By Simon Haslam
Sommelier Russ Berry of Harvest Newrybar has a small wine list, but it’s a good one. In fact it’s the best one according to Gourmet Traveller, it’s won Best Small Wine List of the year (50 wines).
If you’re like me, when you go out to a meal you want to try a wine that’s a little out of the ordinary, a wine that you can’t buy in your local bottleshop. I often let the sommelier do the hard work of suggesting something that would go with the food, and my tastes; I’m rarely disappointed in their selection. There’s a sense of discovery from trying a wine that you’ve never heard of before, most particularly if you love it.
The concise list at Harvest features more than 15 wines by the glass from $12, and bottles from $52. However, unlike some wine lists locally, if you do want to buy a really expensive bottle of wine, you can.
The list reflects the sustainability at Harvest Newrybar, highlighting the diversity of the regions in Australia.
Sommelier Russ Berry is obviously a person who’s excited by his work. ‘We’ve been lucky enough to meet some amazing wine producers from around the country over the past couple of years. There are so many people nationwide who really care about what they are growing and how they are doing it, allowing their land and the grapes to shine’, he said.
‘The entire country is so diverse from region to region, allowing us to have an all-Australian list, and offer such interesting and unique wines.
At Harvest, the menu’s emphasis is on sustainability and local produce, offering fresh, seasonal, organic food sourced from local artisan producers and Harvest’s own gardens.
Executive chef Brett Cameron at Harvest also works with forager Peter Hardwick to produce a weekly dinner made of wild and foraged ingredients, often coming up with something on the spur of the moment based on what ingredients arrive.
‘The weekly Wild Harvest dinners have really taken off over the past year. The most exciting part has been finding wines that work so well with these unusual native and wild ingredients’, said Russ.
Peter Bourne from Gourmet Traveller Wine was full of praise for the Harvest wine list:
‘Russ Berry has negotiated his way through the mass of good and great Australian wines to create a tight, best-of-the-best list – all at more than fair prices. Edgy styles and new-wave varieties rub shoulders with the classics… The list roams the country with small producers a focus, and they’re all dangerously drinkable rather than funky for the sake of funk.
More info: Harvest is located at 18–22 Old Pacific Highway, Newrybar. harvestnewrybar.com.au / @harvestnewrybar
Russ Berry, Sommelier at Harvest Newrybar, knows his wine