Benjamin opened the bar about a month ago, and I walked into it by myself as I was staying just down the road on my first night in Auckland.
It appealed to me because it looked French and was inviting. The type of bar you wish you were sitting in, in Italy... In Paris, or in Auckland.
The wine menu was superb, I started with a local lager - which the bar didn't even have on its craft beer menu, then went onto a Pinot Noir - served in a beautiful large glass, the kind you James Bond drinks out of. It's an experience in large portions (to the sound of jazz), and finished with a Beaujolais.
Now I should mention, they were closing up, but I asked if I could still get a drink, and they stayed open just for one customer, me. I even left for cigarettes and they said they would stay open for me to come back, because I wanted to have one more glass from their wine list.
I told Benjamin (the owner, who served me) when I arrived, that I love Beaujolais but because I was in Auckland, I needed a NZ wine. He didn't disappoint with a Pinot Noir from Central Otago, and when I asked him to just give me his best recommendation as my final glass, he remembered what I liked and I had one of the best French Beaujolais I've had, well, since France.
You're going to this bar because the owner is trained in wine, but also because he has the ability to make you feel welcomed, identifies what wine you will like and is genuine. The bar is beautifully decked out as well, with a warm smoking area outside (I know, I know, but to each their own, and this bar manages to make you feel as if it is, your own private vineyard).
They serve seasonal food as well which I didn't partake in, but Benjamin said they are guided by their Chef, and what's in season - paired to their wines.
I should have taken pictures but the wine was too good to ignore - and pleasantly priced - a credit to Auckland.