While the prospect of spending Saturday night in a wine bar is still a little way off, a new business called Misc Wines is helping locked down Melburnians replicate part of the experience at home. Introducing the Misc Wine Box, a wine masterclass delivery kit that contains six 100ml glasses of wine, plus a game to make your at-home tasting a little more fun and interactive.
Here’s how it works: each week there’s a new kit with a different lineup of wines. The six selected drops are grouped around themes such as "Next Gen Winemakers" or "Victory to Victoria," and feature boutique wines, up-and-coming producers and alternative varietals. The box also includes a game board which challenges you to match each wine to a description. Once you’ve tasted your wines and assigned each one to a clue, you can reveal the answers to see how many you got right, as well as read more in-depth details about what you’re drinking.
At 8pm each Saturday night, there’s also a free, live-streamed guided tasting when a sommelier talks through the characteristics of each of the wines that week. The idea behind the tasting box is to help you learn about wine and develop your palate in a fun and relaxing way. If you find something you love, you can order it on the Misc Wines website. If you don't, no worries; you've only paid for a glass, not a whole bottle.
The tasting boxes were developed by the owners of Northside Wines wine bar, Jacob Davey and Charlotte Jennings-Sewell, in response to the lockdown. They launched Misc Wines during the first lockdown and are now selling hundreds of boxes each week.
“Our core purpose is to create jobs in an industry that is on its knees, to support other small businesses and make the wine experience as accessible as possible,” said Davey in a statement. “We’ve been able to create a few new jobs already, hopefully as we continue to reach more people we can keep hiring new staff.”
The Misc Wines Box costs $49, with the option to add a meat and cheese platter for an extra $15. The boxes can be ordered via the Misc Wines website; pickup is at Northside Wines in Northcote and delivery is available within a 45km radius of the bar.