to try the Tempranillo when I saw it on the menu. This blend was lovely, and I was happy I chose it. I will be keeping my eye out for Australian Tempranillos in the future, for sure.

In addition to the thoughtful and copious wine selection at Speakeasy, their tapas menu is not easily overlooked. Nightly specials look particularly enticing and they offer great sharing plates of varying sizes. I have my eye on chorizo with crispy potatoes, thyme and oregano for next time. Yup, we’ll be returning. And often, I predict.

All wines (besides a couple types of sparkling) are sold both by the glass and the bottle. Speakeasy Bar, 83 Curlewis Street Bondi Beach, NSW

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