WHEN I first walked into The Canberra Wine House I did a double take. Was I at The Tradies? Yes, I was, but in an area with a great fitout that has a fabulous focus on food, flavours and top wine.
It’s wonderful to have such easy access to an exclusive line-up of top drops by Canberra and region cool-climate wineries. It’s all the Wine House sells, with the best from vineyards such as Long Rail Gully, Clonakilla, Lerida Estate, Eden Road, Ravensworth, Wily Trout, Mount Majura, and Dionysus.
Enjoy wines on site (including complimentary tastings) or buy bottles to take away at cellar-door prices. If you do, and are dining in Dickson, you’ll not be charged corkage by any restaurant as part of the new Discover Dickson campaign.
The local focus extends beyond the wines. Everything on the menu is locally produced, with many items available for sale in a mini-mart. Let’s give you a taste: Batemans Bay Nut Roasting House – honey macadamia, tamari almonds and other crunchy delights; Pankhurst Wines – sparkling pinot juice and Long Track Pantry – preserved lemons and chutneys. Hungry yet?
Even the fitout is local with massive wine barrels outside from Shaw Vineyard and furniture made from recycled pallets.
I’ve been twice and feel right at home.
The menu concentrates solely on local-produce platters to share. Tapas dishes are $8.50 each or $21 for all three – a to-die-for chorizo, that promises and delivers kick, by Lost River Produce (a family run business literally across the street), a creamy marinated feta by the delightful Maureen House at The Cheese Project and tangy olives by Homeleigh Grove.
The cheese platter ($23.95) includes a Leaning Oak goat’s blue cheese and their labneh, a south coast premium vintage, a pear and ginger chutney, seasonal and dried fruits and water crackers (gluten-free biscuits available).
The meats, cheese and oils platter is equally tantalising ($29.95). Lost River shines again with its salami and tender chicken smoked to perfection. This platter features silky smooth olive oil with a dancing dukkah, chutney and fruits, fresh bread and crackers.
Sweet tooth? We didn’t indulge (but will one day) in the wonderful selection of chocolates from Lindsay and Edmunds (think almond and orange, praline, sea salt) – $15.95.
If you’re with a group, I recommend “The Lot” ($59.95), which will keep your taste buds dancing all night.
Canberra Wine House, corner of Badham and Cape Streets, Dickson. Open 4pm-9pm, Wednesday-Saturday. Live music Saturday afternoons. Call 6162 5649.
Photos by ANDREW FINCH