Supernatural in Byron Bay is a bit cool for cats – in a good way. A sophisticated slip of a wine bar for grown-ups only. Still a relatively new kid on the block, this original little venue has swiftly earned its stripes among local food and wine lovers since opening in Bay Lane several months ago. The local love for Supernatural adds up to one part solid wine list, one part shared plate menu that is some of the finest flavours around town right now and a pinch of curiosity.
There’s been much ado about natural wines in recent years, but natural wines aren’t anything new. Up until industrialisation, wine had previously been made ‘naturally’ for thousands of years without the addition of modern-day additives such as sulphur dioxides, acid controllers and stabilisers or large scale production techniques. Much in the same way that more and more consumers are seeking out organic food and products, more and more wine drinkers are dabbling in the dark art of natural wines.
So, what is a natural wine? The overarching philosophy behind natural wines is that they are created with low or minimal intervention. That could mean minimal chemical intervention or perhaps minimal technological intervention. Some natural wines are organic, some biodynamic, and some sustainable. For the owners of Supernatural, the natural wines they have selected have one thing in common: they are “… driven by passion and purity”.
Supernatural in Byron Bay is owned by mates Pete Windrim, himself a biodynamic winemaker, formerly of Krinklewood vineyard in Broke in the Hunter Valley, and Andy Love, a restaurateur and Co-owner of Shelter in Lennnox Head. Together they have created a wine temple for their devout disciples.
Open 7 nights from 5pm and from 1pm on Saturdays and Sundays, Supernatural is ideal for couples or couples in pairs to enjoy a few drinks and tapas style snacking. The wine list includes local and international selections by the glass and bottle. From sparkling sips to white, orange and red wines plus a few other options for the non-disciples. What’s great about experimenting with natural wines is that they are often from small family run vineyards. There’s an allowance for variation rather than year on year consistency. The wines might even be a little funky or cloudy. When visiting Supernatural we generally allow ourselves to be guided by the staff and enjoy savouring Pete’s knowledge, enthusiasm and love for his low intervention babies. P.S. An orange wine is a white wine made orange when it is left in contact with the grape skins and seeds.
As for the eats at Supernatural in Byron Bay… they are simply 10 out of 10. The snack style menu is designed for sharing and begins with little bites like Oysters, Padron peppers and House marinated sardines. Word of warning, one in every 10 peppers is going to taste like Krakatoa in your mouth, so make sure you play with friends to reduce the odds. The House marinated sardines awaken the tastebuds with their fresh pickly tang. For larger plates we recently enjoyed the Grilled octopus with aleppo pepper, preserved lemon and herbs for the first time. This is seriously my favourite dish in Byron Bay right now. I dream about it. Tender bit sized pieces of occy served with an Aleppo pepper sauce that has a slow, earthy heat that’s even a bit sweet, cut through with sharp and perfumed preserved lemon and fresh herbs. We wiped the dish clean with bread. You must also try the Empanadas filled with pumpkin, cheese and basil served with a green curry sauce which we have eaten every visit so far. They make a great winter warmer.
Make sure you try the Meatballs and Mussels as well. I’m going back for the Wild caught, slow cooked venison little burgers on house made brioche buns with pickles, root veg slaw and horseradish. There’s three to a serving and I might not share them! Also, one day when I leave room for dessert, I’ve got my eye on the Wattleseed and date cake with Brookie’s Mac liqueur, Davidson plum mousse and hazelnuts. I can already taste those coffee, nutty, sweet flavours with the slightly tart and velvety plum mousse. Yum.
Did I mention that there’s no cutlery at Supernatural? That’s right, you need to “Eat with your fingers and drink with your mouth”. And when you’re done, it’s ok if you want to throw your paper napkins on the floor. I’m not good at this part.
Some finer points:
- There are plenty of local suppliers on the menu which is always great to see.
- Did I mention that the presentation on the plates is so darn pretty?
- There are plenty of vegan and gluten free options.
- For evenings I would always book and in Summer months I would book during the daytime as well. In fact, just always book so you won’t be disappointed!
Supernatural in Byron Bay is an adult wine bar (or should we say wine temple?) serving holiday flavours and natural wines to the converts and the curious. It’s a bit quirky and a bit sophisticated and designed for small parties rather than large groups. Try the pumpkin Empanadas and the Octopus on your first visit and then go back to work your way through the menu.