Chance to drink with PM's former wine guru at Babyface Kitchen

Wine tasters: Mike Bennie and Louise Dowling, who will take over the bar of Wollongong resturant Babyface Kitchen this month.
Wine tasters: Mike Bennie and Louise Dowling, who will take over the bar of Wollongong resturant Babyface Kitchen this month.

The man who used to pick wines for Malcolm Turnbull’s wine cellar is bringing his know-how to Wollongong this month, as part of one restaurant’s mission to expose locals to unique wines.

Winemaker and drinks writer Mike Bennie will take over the bar at Babyface Kitchen on August 15, which chef Andy Burns hopes will give punters the change to “try something they will likely not get to try again”.

Since last year, the Keira Street eatery has run a series of “takeover” dinners involving guest sommeliers aiming to put the Wollongong dining scene of the map.

As well as once being the PM’s wine picker, Mr Bennie co-runs Newtown bottle shop P&V Wine and Liquor with Louise Dowling, who will join the Babyface event.

He also has his own wine brand, co-founded a wine festival, and wrote the drink program for the Rene Redzepi’s 2016 pop-up restaurant at Barangaroo.

Mr Burns said the one-off dinner was likely to sell out.

“Once again, we’re incredibly pumped to have industry legends such as these guys coming down to Wollongong to share a night with Babyface and our customers,” he said.

The menu will be made up of snack and share plates, with wines by the glass, and a soundtrack by local DJs from Music Farmers.