Top quality restaurant wine brought to your sofa
Spying an opportunity and connecting the dots, plenty of business owners have been forced to think in new and creative ways to keep at least a trickle of cash flow coming through the door during these dark viral days.
For evidence of this look no further than the team behind Sofa Sommeliers, a pair of Brisbane bizoids immersed in the hospitality game.
David Bone and Amelia Taylor (illustrated) came up with the concept to home deliver premium small batch wines to customers who would only normally be able to access them in their favourite but now-closed bars and restaurants.
The initiative kicks off on Friday at website onceuponabottle.com.au with the aim of getting a bit of money flowing back to the struggling venue operators, as well as the winemakers.
Making the offer even more enticing for consumers, each delivery will come complete with detailed tasting notes from a wine expert at one of the participating venues.
That's something you wouldn't get if you just rocked up to a bottle shop, the vast majority of which do not even sell these limited release wines.
ACCESS TO MARKET
Bone, a specialist supplier to restaurants through his Cuttings Wine business, came up with the idea while chatting with Taylor, whose Liquidity Marketing specialises in promoting hospitality players.
Bone told City Beat this week that he had an estimated $800,000 worth of top drops gathering dust in his warehouses in Albion and Cairns.
"We've got an enormous amount of stock with no access to market,'' he said.
That's about to change, with the wine from an initial six venues getting bundled up in six packs and heading out the door shortly.
"It's a positive thing for people missing Brisbane's great restaurants and wine bars. It's a pretty easy way to help,'' Bone observed.
But, as you might expect, navigating the tricky waters of liquor licensing laws has proved a bit cumbersome and time consuming to get this endeavour off the ground.
The pair have had to team up with small independent bottle shop Victoria & Montague in the West End, which acts as the retail licensing arm since bars and restaurants are banned from selling direct to the public outside of their premises.
The bottle shop will coordinate contactless delivery within 48 hours of orders getting placed with Sofa Sommeliers and will be offering craft beer packs to supplement the wines on offer.
TIGER KING TIPPLE
So which venues are the first cabs off the proverbial rank to join Sofa Sommeliers?
Maeve Wine Bar, Billykart West End and Bar Alto have all put their hands up, with each set to provide curating notes in wine packs from their respective sommeliers Eleanor Cappa, Ben Roberts and Simon Hill.
Expect a brief explanation of why each wine was selected, suggestions for food pairing and even a few recommendations for some choice Netflix options to complement the vino while kicking back on your couch.
Cappa, a co-owner of Maeve, has pulled together six wines for $190 that showcase both domestic and European tipples. One of them she even rates as a good companion for viewing the mega-hit series Tiger King!
"I came back home to Brisbane after working in some of Melbourne's best restaurants to open Maeve Wine. I wanted to create a beautiful space where everyone was made to feel welcome, and wine could be enjoyed by all regardless of expertise or budget - and I wanted to showcase small hardworking farmers and producers who painstakingly hand-make their wines," Cappa writes.
"One of the greatest things about wine is that it can bring people together. Seeing as we can't be together at this time, we've decided to bring some wines to you at home.''
Originally published as Top quality restaurant wine brought to your sofa