I must begin this post by apologising to the charming father and son team who run Bottega Tasca on Lygon St, which is my favourite wine shop within walking distance. I won’t be visiting them, or Blackhearts and Sparrows on Scotchmer St in North Fitzroy, so often now that the excellent new Wine Republic has opened on Brunswick St in the space of the former Shoe Fitz.
McCoppins has some good stock but sometimes the most interesting wines appear then disappear from their shelves quite quickly. After having improved a few years ago, Smith St Cellars seems to have more cleanskins and less quality wine now, and when I was there last week I learned they no longer stock the Montevecchio (made by Chalmers in Heathcote) bianco (vermentino, fiano and moscato blend) which is a favourite of my girlfriend. But the Wine Republic has it, along with the All Saints marsanne (Rutherglen) and other lovely pleasures still to be discovered.
Wine Republic, you are most welcome here. Your location, presentation, very friendly customer service and wonderful range is exactly what has been missing from Brunswick St for some time. I am sure you will do well here.