Originally published on Broadsheet.
Frequent tastings and a full food menu. This ain’t your average bottle-o.
Rack and Ruin is first and foremost a bottle shop, but it’s also a handy cellar for the adjoining wine bar, Beau Kitchen. Four to six new bottles hit the shelves each week, keeping the wine list next door rotating constantly based on what the staff is enjoying.
Owner Alf France has a particular passion for pinot noir and also likes to support small-scale Aussie wineries of all sorts. He also maintains a strong selection of Old World wines for the local clientele. Keeping things well rounded, orange and natural labels have their own small section. There’s also bottled Australian beer, and whatever beer is on tap can be taken home in a reusable 945-millilitre “squealer”.
The space is minimalist, with concrete floors and few tall bar tables. Two birch islands provide space for wine tastings held on Saturdays, where some of Victoria’s best producers drop by.
You can order food from next door at any time. A simple combination of bread, anchovy butter and pickled shallots always goes down well. Bateman’s Bay oysters are also available, alongside French onion soup, chargrilled octopus with red pepper salsa, and ham-hock croquettes with pineapple and jalapeno.
Image credit: Simon Shiff.