The Wigs Cellar – Queen Street, MelbourneJanuary 5, 2008
How many people reading this have heard of The Wigs Cellar before? Maybe not so many. But if I ask how many CBD workers or walkers have noticed that shop on Queen Street with literally hundreds of miniature bottles in the window, a few more of you might nod, with a vague sense of familiarity. Not exactly the most prone to advertise, the Wigs Cellar relies on the specialties it stocks to guarantee ongoing custom (as well as a CBD location).
In addition to the weird and wonderful collection of miniature liqueurs and wines etc in the windows – which are actually for sale – the Wigs is a winner for anyone who treats fine alcohol and wine as a chance for exploration and adventure. They are noted for their range of imported Absinthes, with their website listing them by type (very considerate) including: Doubs, La Fee, Jacques Senaux, Pernod, Terchenne and a handful more. Also impressive is their range of blended and single malt whisky – not only do they import new but they buy rarities from collectors (unopened, of course), so it is guaranteed you’ll find bottles here unavailable elsewhere in Australia – possibly even elsewhere in the world! They list their single malt whisky by region (Islay, Highland, Speyside, Lowland) and have in addition to the regular export bottles you can find in most chain stores a number of special editions: Laphroaig Quarter Cask and rarely seen and harder to buy (at over $400 per bottle) Ardbeg Lord of the Isles, plus – a personal highlight – a number of rare bottlings from Gordon and MacPhail and other specialty bottlers. Single year limited barrel expressions are reasonably well stocked, and when you get a good one of these you should cherish it – they’ll rarely be available twice.
Also of note is a wide range of sparklings including a good stock of imported champagne plus of course a wide variety of wines and collectible ports. These aren’t really my area of expertise so I won’t speculate, just check their website or store. I will also make mention of their comment-worthy range of imported vodkas – lots of lovely obscurities I’ve never tried but would be happy to work my way through them and the single malts…
The best thing about Wigs: the sheer variety, plus the Sherlock thrill of seeing a new rarity on the shelf.
The downside: limited opening hours. They’re the only bottle shop in the city not open after 7pm, the daft galahs, so forget a rush purchase.
|Ph: 03 9670 2753 172 Queen Street. Melbourne. 3000|