Armadale Cellars is a boutique wine shop installed inside a beautiful double-storey Victorian manor. It’s been a constant on High Street since 1997.
Despite its up-market locale, there are wines to suit all budgets. There are wines to suit all palates, too – everything from pinot noir to Chenin Blanc and fortified. There’s a focus on a few key producers, such as Ocean Eight on the Mornington Peninsula, Levantine Hill in the Yarra Valley and Henschke in Keyneton, South Australia.
It’s not a wine bar but there are always wines available to try. Owner Phil Hude is big on education, so he often holds tastings and other events in the downstairs cellar. Sign up for the Shiraz Challenge and you’ll blind-taste a number of premium Shiraz wines (including Penfolds Grange). The Champagne Challenge will have you blind-tasting Dom Pérignon, among others.
Hude also holds a number of five-week courses. At the introductory and intermediate wine courses, you learn how to taste and talk about wine. There are also basic language courses, where you learn the basics of either French, Spanish or Italian while enjoying a glass from the relevant country. A Lonely Planet phrasebook is included in the course price.