Wellington Food Review

Good Good

There’s no other place in New Zealand that so authentically follows the tradition of France or Italy

5 Jan 23


Cave a Van, Auckland

Cave a Vin probably doesn’t need this review. It has so many staunch regulars that it’s often hard to find a table. That alone should make you want to go. Here’s another reason. There’s no other place in New Zealand that so authentically follows the local, independent wine bar tradition of France or Italy.

The Italians even have a word for it – enoteca). Neither restaurant nor bar. in the strict sense of the word, these places offer quality wines you’ll rarely find elsewhere, specialist cheese and charcuterie, plus ever-changing dishes made in small kitchens somewhere out back. And invariably, it’s all served up by super-passionate, knowledgeable people who take immense pride in taking customers on an oenological and culinary journey they won’t forget. The best places are totally relaxed and happily chaotic. When they’re humming, everyone is happy.

And that absolutely is Cave a Vin. A place that feels perfectly shoehorned into a sliver of space on an ordinary suburban road, made for and packed with locals. The bar greets you with Oysters, sensational home made sourdough and a dozen red and white wines open and ready to explore. Be up for any of them - it’s almost the point. You get to try, ask questions, learn as much as you want and, if there’s nothing you fancy, there’s another 100 bottles or so on the shelves around the place they’ll be happy to open. In this place, the wines they-are-a-changing, everyday.

What makes Cave a Vin truly special for wine lovers, though, is that they’re all natural (but never served up with any proselytising haughtiness). It’s probably the very best selection in New Zealand, drawn from everywhere on the planet. Wines you’ll likely never see anywhere else any time soon. Unlike the regulars.

Is it good?

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