For vino-lovers Jeremy and Suzy Honisett, a good bottle of plonk shouldn’t be a question of money.
“I like to work with small producers who share the same philosophy we do,” Jeremy says. “Whether your budget is $10, $30 or $100, you should be able to find a great quality, interesting wine.”
It’s an approach that’s already seen success in Melbourne’s west, where Jeremy and Suzy run the local institution, Seddon Wine Store. Union Wine Store is their new baby: a 120sqm wine boutique smack bang in the middle of Ascot Vale’s bustling Union Rd shopping strip. The couple had been searching for a new site for about two years when they spotted the lease sign in the window.
Union Wine Store is modelled closely on its Seddon big brother. There’s a fantastic selection of locally sourced Aussie wine (think Philip Lobley, Woods & Mathers or Ryder from the Clare Valley) plus a bunch of small batch regional gins, whiskies and craft beers. If you’re after something well travelled, the Bruichladdich ‘Classic Laddie’ is a cracking Scottish single malt. Jeremy and Suzy handpicked the entire range and, if Ascot Vale is anything like Seddon, their good taste will build a loyal following.
“We’re really lucky that our customers like engaging with us,” Jeremy says. “That trust has been built up over time and it’s the same ideology we’re building at Union Road.”
A well-stocked cheese larder and charcuterie plate round out the Union experience. You can pop by to pick up a bottle for Friday night, then stay chatting terroir with Jeremy over a plate of Le Marquis chevre or La Couronne fort-aged comte. Boutique and bodacious, this is a far cry from your regular bottle-o.