Melanie’s World is tucked down a tiny cobbled street in Ghent’s historic Patershol district. Even from the outside I think it looks really inviting with its leafy vine over the door and chalkboards listing the latest hand-picked wines. Inside it’s small but they still manage to pack in a big selection of international wines. There’s a lot from South America, and I like the Bulgarian selection, but you’ll also find Belgian wines. Wine? From Belgium? Yes, you read that right – Belgium makes wine too, and you’ll find it here.
I don’t think Melanie’s World would be what it is without the lady in charge. Melanie is extremely friendly and takes the time to ask you what you’re looking for before giving explanations of wines that might be what you’re after. I like how customers drop into the store and they all seem to know her like a friend. She’ll also let you try whatever she has open too.
Apart from the wines, there’s also a good selection of gin (including the trendy Ginderella), spices and everything you need to rustle up a Mexican or Asian dish. Real corn tortillas, chipotle peppers, Philippine dried mangoes…you name it, Melanie probably sells it. Another reason I like it so much – Melanie’s World is open all day on Sundays, which is pretty rare for Ghent, and extremely useful if you run out of herbs in the middle of cooking.