While the prospect of spending Saturday night in a wine bar is still a little way off, Northside Wines has launched the Misc Wines project to help locked down Melburnians replicate part of the experience at home.
Introducing the Misc Wine Box and Misc Gin Box, two masterclass delivery kits that are available to purchase and contain six samples of booze and tasting notes.
For the wine kit, here's how it works: each week there’s a new kit with a different lineup of six wines, and you'll get a 100ml bottle of each. The wines 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 that 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 wherein a sommelier talks through the characteristics of each of the wines that week.
The gin box selection, which at the moment does not rotate weekly, comes with six 30ml gin samples, three paired tonics, six paired garnishes and tasting notes. Some of the gins you'll get to sample include the Coastal Gin by Manly Spirits and the Jungle Gin by Boatrocker Brewers and Distillers.
The idea behind the tasting boxes is to help you learn about wines and spirits 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. They launched Misc Wines during the 2020 lockdowns and have continued to bring the boxes back during subsequent lockdowns.
“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 Misc Gin Box costs $59. The boxes can be ordered via the Misc Wines website. Pickup is at Northside Wines in Northcote and the delivery radius includes most of the Melbourne metropolitan area.
Want cocktails delivered straight to your door? Order a cocktail bag from Romeo Lane.