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May 19, 2020

The nine best winter imbibes from your local bottle shop

We miss the unexpected joy of a bottle shop's resident drink nerd sidling up to us and imparting their knowledge about the product we've plucked off the shelf purely because it looks pretty. Thanks to Booze Brothers, we've brought the chat back with these nine pearlers.

  • Liquor selections: Andy Pritchard
  • Feature image: Andy Nowell

COVID-19 has removed many simple pleasures in life – things we’ve taken for granted all the preceding years we can remember.

While we’ve been fortunate in this pandemic to be able to shelter in safety and still be able to shop online, we miss the small things.

Yes, it’s a beautiful thing to have wine ordered and delivered in the same day, but it is also a beautiful thing to have a chat with a bottle shop’s resident wine, beer or spirits geek and learn a thing or two about something new – from someone else’s perspective.


This list was made in partnership with our long-time supporters Booze Brothers, who have launched their first ever online wine store.

Thanks to our mate Andy Pritchard and the staff from various Booze Brothers across the city, we’ve been able to have a ‘virtual chat’ on behalf of all the socially distanced, so that you may proceed to one of their nearby stores and select with confidence the beers, wines and spirits that might augment your 2020 winter experience.



“We’ve had a great relationship with the Jerichos since they released their first wine. We love all of their wines and especially this GSM. Grenache fruit is from 40-year-old vines and is nicely balanced with a touch of Shiraz and Mourvedre. Juicy and elegant with hints of savoury spice. Very drinkable.”

2019 Paxton Grenache

“This wine from the Paxton family in McLaren Vale is organic, biodynamic and contains minimal sulphites. So you know it’s all been done in the vineyard.

“It comes from 100-year-old vines and has been hand-picked and nursed through the winemaking process to produce a juicaliscious wine. Aromas of cherries and plums lead your palate into an explosion of spice and red berries. Ultimately this wine leaves you pining for more. Slurp it down with some curry.”


“It is currently one of our best sellers and among our personal favourites. All of the Down the Rabbit Hole wines do well with our staff.

“Hints of cinnamon spice with delicious dark berry and chocolate flavours rounding out with a soft silky finish. Great with Friday night pizza.”


BEERS: Coopers Stout, Dark & Sparkling Ale

“The colder weather has arrived in our great state of South Australia. While we have been isolating, the best way to keep our state moving is to support our local businesses. One of the most simple (and enjoyable) ways of doing this is to visit your local Booze Brothers and purchase a fantastic local beer, Coopers.

“For the night’s Netflix session, a nice winter warming Coopers stout will help you settle in for the night. Best poured into a glass, it has a nice creamy head and has coffee tones, which separate this beer from other stouts on the market. You can have one of these beers and feel satisfied.

“If you’re after something a bit lighter, Coopers Dark is an ideal alternative to the Session Ale for cold days around a bonfire or BBQ. Easy drinking, but a solid malt-driven beer, Dark goes well with BBQ meats or BBQ field mushrooms.”

“Well, Coopers Sparkling, what can we say? Malty, tasty, perfect ale for the mid afternoon, usually best while watching the footy, but ideal now if you’re planting the winter vegies, or doing odds and sods around the house.

“Some old favourites you can do with Coopers beers, try a Black and Tan, using half Stout, half Sparkling (pour Sparking into the glass first for a ‘white cap’ on a black bottom. This seems to have been forgotten in recent times, but now is the ideal time to revive this great beer cocktail. Another old favourite, if you want to take a bit of bitterness out of the Coopers stout, add some lemonade to create another forgotten favourite of your grandparents era: the portagaff.”

SPIRITS: Glen Ewin Estate – ‘Fig Gin’

“Gin in winter? You must be mad, no? Step up Glen Ewin Estate. Figs grown chemical-free for a quarter of century go into this truly unique South Australian product. Intense fig on the palate and slight earthiness make this a perfect accompaniment to a long Sunday brunch. Add a slice of lime and splash of soda to create a delightful aperitif.”

Starward – ‘Two-Fold’

Another innovative Australian spirit doing wonderful things and deserving of your attention is the double-grain Two-Fold whisky by Starward. Winner of Best Australian Blended Whisky at the World Whiskies Awards in 2019. Using malted barley for depth and Australian wheat for aromatics, and maturing in shiraz and cabernet wine barrels to round out a distinctive yet smooth whisky. If you haven’t tried Australian whisky, Two-Fold is a great place to start and the perfect fireside imbibe.”

St Agnes – ‘Bartenders Cut’

“Conjuring up images of your Nanna and the late sixties, Brandy has endured an unfair association with anything old fashioned in recent times. Enter St Agnes ‘Bartenders cut’, distilled in collaboration with 10 of Australia’s best bartenders. This brandy delivers one of the best value spirits you can buy in our shop. Cognac drinkers should take notice.”


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