The National Wine Centre of Australi

Charlie Galbally 

Sommelier at PEP'S WINE BAR, PERTH

Charlie Galbally’s love of wine was born from time spent around the family dinner table. Although originally from Melbourne, after landing a wine rep position in Perth, he now calls the western capital home, and has opened a neighbourhood wine bar Pep’s in Peppermint Grove.

“There are no preconceived ideas about any of our wines at Pep’s,” says Galbally. “At the end of the day, they’re all just wines, but we work with the ones that are terrific examples of their varietal and region. We aim to educate our clientele and offer them new experiences by gently leading them off their own well-trodden path of wine … We believe a grape variety shouldn’t be bound by a single linear winemaking approach, so you’ll find our list is made of specific varieties being made in completely different and exciting ways.”

Pep’s is home to a broad range of bottles, from minimal intervention and natural styles, to traditional, iconic Australian and international wines. But when it comes to chatting about Australian wines, Galbally is excited about the local WA scene, in particular L.A.S Vino, and winemaker Nic Peterkin.

“I love the approach that Peterkin brings to wine. He captures the honesty and clarity from Margaret River whilst maintaining a focus on minimal intervention winemaking with stability and purity,” says Galbally. “We’ve been pouring the sumptuous 2019 Albino PNO, a pinot and chardonnay blend with a small amount of time on skins that gives this wine a deep, sexy, peachy rose colour.”

Galbally thinks varieties like aligoté and Valtellina nebbiolo will take off in 2022. “We’re seeing a real push into wines that are well structured, pure of fruit and showcase their origins. Nebbiolo from Valtellina has been a game-changer for our traditional nebbiolo lovers, it’s bright and pretty, with minerality and soil structure evident, and light elegant tannins,” he says. “Aligoté has also been a huge discovery for our customers, I’d love to see more of it planted and grown in Australia. Look out Margaret River, perhaps a new baby?”