At The Bar with La Luna’s Adrian Richardson

The Write Drop catches up with Adrian Richardson who talks wine, cocktails and celebrating the 25th anniversary of his iconic Carlton venue, La Luna Bistro.

Why Melbourne

I love everything about Melbourne – the coffee, laneways, restaurants, 24-hour dining and drinking. I love Melbourne because if you want a little peace and quiet, it’s easy to find (you can walk along Yarra Bend Park – smack bang in the middle of the northern suburbs and you feel like you’re in the bush). If you want the hustle and bustle, it’s there – just jump on a tram and you’re surrounded by incredible bars and eateries. So it ticks all the boxes – outstanding markets, venues, hotels bars, great dining.

Favourite Bar

I have to confess Bouvier Bar in Brunswick East is my favourite place to drink. I own it, so I can stay as late as I like and the crew make my martinis just the way I like them. I am a vodka drinker, so if I’m drinking at the bar, I’m drinking a vodka martini, dry with a lemon twist. However, as we all know martinis can catch up with you very quickly, so I like to follow this up with a good Australian Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.

How has the wine list at La Luna evolved in the last 25 years

The first wine list at La Luna was a quick trip to the local bottle shop. I filled up a shopping trolley and I hand wrote the list the night before opening. But then a very dear friend who was a restaurant manager came in, took one look at the list and offered to rewrite it for me, did all the ordering and we’ve had a great wine list ever since. The first few years of the wine list was simple – lots of cheap drops, but very affordable. These days La Luna’s list has wine from all over the world, but our main focus is local wines from Victoria and Australia. We think it’s the little guys, like us, that produce small vintages of beautiful wines and young up and coming wine makers like Charlotte Dalton and Chris Catlow are the future of the industry, breathing new life in the Australian food scene that inspires us.

A celebrated drop from the past and what’s new

2003 Jasper Hill ‘Georgia’s Paddock’ Shiraz. I have always had a wine from Jasper Hill on the list at La Luna, the perfect drop matched with our dry aged beef.

A wine with friends

Pol Roger Champagne, a classic, it never offends. Good Chardonnay and Pinot from Victoria

Best hangover cure

A Bloody Mary and linguini with garlic chilli, butter and prawns.

Favourite Interstate Bar

I’ve just opened a couple of new venues in Brisbane and am loving discovering the city’s little treasures. The Nixon Room, ESSA’s concealed bar in Fortitude Valley, has great food, great cocktails, great vibes. Not your average Brisbane venue.

Favourite Overseas Bar

Employees Only in New York City in the West Village, because I am usually working and it’s the perfect bar for a late-night cocktail or two. I love this bar, it’s hard to find, never fails to impress, and is open late. It’s the sort of bar you are leaving to go for breakfast…and everyone else is going to work.

A drink that describes your personality

A dirty Martini; a little bit salty and a little bit dirty, but always sophisticated.

Local Wine we need to know about

My two favourite varietals are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, so it can’t be just one wine. I am loving ‘Weathercraft’ Beechworth Chardonnay & ‘Jane Eyre’ Yarra Valley, Pinot Noir. I love to support people following their passions, and giving things a go, people who go out there and do what they want to do, all the accolades are great, but for me it’s about the beauty of what they do and that comes across in these two wines. That is why I think Raquel Jones and Jane Eyre are so good at what they do, and these two wines are so bloody delicious.


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