Drinks News

Now open: P&V Merchants' two-in-one wine bar and bottle shop in Sydney’s Paddington

The inner-west wine shop is heading east, and this time there's an option to drink in situ.

By Georgie Meredith
Lou Dowling and Mike Bennie, co-owners of P&V Wine + Liquor Merchants.
Since P&V Wine + Liquor Merchants opened in Sydney's inner-west in 2017, it's made its mark on the local wine scene. Not only is the bottle shop a destination for all things funky and fermented, but it's also a community in its own right, offering masterclasses and events that set new standards for the modern bottle-o.
Now the P&V team is heading east to open a second shopfront in Paddington. And this time there's an option to drink in situ.
Opening on Friday at the former Mickey's Café site on Oxford Street, P&V Paddington – that's Piss and Vinegar Paddington, by the by – is a two-in-one bottle shop and wine bar. Customers can grab a bottle from the retail store – a Monastero Suore Cistercensi Coenobium, a bright white blend made by Italian nuns, perhaps, or a Balmy Nights Schönburger from the Hunter Valley – to crack open in the 30-seat courtyard. There's also a compact ever-changing list of wines by the glass to choose from.
"We wanted to move into the area because we felt like there was a sense of community that we could operate within, and would nurture our business as we do with other businesses," says Mike Bennie, who co-owns the business with Lou Dowling.
And if early inquiries are anything to go by, Paddington locals are enthusiastic about their new neighbour. "People [have been] walking in the door in the last week saying, 'Can we book a seat?' And we were like, 'we're not even open yet'," says Bennie.
Dowling and Bennie outside the premises of P&V Paddington on Oxford Street. Photo: Maclay Heriot
Ex-Old Fitz head chef Nik Hill will bring the menu of cheeses, charcuterie, terrines and rillettes, while restaurant Bloodwood is set to cater a vegan ploughman's platter.
Upstairs, P&V will host events and masterclasses from Monday to Wednesday; and from Thursday to Sunday it'll transform into Porcine, a forthcoming restaurant and standalone operation by Hill and Harry Levy (Don Peppino's).
"We just ran out of nights of the week and room to do enough classes [in Newtown]. They sell out within a day and the space above the new shop is big enough to host 30 to 40 people," says Bennie.
So far, scheduled masterclasses in Paddington include a wine and cheese pairing session with Penny Lawson of Penny's Cheese Shop and former GT staffer Matty Hirsch, and another on Italian natural wines with Giorgio de Maria, the gregarious red-bearded sommelier-about-town.
Future events might guest-star interstate chef-friends, including Analiese Gregory and Shannon Martinez.
"We are about community and we are about these collaborations. It's just such a big part of P&V's DNA," says Bennie.
Much like the inner-west original, the retail offerings will include a rotating range of biodynamic, organic and sustainable wines from smaller Australian producers, along with amari, digestifs, vermouths, artisan beers, sakes and non-alcoholic beverages.
The new space is cause to celebrate, but it's not Champagne that Bennie and the team will be popping on Friday. Rather, they'll be uncorking a chardonnay from Sorrenberg, one of Bennie's favourite wine producers in Australia.
"They're stalwarts of the biodynamic wine-growing scene and an amazing family, farmer, grower and producer," says Bennie. "I [like] the sentimentality that the first thing I ordered in Newtown will be the first thing I drink in Paddington."
P&V Paddington
268 Oxford St, Paddington NSW
pnvmerchants.com
Open: 10am – 9pm, seven days