Adelaide’s cellar door, next door

We love our wine here at Andreyev Lawyers, so when Adelaide’s first wine only bar opened recently, we had to check it out. Twice.

Cantina Sociale is one of a handful of small venues in Adelaide that has opened recently in the lead up to the small venue liquor licensing laws, which were passed on 18 February 2013. Cantina Sociale operates under a Producer’s Licence, but it serves as a great example of how Adelaide can benefit from small, hole in the wall establishments.

The new small venue liquor licence will pave the way for more vibrant, interesting venues to open in the Adelaide CBD, without being tied up in the usual expensive and prolonged approval processes. Small venues will also be able to offer live entertainment without having to obtain council permission.

For Adelaide patrons, this will mean more interesting venues, as we’ve seen in Sydney since the introduction of similar legislation in 2008. The Andreyev team have enjoyed their careful and thorough research of Sydney’s small bars (our favourites include Button Bar and Stitch) and we’re looking forward to exploring what Adelaide has to offer under the new licence category.

So what does Cantina Sociale have to offer? Firstly, the wine comes in barrels, not bottles. You can choose your poison by the glass, 250ml carafe, 500ml carafe or a full litre. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can always try a full flight of all 9 of their wines (in sensible 30 ml serves).

The idea behind the wine is simple – Cantina Sociale want their patrons to share in a cellar door experience and have the opportunity to try wines from small barrels of experimental blends and unusual varietals. These are wines that are not usually bottled and served on the shelf of your local Dan Murphy’s – it’s more unique than that. And because the wine is sourced from small batches, there should always be a new wine to try on your next visit.

Cantina Sociale also serves a small selection of food – we recommend the generously served cheese and meat platter, which is a perfect compliment to the wines.

The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. The staff know their stuff and are happy to talk you through your options. If you need more information, tasting notes are available on each of the wines on offer. Word is, if you really enjoy a particular wine, the team can bottle it up for you as a take away. We haven’t tried this option. Yet.

Licensed for only a small number of people, its best to get in early at Cantina Sociale. Doors open at 4pm, Wednesday to Sunday.

Cantina Sociale is at 108 Sturt Street, Adelaide. Find them at or on their website.

The information contained in this post is current at the date of publishing – 28 February 2013

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