It’s not hard for Prabir Majumdar, founder of new Armadale wine bar Wine 1160, to play favourites. “If you give me a Shiraz, a nice, earthy one, what Josh [Elias, the bar’s wine list consultant] would call “horseshit”, a smelly Shiraz; I’ll love it. Not a fruity, plummy one though.”
It’s simple enough to traverse Wine 1160’s menu to uncover your own new favourite. While they have 160+ bottles on offer, a truncated list of stars is each paired with a food match by renowned chef Michele Curtis. Try Moscato with wine-soused pink lamingtons or Champagne alongside popcorn scattered with Gruyere cheese. Prabir hopes it will become “a neighbourhood meeting place, where the focus is on wine but people don’t go hungry.”
Or thirsty for that matter. The line-up includes mostly Victorian wines from small producers. 60-70% of Wine 1160’s list is Australian, if not Victorian, and the remaining Spanish and Italian interlopers are also from boutique makers. “I’m a migrant, from 2000 I’ve been living in Melbourne on and off and I’ve also traveled around the Barossa, Adelaide Hills and Hunter Valley. I think that there is some uniqueness in the variety that Victorian wines produce.” explains Prabir of his eye for local goods. “If you look at Red Hill, the Yarra Valley, the Limestone Coast, towards Ballarat, within such a small state there’s so much variety of terroir and the grapes. It’s just amazing that people don’t have the access to it. So this is about giving people access to what’s grown locally.”
Inside the late 1800’s building in which the wine bar resides, interiors have been pared back to the bare essentials. Original brickwork is the feature complemented by rough-hewn textiles and leather. “We wanted it very earthy because it makes people feel like when you are drinking wine you’re sitting in the earth and soil,” says Prabir. It’s an environment in which to tell stories. Winemaker meet and greets are tentatively planned for the future. Says Prabir “the whole concept is that everybody has a story to tell. There’s a lot of hard work and a lot of soil, vegetation, all these things that go into it. There is a story behind all this wine.”
Unearth Wine 1160 at 1160 High Street, Armadale.