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Luton Lane Wine Bar

A sleek haven of wine and Spanish bar snacks in Hawthorn.
By Marissa Ciampi
March 20, 2019
By Marissa Ciampi
March 20, 2019

The owners of Hawthorn's Nevermind Bar really outdid themselves when they opened a sophisticated wine bar around the block. Gone are the dive bar-esque stylings of the former — in their place is a classed-up affair of polished cement, hanging greenery and high ceilings, all of which centre on a wrap-around marble bar.

Luton Lane is a European-style wine bar through and through. Behind that bar (and in the fully stocked wine fridge) there are over 100 bottles of wine, with a whopping 17 by the glass ($10–14). Those focus on natural drops and span labels from France, Spain and Argentina, along with quite a few from Victoria's wine regions. At the moment, the must-try is the natural fermentation sparkling by French winemaker Varichon & Clerc.

Other than wine, there are two beer taps and batched classic cocktails by Melbourne's Everleigh Bottling Co. — including the martini, negroni, manhattan and old-fashioned. Grab a seat at that bar or in the leafy outdoor balcony and get to sipping.

The kitchen does Spanish-style bar snacks that change regularly. Think crumbed and fried cherry bocconcini with rosemary ($12), and dutch carrots and chick peas topped with a buckwheat crumble ($10). There's also a trio of charred skewers on offer, including aged wagyu rump with green sauce, shallot and cider chorizo and paprika and oregano chicken ($18 each).

As with any great wine bar, the cheese and charcuterie game is strong — the latter includes specialties like chicken and black truffle terrine ($16) and Spanish tinned stuffed squid in ink ($12). If you've gathered a big group, you can nab the four-course tasting menu for $39 per person, with matched natural wines for an additional $40.

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