It’s all in the details at Marion Wine Bar. Located a brisk walk from Carlton Gardens, on the ever-picturesque Gertrude Street in Fitzroy, this sandy exterior saloon style with its Victorian facade could be right out of a Spaghetti Western. But looking at it from across the street, you immediately find something more. Behind the large windows, you see life. The constant attentiveness of staff moving effortlessly through tables peppered with patrons sipping on glasses filled with wine from an extensive list. Polishing off plates of Oysters, Onglet Steak, and Swordfish with squash, fennel and saffron. To name but a few.
Marion is a wine lover’s dream. One does not simply have a glass at Marion’s. No, one orders a glass, sure, ‘just the one‘ you say. Maybe something to nibble on, too? Maybe the confit tuna belly on toast, or perhaps the WA octopus with spicy tomatoes. One of the incredible staff brings these incredible things out to your table as you sit and bask in the white-washed brick-clad interior. The mix of industrial old and eclectic new already whisking you away from your worries.
You lift the glass to your lips, taking in the aromas of fine grapes, of a full-bodied red, earthy yet a hint of sweetness, close your eyes, and let it flow. Then you look around again, but this time, you know. You take the menu and smile. ‘I’ll be here for a while’.
That is what you can expect at Marion’s.
The experience of an establishment built with loving hands, and worked, by people who are passionate about cuisine and wine.
There’s a lot of beauty here. Divided into two parts, one houses an open kitchen. Marion’s key feature. Where you can see the passion first-hand in the constant action of Chefs who utilise seasonal ingredients to bring their unique skills to a European menu. My hat goes off to them for a meal which left me with a goofy smile on my face from ear to ear.
Ceiling-high wine racks showcase Marion’s knowledge and collection and entice its patrons to try something perhaps never tried before. Trust me when I tell you you will need an entire bottle or two, and a table full of food to get through reading their extensive wine list. It reads like a journey through grape regions. A true wine lover’s homage to that which he lives for. Sitting in front of my laptop I thought for a while about diving into that list for you, dear reader. Perhaps noting some of the unfamiliar bottles such as Chenin Blanc, Gamay. Commenting on their list of Pinor Noirs that would make your toes curl. But I find myself unable to do it justice. Wine is something best discovered and tasted. Words are mere shadows and pale in comparison to the real thing.
All good things…
The evening ended on a sweet note, as often evenings do, one can only hope. Vermouth Flan and Valrhona chocolate, soused cherry & cream. The last drops were poured, and the conversations continued as the doors swung open for newcomers and old favourites. Eventually, we left. Bidding Marion’s not a goodbye, but a see you again, as the same sweet smiles that greeted us, bid us a goodnight.
53 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
(03) 9419 6262
Wine Bar Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday
12pm to 11pm