By Deb Jackson, Editor National Liquor News
A new specialty independent bottle shop and educational space opens this week in Sydney’s Newtown, branded as “part bottle-o, part booze-community incubator”.
P&V Merchants is the brainchild of well-known industry figures, Lou Dowling from Mary’s, Rootstock Co-founder Mike Bennie, and Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham the Co-founders of Mary’s, The Lansdowne and The Unicorn.
The venture was born from the team’s shared desire to showcase local and natural wine, small batch beer and spirits, and to support local businesses.
P&V will range locally produced natural wines, beer, cider and spirits with an emphasis on affordability. It will also offer pre-batched cocktails made in collaboration with local venues.
And the P&V team will work with local brewers and distillers to create specialty cocktails, beers and spirits for the store.
To continue on with that cocktail theme, the store will have a mini market with everything to cater to DIY cocktail needs, including fresh citrus from Reibey Farm on the Colo River, fresh herbs, cucumbers and packed fresh Hoshizaki ice bags.
And a mix of ready to cook and microwaveable dinners will also be available, including things like roast chook with herb butter, lemon brined spatchcock, BBQ packs and black lentil dahl.
Mike Bennie said: “As drinkers of natural wine, local beers and small batch spirits, we felt that the Inner West was missing a local resource for getting access to all the interesting drinks coming from avant-garde producers, both locally produced and brought in by cutting edge importers with a focus on products that come from organic, biodynamic and sustainable sources.
“P&V lets locals browse and choose from some of the more unique fermented, distilled and brewed things that are often seen in bars and restaurants, but rarely available to take home. While the shop will be filled with interesting things to drink, the education space/events schedule that will operate from above the shop adds another layer to P&V too.”
More than just a bottle shop, upstairs has been transformed into the Mike Bennie Centre for Good Wine, a space where Bennie will host educational classes and one-off tasting nights. It will also be open to winemakers to use for meetings and events and as a community space.
Lou Dowling said, “There is a growing hub of really wonderful people producing great products and spaces in our local community: we have some incredible restaurants, great breweries and people making excellent spirits – so why not have a place to buy the type of wine we love?
“All the wines will be divided into unconventional categories rather than the traditional varietals. I would love if people could come here and have an experience. It is important that if people don’t know much about natural wine or are looking to learn more, this is a place people can come and feel at ease about dipping their toes in the water…. The more the merrier.”
“We will be ranging lots of goodies out of Australia, once again small producers with a good support of our local brews, but also some old favourites…. It wouldn’t feel complete without at least one bottle of Old No. 7 and some Silver Bullets,” said Dowling.
To read more about P&V Merchants and the Mike Bennie Centre for Good Wine see the National Liquor News Annual Industry Leaders Forum to be published in February 2018.