Located in The Arts Centre, in the space that was once the legendary Annie’s Wine Bar, Cellar Door exists in a place that is already very special to Cantabrians.
They don’t, however, rely on this. Here, the focus is on approachable wine drinking, seasonal fare and free flowing conversation. Cellar Door feels like your ‘local’ but has a distinctive, exciting element, sans pretentiousness.
Upon entering you’ll notice a unique wooden bar made with staves from repurposed local Pinot Noir barrels. Light pours in through the historic windows and most details found here, like the Crown Lynn china and vintage cutlery, have been collected throughout New Zealand. The team is much the same. They hail from around New Zealand and the world, but all have an appreciation for what this place has to offer in terms of food, wine and culture.
Owner-operators Kate Hide and Tim Ogle can be found working on-site most days. Their down-to-earth personalities conceal the fact that they’re hospitality aficionados, and the offerings mirror their passionate yet humble approach.
Kate, two time South Island sommelier of the year and Tim, former Christchurch wine rep bring their expertise and lifelong wine affinity to Cellar Door. Both are happy to answer questions and together they’ve created an experiential, welcoming place in which to explore some of New Zealand's (and the world’s) best wine. The wine ‘flights’ are a great place to start.
Cellar Door’s wine tasting flights are high quality, great value and downright fun. Rather than telling you what you should taste, the menu informs about process and origin in plain language. Each flight has a clever name and is a carefully crafted tasting journey. If you find a drop you love, order it by the glass or get a bottle to takeaway. Here “you can trust your own palate” and chart your own wine journey.
Wine, however, is only part of Cellar Door’s story…
A great glass of wine with a nice nibble is hard to beat. Cellar Door offers both parts of the equation and then some. Small plates here are simple but solid - seven different salted almond recipes were tried before the team got them just right. Larger dishes like white anchovies on toast with gremolata and chardonnay shallots or braised beef cheek for two with mushroom ragout and creamy polenta are seasonal, locally sourced and delicious. The food menu is small but deliberate, mostly gluten-free and features several vegan dishes. Craft beers on tap and locally sourced spirits are also available.
Cellar Door is set in the south quad of the Christchurch Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora.