At last, there’s a war heating up over the lack of casual drinking spots in Sydney. It’s long been the case that if you fancy a tipple, a glass of wine with mates, or a spot away from sportcasts and pokies, then Sydney is not the place to be. Wellington, NZ, has a host of little nooks and crannies with a thriving wine bar scene. I had local friends take me to places warm, bustling and full of life, places that have no hope of existence under the current regime in Sydney. The high cost of a liquor licence is often cited as a primary reason for the dearth of wine bars in Sydney. This discussion has come up many times over the years, only to peter out as other issues arise. This time round, it seems to be getting close to achieving critical mass, inspired at least in part, by the shit stirring comments of John Thorpe, NSW prez of the AHA:
“We aren’t barbarians, but we don’t want to sit in a hole and drink chardonnay and read a book.”
While I don’t know whether John was serious or just taking the piss, I’d like to think the latter. It has the sense of a good ol’ aussie stir about it and it seems to have stirred up a whole heap of folk, all to the good so far. If, as a result of such comments, the laws are relaxed and we start to see the rise of wine bars and wanky drinking holes, then the wine lovers of Sydney will probably have to drink a toast to Mr Thorpe.