Damien Ringrose

Winter Wonders to Your Door with Market Wine Store

Image source: Photographer Megan Gill

As the temperature drops, instead of reaching for the standard bottle of Barossa Shiraz, Deb Caruso opens her mind and palate to new experiences, expertly guided and delivered with ease by some of the best in the business. 

Like most locals, as the temperature drops and I reach for my familiar and comfy tracksuit, beanie and blanket and prepare to snuggle up with the latest magazine and pour a glass of big, bold and beautiful Barossa Shiraz. I’ve been waiting all summer to feel the warmth that just can’t be achieved from a glass of chardonnay, no matter how hard I try.

This winter, I’m going to broaden my horizons, expand my palate and explore what else is on offer – with a little help from my friends.

Having our resident drinks writer and sommelier Tony Cox on hand is great and I love our long chats that have me reaching for the keys to hit the bottle shops and try to remember his recommendations. I’m always looking for an easier way so when my other favourite Tony – Tony Kelly – told me that Market Wine Store now offer delivery I had to find out more!

Part of the Tony Kelly Group, Market Wine Store (MWS) is connected to Market Bistro, Maroochydore; one of several restaurants in this delicious family that also includes Spero Greek; the powerhouse trio of modern Asian Riceboi, Giddy Geisha and Piggyback; and the newest kid on the block, Bocca Italian Restaurant at Bokarina Beach.

The original MWS at Maroochydore is always a special place for me and I’m excited that it will now have an Italian sister with another MWS opening next to Bocca – but more on that later. 

MWS is almost like a trip to an art gallery, specially-curated works adorn the shelves with masterpieces created with as much passion, creativity and care (but maybe less craziness) as an original Da Vinci. I understand and appreciate the workmanship, history, care and attention (sometimes heartbreak) that goes into every bottle on the shelf. 

You see, MWS doesn’t stock mass-produced bottles of plonk that are churned out in high volume, they prefer to work with and feature good producers who are committed to the craft. Better still, when I walk in, they take the time to understand what I like to drink (if they don’t already know!) and their suggestions have never gone wrong whether introducing me to a new drop, handing me my fave or helping me source a special gift. 

Manager Damien Ringrose might be a new addition to the team but he isn’t new to the booze game with a career in wine and hospitality of more than two decades, including cutting his teeth as Cellarman for the top end of town at the iconic Michael’s Riverfront Restaurant, Eagle Street Pier in Brisbane before doing a vintage with Peter Lehmann in the Barossa; working at Tyrells Winery and as a brand manager for some of Australia’s best booze groups managing brands such as Bollinger, Henschke and Villa Maria. He has had several stints living and working overseas and more recently worked for Sunshine Coast Hotel Group (SCHG) where he established and managed the marketing and promotions for its bottleshops as well as looking after the cocktails and wine lists for its three hotels, Brightwater, Parklands and Baringa Tavern; as well as Moffs at Moffat Beach. 

“I loved working with Scott Armstrong (SCHG founder) and it was fun but my background was wine so I’m super excited to join the team here,” he said.

“There’s no one stocking the types of wines and spirits and everything we do at Market Wine Store. The product range has been superbly curated – we have 65 gins, including local; 60 wine reps and then about another 35-40 beer reps and 15 or so spirit reps as well as personal relationships direct with the creators.”

I would say they are well ‘rep’resented!

“This is our second year of trading but we already know our regulars and are always looking for new drops for them to try that we know they’ll love,” Damien said. “Or if someone comes in for the first time and they’re looking for a wine that reminds them of a moment in their lives or somewhere they’ve travelled, we love to  reconnect them to that memory.”

Part of the joy of dining at Market Bistro is popping into the Wine Store next door to explore the range and work with the team to select the perfect bottle to match the occasion and the meal for just $20 per bottle corkage. Not that you need to with more than 400 wines on the Market Bistro wine list that have been selected by the MWS team – but there’s more than double in the Wine Store… and well, it’s just part of the experience so why the heck not I say?! 

This service will also be available at Bocca Italian Restaurant with Damien and the team adapting the wine list in the restaurant and on the shelves.

“Market Bistro has a slightly French backbone so it’s predominantly grape varieties that suit the dishes and the region,” he said. “As the name suggests, Bocca will have a more Italian flavour so we have adapted the range to match that.”  

The most popular drops at MWS Maroochydore were Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Shiraz, followed by Grenache. 

“We have a lot of red wine drinkers and people come here because they want to drink something good and they can be guided by people who know what they’re talking about,” Damien said. “The team here are great, they’re young but they’re so into it and so passionate about what we stock and why and that’s infectious. Everyone that walks in is like ‘ooh what do I want to drink next?’ – and that’s the thing that separates us from everyone else – and what we love.”

When it comes to winter wines, Damien encourages people to step out of their comfort zone.

“We’re Queenslanders and as soon as it gets below 40 degrees, we reach for a jumper (guilty!) and a bottle of Barossa Shiraz (guilty again!) but there are so many other great winter wines and I love introducing people to new varieties,” he said (it’s like he is reading my mind!).

“Everyone loves a good Shiraz but for me personally, I think a bottle with five years age is great but have a look at the other varieties – Grenache, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese – all the other varietals between Pinot and Shiraz. They’re still warming, still full bodied but not as big and heavy as a Shiraz. 

“Nebbiolo in particular has an amazing structure to it – it’s like a cabernet with a pinot body. It’s a beautiful wine and something a bit different.”

If you’re willing to get out of your comfort zone and try some highly-recommended wines but don’t want to get out of that comfy tracksuit, there is great news with Market Wine Store now offering free delivery for orders over $150 to homes and businesses on the eastern coast from Caloundra to Coolum (stretching to Peregian Beach, just like my favourite tracksuit!). 

Order online and if your fave drop is in stock, the team will personally a confirm a delivery time the next day or within 72 hours. If you’re not sure what you want or can’t find it online, simply call Market Wine Store and the team will help you out. It’s old fashioned service with forward thinking.

So even though I might not be ready to part with my familiar and comfy tracksuit, I am ready to stretch my winter wine list – and it turns out, I can do that while still snuggled in my old winter faves! #winning 

 

About the Author /

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Ali spends her days clicking away and creating print and digital designs for a variety of coast businesses and brings more than 15 years of print publishing experience. When she’s not at her computer, you can find her outdoors with her husband and three kids.

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