Bigger is not always better, and this has never been more the case than when it comes to selecting quality wines and specialised spirits on the Northern Beaches.
COVERED. visited Porters Liquor in Balgowlah to sample the variety of beverages on offer.
Porters independent liquor store offers an unrivalled variety of alcoholic treats and it’s unlikely other sellers could ever match their range or expertise.
Owner Karen Nicholls has a long history in the trade and the community. Her parents ran the liquor store on the same site as Porters 20 years ago.
“My parents owned Totem Cellars and sold it in 1990. They bought the building and moved the store from underneath Totem to the corner location where I am now based,” she explains.
In fact, her family owned the newsagents on Sydney Road, in Balgowlah, before taking over Totem Cellars. Karen helped in the back office and managed the building.
When Vintage Cellars, who took over from her family, moved into the newly developed Stockland Shopping Centre to be next to Coles, she decided to return to her family’s old stomping ground by opening a liquor store.
“Everyone kept telling me they wanted a liquor store there and especially having onsite parking just makes it so convenient,” adds Karen.
But she was determined to have an independent store responsible for choosing its own products and lines and with staff, like manager Ian Nicholson, who really know their stuff.
Ian worked for Vintage Cellars for more than 19 years and has been with Balgowlah Porters since it opened seven years ago. “People come in here looking for something special and we have the range and the knowledge to advise them. But while they are here they can get their everyday wines as well,” he explains.
In addition, the store has a relationship with a number of boutique wineries, who do not sell to the larger chains, like the multi-award winning Hentley Farm Wines in the Barossa Valley.
“We taste every wine that comes into the store and we stock wines that you cannot get elsewhere. We have the freedom to buy what we want and a lot of the wines we have are more restaurant based. Being part of the Porter group however, means we have buying deals available from across the group and for more mainstream wines.
“People are not drinking as much as they perhaps did in the past but they have higher expectations. They want value and that is getting the best product for what they want to spend,” explains Karen.
And Porters is more than happy to help.
Porter’s Liquor Balgowlah - 404 Sydney Rd, Balgowlah 2093
(02) 9948 0745 // www.portersliquor.com.au/balgowlah.html
Open: Mon & Tues 10am-8pm; Wed & Thurs 10am-9pm; Fri & Sat 10am-10pm; Sun10am-8pm.
Wine tastings every Friday 5pm – 7pm.