Spice Temple, Melbourne
WINE LIST David Lawler
WINES ON LIST 100 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($28-$11 by the glass)
Why 100 wines? “It forces us to make this list the best possible match for Neil Perry’s extraordinary Asian food,” Spice Temple sommelier David Lawler explains in his marvellously succinct wine list. “Every wine fights for its place.”
This year, Spice Temple takes out its third Best Small Wine List win. The list is strong in riesling and aromatic white grapes like gewürztraminer and textural lovelies such as grüner veltliner and Rhône blends. We can’t imagine better matches than La Violetta’s Das Sakrileg Riesling from the Great Southern with the stir-fried prawns and salted duck egg.
Spice, chilli and peppercorns are the seasonings of choice here. A sommelier needs steady nerves and deep thought to seek out their perfect wine partners.
Rosés and lighter reds from France and Victoria play a role, as do medium-bodied, fruit-forward reds like pinot noir and Austria’s super food-friendly blaufränkisch. Shiraz is a list star with wines from cooler climates such as Beechworth mingling nicely with the Barossa’s warmer, more generous -grenache shiraz mourvèdre blends. JENI PORT