Get the drop on small-scale wine producers from Australia and abroad at Mermaid’s SOMM Wine Store
Everyone needs a wine friend. You know, that person who is infectiously passionate about what’s currently ‘trending’ in the world of wine (chardonnay is back, baby!), must-try varieties from emerging and established winemakers and which bottles offer the best value for money. Joe and Natalie Caruso are those friends. You may not know them personally (yet) but if you’re fond of a drop, you will soon enough as the husband-and-wife duo has just opened SOMM Wine Store along the Gold Coast Highway in Mermaid Beach. The sommelier-owned space is devoted to showcasing small-scale producers that focus on sustainable farming and low-intervention winemaking from Australia and abroad.
Selecting wine can be a daunting task if you’re not necessarily ‘in the know’. From lofty tasting notes to unheard-of varietals, it can be a bit overwhelming. Enter SOMM Wine Store. The sleek new cellar is here to help you navigate the world of wine in the most enjoyable way possible – whether your hankering is for a punchy pet-nat or sipping a sparkling rosé in the sunshine. The first thing you’ll notice is that SOMM doesn’t look like your average bottle shop – rather than hiding the good stuff behind cabinets and relying on wordy descriptions, SOMM Wine Store proudly displays its inventory on open shelves with Joe, Natalie and their equally as knowledgeable staff ready to greet you and gently guide you in the right direction. The modern minimalist fit-out reflects the pair’s eco-friendly philosophy and utilises sustainable materials from the ground up. The result is strikingly beautiful with matte-black shelves juxtaposed against a dreamy back-lit arch and floating island bench.
Before you go thinking SOMM Wine Store is just a pretty face, its inventory packs a punch with plenty of hard-to-find bottles from mum-and-dad makers alongside world-renowned wines. The range is primarily Australian with a heavy focus on Queensland wines with some international bottles to round out the selection. The vast range is presided over personally by Joe, who has worked in wine distribution and importing for almost 20 years, so suffice to say he knows a thing or two about really excellent drops. Both he and Natalie, who are of Italian descent, are infectiously passionate about food pairings and have spent a considerable amount of time travelling around Europe and Australia with a wine in hand (we told you they are the kind of friends you want in your life). The pair moved here from Melbourne a few years back and saw a gap in the market for a shop that focuses on smaller operators that also value sustainability and minimal intervention. SOMM Wine Store caters to a vast range of tastes and budgets but as Joe says, you can’t always judge wine by the price but rather, its value. Joe and Natalie have big plans for the small space, which includes free tastings every Saturday (once current restrictions ease) as well as classes and short courses down the track.
In need of a bottle? Pop over to our Stumble Guide for opening times.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.