Virginia Plain


31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
03 9290 0400

With lyrics that seem contradictory and oblique, Roxy Music’s 1972 debut single Virginia Plain might seem an odd source inspiration for a bar’s moniker. But look at the drink menu and the kitchen fare and things start to make sense.

Virginia Plain might bring a touch of rock eclecticism to food and drink, but the team they’ve assembled are no underground nobodies. With food and wine resumes that name-drop institutions like Vue du Monde and The Carlisle Wine Bar, Virginia Plain looks like the hospitality equivalent of a supergroup.

The great thrust of attention so far has been on Virginia Plain’s wine program. The wine list is divided into categories like ‘delicate and racy’, ‘perfumed and floral’ and ‘plush and juicy’. In the ‘orange and grippy’ section, however, things get interesting.


Orange wines are wines from white grapes made with skin contact and aged in oak and amphorae in a way that it was done, in the case of Georgia, thousands of years ago. Orange wine is to wine geeks what bitters and amari are to bartenders: obscure and acquired tastes. They’re not crowd-pleasers, but they’re damn tasty if you’re open to them. And like the best music the wine list is egalitarian with 50 wines under the $65 barrier.

Things are not just for the oenological-minded. Former 1806 bar manager, Sam Cameron, presides over an 18.5 metre long bar and a bar program with classics like the Hanky Panky on offer. Headings on the menu take their cue from song titles too, with Tom Waits’ Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis introducing the cocktails.

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