Queen Chow Manly / Credit: Supplied

As we progress towards June, the cold bite that often comes with the winter air is looming. While the impending weather is reason enough to rug up for evening, Merivale is encouraging Sydney-siders to head to their local restaurant or bar, “just because”.

Once again returning with it’s 49% off campaign, a diverse range of establishments – including the likes of The Royal, Hotel Centennial and Queen Chow Manly – are offering 49 percent off ALL drinks, ALL June from 5 till 7pm every day. Inspired by the sentiment “Just Because”, it’s the perfect way to end a cold day and whether you’re out for the night or heading home from the office, according to the hospitality giant “any excuse will do”.

Available at 39 destinations across the city and coast, the options are vast and provides an apt opportunity to explore a portfolio of high-end vino and exquisite cocktails. With a vast array of options, GRAZIA asked some of Sydney’s top and most respected bartenders and sommeliers for the drinks you should explore this June.

Sarah Pierotti – J&M

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“At J&M we always love to showcase amazing drinks and premium spirits, but what we love about 49% off in June is that we can give our guests the opportunity to experience some of our rare collection of whisky like Benromach 30yo, Macallan Reflexion, G&M Port Ellen 1980, Royal Salute 62, Michel Couvreur Very Sherried 27yo, Eagle Rare 17yo bourbon. Some of these whiskies are rare and limited, and the price range is usually between $80-$200. This 49% off deal is almost as rare as the whiskies are!

In J&M we love to chat about whisky with our guests, with the 49% we encourage them to try our whisky’s degustations where we can take them through a journey of flavours, paired with nibbles.

We’re also very excited to launch our new cocktail menu, which is all about winter flavours. We have the ‘Bohemian Flip’, a beautiful Talisker-based dessert cocktail, a black truffle Chivas high ball, and the ‘Sailors Secret’ an old fashioned style cocktail with tropical notes which was inspired by Mr. John and Merivale’s first date.”

Paul Huet – Senior Head Sommelier at Bar Fred’s

“My pick would be a freshly added wine on Fred’s wine list called “Ciel Liquide”. It’s from the 2012 vintage, made with Grenache grape, and grown from a region that keeps sending some great surprises: Roussillon in south west France. The producer, Jean Philippe Padie, is crafting a pure, silky, mouth-filling red wine that hooked me on the first sip. It will be listed at $165, which brings it down to roughly $84 after 49%. A steal! It’s a pure gem. Unknown, pure and delicious. 100% Fred’s!”

Andres Aragon Perez – Senior Head Sommelier at Bert’s Bar

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“At Bert’s during the month of June we will be drinking an Spanish red from Galicia. Hot from our international selection the 2013 Algueira made from merenzao grapes is a great way to welcome winter. A perfect medium body red to embrace the cooler months ahead without going quite yet to your full body cabinet. Directly from the Ribeira Sacra region in Galicia, this the finest and most elegant red I have tried from that part of the world in a long time. A fine edge from some of the steepest vineyards in Spain the wine displays characters of crunchy red fruit, dry red flowers and Chinese spice on the nose, a complex yet elegant palate full of red & black cherry and some whole bunch complexity.
Perfect match with our beef carpaccio, sour cream and preserved chili! Only for $97 after 49% off… why not?”

Ami Goldberg – Bar Team Leader at Charlie Parker’s

“My pick would be the ‘Ain’t No Chispazo’ created by Charlie Parker’s Bar Manager Mario la Pietra. It’s inspired by a Spanish ‘combinado’ based on sweet red vermouth and coke – called ‘Chispazo’ (meaning colloq. – ‘small amount of alcohol’ , ‘Give the spark’ ). While it doesn’t contain either of those two ingredients, this unusual yet simple drink evokes the same flavour profile of the original one; easy drinking and refreshing, with a mildly savoury type of sweetness to it.
To pay homage to the Spanish tradition of ‘tapas’ and pinchos – ours is garnished with a green olive and with our own vegan friendly – faux “Chorizo”.

It’s a unique drink that’s already become a Charlie Parker’s favourite. It’s usually $20 but during 49% off you can get one (or many) for $10.”

Syzmon Forszpaniak – Sommelier at Queen Chow Manly

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“Champagne all day long. I would recommend some of the Grower’s Champagne, such as Laherte Frères or Larmandier-Bernier or more recognisable houses such as Ruinart, Pol Roger or Taittinger. This is a great opportunity for Sydney to go try out our many venues and experience some of the most prestigious and sought after wines in the world. There is nothing better than a dozen Sydney Rock Oysters and a glass of Ruinart ‘R’ looking out over Manly Harbour. You’ll find me at Queen Chow Manly sipping Leclerc Briant 2007 Blanc de Noirs with some of Eric Koh’s signature dumplings!”

Stephanie Haile – The Royal

“My choice for the 49% promotion would be a bottle of Tondini ‘Karagnanj’ Vermentino at The Royal. The promotion is an amazing opportunity to go primo with your wine order (the Totti’s wine list will be available to order as part of the promotion) and try something you maybe wouldn’t normally, and this tasty Sardinian Vermentino is my choice. It’s balanced, with some tropical notes and perfect alongside the Tottis antipasti that’s available in the bar at The Royal. Trust me, you won’t be able to resist ordering a second.”

Melissa Moore – Head Sommelier at Hotel Centennial

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“My favourite drink for 49% will be the 2009 Tunkalilla Vineyard Riesling from Oregon, USA – because it’s a fabulous example of a white grape variety that ages so well. It tastes the way classic mature dry Rieslings should: honey and lime oil, minerally and intense and with really gorgeous power and length, and still looks amazingly youthful. And it’s a wonderful drink on its own or perfect with a bar snack of freshly shucked oysters… Its claim to fame is that this vineyard is owned by Brian Croser who is one of Australia’s kings of wine: famous for the Petaluma label he founded in the 1970’s (and his famous Clare Valley Riesling) and now with Tapanappa in South Australia.
And for the 49% off in June at Hotel Centennial it will be under $10 a glass. Cheers!”

For more information on the promotion, visit the Merivale website here.

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