South Australia Winner

THE BARN STEAKHOUSE

The Barn Steakhouse

747 Glenelg River Road, Mount Gambier
(08) 8726 9999

barn.com.au

CUISINE Steak
WINE LIST Kent Comley
WINEs ON LIST 718 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($10-$35 by the glass)

Long-term locals, Dale and Marianne Cleves take great pride in serving beef that they have raised around the town of Mount Gambier as well as locally sourced seafood, accompanied by outstanding wines from the list curated by Kent Comley. Experience gained by Comley working in the wine industry in nearby Coonawarra means that he is ideally placed to source that region’s finest. It has also resulted in him trying his hand as a winemaker in Australia’s newest region, Mount Gambier.

With wine lists, competition has been fierce at the top in South Australia for the past decade. The Barn has shown its class as the previous winner of this award in 2013 and 2017.

The list’s greatest strength lies in its collection of local wines: it showcases these alongside the best of Australia (and especially South Australia) plenty with considerable age, at fair prices. There’s also the world’s finest from countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain and New Zealand. The choice by the glass is exemplary. For most, dining at The Barn provides a wonderful opportunity to sample a stunning steak from the region alongside one of its world-class reds.

PETER FORRESTAL

Finalists

The Crafers Hotel

8 Main Street, Crafers
(08) 8339 2050


crafershotel.com.au

CUISINE French/ Australia
WINE LIST Jonathan Brook
WINEs ON LIST 1885 (45 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($9-$19 by the glass)

Crafers is a world-class wine list that's big on numbers (1885 wines, 45 by the glass) but also on the quality and depth of both its Australian and its international wines. In keeping with the times, it also has a strong presence in low intervention, biodynamic and organic wines, too. If you enjoy a good wine read The Big Wine Book will keep you occupied with its stunning array of the world's finest with multiple vintages offered and special featured producer pages. If not, direct your attention to The Little Wine Book with its concentration on brighter, younger and more approachable wines. Local Adelaide Hills producers shine here, too, although they can be often an afterthought in the stellar company they keep.

d'Arenberg Cube

58 Osborn Road, McLaren Vale
(08) 8329 4888

darenberg.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Joshua Picken
WINEs ON LIST 550 (47 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($80-$10 by the glass)

It's a tremendous collection of wine on offer at the quixotic Cube landmark on d'Arenberg's estate, and though wedded to the wines of the property, and deeply, the list is a triumph for its incredible global reach, depth in cellared materials and marriage of classic and progressive producers. You might need a GPS of some sort to work through the off-beat layout, but the overall impression is of a collection of wines that settles for best only. Of particular note are the sommelier-led, 'wine experiences' that work as matching flights for the meal – diners choose between a d'Arenberg focus, a mix of premium wine (and d'Arenberg) or an innovative tasting menu that weds a range of diverse sake to the meal. All up, the comprehensive nature of the list is compelling, thoughtfully brought together and balances sommelier interest with a breadth that appeals to the broad audience entering the Cube. Great work, Josh Picken and team.

Glass-Rated

2KW Bar & Restaurant

Level 8, 2 King William Road, Adelaide
(08) 8212 5511


2kwbar.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Liinaa Jaumdally (Berry)
WINEs ON LIST 785 (32 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($150-$9.5 by the glass)

A wine list with originality in layout, detail and selection writ large. The collection itself is exceptionally long and well-chosen with classic wines of Australia deeply represented alongside touchstones from Europe's finest wine regions with a diligently listed menu of avant-garde wine producers and more idiosyncratic wine styles found amongst the glitterati of fine wine. Huge swathes of Australia's greatest wines are found in cellared runs, including Wendouree from the 1990s, and intelligently chosen back-vintage Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill Of Grace. That being said, the fetish for high class Burgundy is apparent, the love of Bordeaux evident, and the focus on traditional and grower-producer Champagne is impressive. Notwithstanding the more classic leaning of the list, you'll also find bold representation from lesser-sung regions and countries like Jura, Valtellina, Austria and Hungary while local contemporary heroes of South Australia are inherent. An outstanding list.

Apothecary 1878

118 Hindley St, Adelaide
(08) 8212 9099


theapothecary1878.com.au

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Paola Coro
WINEs ON LIST 350 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($16-$9 by the glass)

A perennial favourite for fine wine lovers in Adelaide, Apothecary 1878 has a wine list that continues to offer a glorious and deep global selection of exceptional wine. The list continues to show a strong focus on high quality producers of 'best wine regions' with current and back vintage wines lovingly selected. There's exceptional wines from Burgundy, Champagne and marquee regions of Italy, but the gems are found in Alsace, Rhone and Beaujolais, as examples, likewise. Beyond the vinous offering there's one of Australia's great collections of spirits, so much so that a designated Scotch whisky pairing is available. Indeed, the single malt selection is epic, with many rarities found amongst the listings. However, the strongest focus is on local wines, a true treasure trove here, though you'll find judicious balance between stalwarts like JJ Hahn, Torbreck and Henschke, alongside the avant garde of BK Wines, Jauma and Ochota Barrels. A marquee collection emerges once more.

Appellation

375 Seppeltsfield Road, Marananga
(08) 8562 4144


thelouise.com.au/dine

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Patrick Burgun
WINEs ON LIST 500 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($96-$12 by the glass)

A significant list not only for its global overview of fine wine, but for its deep and abiding support for Australian, and, importantly, South Australian producers. By the glass is a high light and impressive, with charismatic expressions from smaller producers, like EdenFlo from the Barossa, or Turon from Adelaide Hills, set alongside classic wines from Torbreck or Pieropan. Most impressive in the pouring section is the stupendous depth of fortified wines, with excellent sherry and apera outshone by the dozen sweet fortified, including a 1978 Seppeltsfield offering. Wow. The list continues with a keen eye on best producers and a wealth of vintages from marquee Australian wine regions, though those seeking out excellent Bordeaux and Burgundy will find depth and interest. While pinot noir is a star collection, the real strength is found in shiraz, not only from local sources where multiple vintages and cult producers are found, but global touchstones too. An outstanding list here.

The Barn Steakhouse

747 Glenelg River Road, Mount Gambier
(08) 8726 9999

barn.com.au

CUISINE Steak
WINE LIST Kent Comley
WINEs ON LIST 718 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($35-$9.5 by the glass)

What a treat for the people of Mt. Gambier and for those fortunate enough to stop over for a night or two and enjoy the many, many vinous charms of The Barn. The list is a personal expression on behalf of the owner/sommelier and celebrates the local wines of nearby regions including Coonawarra, Mt. Gambier and the Limestone Coast while also having the bigger picture in mind.

Bistro Blackwood

285 Rundle St, Adelaide
(08) 8227 0344


bistroblackwood.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Shaun Lau
WINEs ON LIST 23 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($14-$10 by the glass)

It's not a wine list to pore over but it serves the venue well and has a distinct focus on local products from South Australia. Yes, you'll still get the big night out moment with Champagne, but the gist here is much more about celebrating the regional heroes proximate to Adelaide. You'll find a mesh of avant-garde producers like EdenFlo, Delinquente and Brash Higgins right next to more classic wine companies like Torbreck, Henschke and Yalumba. By the glass offerings are succinct and diverse, while a beer menu is likeable for its diversity of styles. Indeed, the broad reach of wines found in this short and sharp list is pretty smart, lending it good character, and ideally matched to the bistro dining offered at Blackwood. .

Botanic Gardens Restaurant

Plane Tree Drive, Adelaide
(08) 8223 3526


botanicgardensrestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Luca Abbatiello
WINEs ON LIST 77 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($23-$12 by the glass)

In the heart of Adelaide's famous Botanic Gardens, its eponymous restaurant likes both its culinary and vinous ingredients to be expressive of their terroir. Which might explain why the wine list is so heavily skewed towards organic, biodynamic and minimal intervention styles of wines sourced predominantly from South Australia. The state's produce from beer, cider, gin, spirts and wines dominate the listing so be prepared for a proper immersion into the obvious (Barossa shiraz, Clare Valley riesling) through to the less obvious (Adelaide Hills grüner veltliner, McLaren Vale nero d'Avola). Check out the Cellar Reserve before ordering, it's definitely advisable.

Chianti

160 Hutt St, Adelaide
(08) 8232 7955


chianti.net.au

CUISINE Italian
WINEs ON LIST 297 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($21.5-$10.5 by the glass)

The list is thickly accented with wines and grape varieties of Italy but delivers drinkers a wealth of fine Australian wine amongst the more thematic offering. It's great to see a lot of wines released in an appropriate drinking window too, with many drops on Chianti's list matured judiciously in their cellar. There's a distinct focus on nebbiolo with high quality and matured Barbaresco and Barolo figuring strongly. Distinct in the list is the inclusion of Australia-Italian wines too, a strong statement about the currency of local winemakers utilising the heritage of Italy, locally. Amongst the mix of wines there is, of course, the bold, brassy reds of South Australia, and, in small doses, some of the more progressive sect of Australian winemakers. It's a list that marries wonderfully to the charming Chianti atmosphere and the well-visited Italian food menu. Though thematic, it does so with aplomb.

The Crafers Hotel

8 Main Street, Crafers
(08) 8339 2050

crafershotel.com.au

CUISINE French/ Australia
WINE LIST Jonathan Brook
WINEs ON LIST 1885 (45 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($19-$9 by the glass)

Crafers is a world-class wine list that's big on numbers (1885 wines, 45 by the glass) but also on the quality and depth of both its Australian and its international wines. In keeping with the times, it also has a strong presence in low intervention, biodynamic and organic wines, too. If you enjoy a good wine read The Big Wine Book will keep you occupied with its stunning array of the world's finest with multiple vintages offered and special featured producer pages. If not, direct your attention to The Little Wine Book with its concentration on brighter, younger and more approachable wines. Local Adelaide Hills producers shine here, too, although they can be often an afterthought in the stellar company they keep.

d'Arenberg Cube

58 Osborn Road, McLaren Vale
(08) 8329 4888


darenberg.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Joshua Picken
WINEs ON LIST 0 (47 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($80-$10 by the glass)

It's a tremendous collection of wine on offer at the quixotic Cube landmark on d'Arenberg's estate, and though wedded to the wines of the property, and deeply, the list is a triumph for its incredible global reach, depth in cellared materials and marriage of classic and progressive producers. You might need a GPS of some sort to work through the off-beat layout, but the overall impression is of a collection of wines that settles for best only. Of particular note are the sommelier-led, 'wine experiences' that work as matching flights for the meal - diners choose between a d'Arenberg focus, a mix of premium wine (and d'Arenberg) or an innovative tasting menu that weds a range of diverse sake to the meal. All up, the comprehensive nature of the list is compelling, thoughtfully brought together and balances sommelier interest with a breadth that appeals to the broad audience entering the Cube. Great work, Josh Picken and team.

d'Arry's Verandah

58 Osborn Road, McLaren Vale
(08) 8329 4848

darenberg.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINEs ON LIST 230 (36 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($19-$8 by the glass)

The list is keenly focussed on the grand array of wines and wine styles that d'Arenberg produces, with the myriad of cuvees represented through the wine list. There's new release and mature releases in tandem, which gives drinkers an opportunity to not only see how the young wines work with dining, but a window into the cellaring health of many of the wines. By the glass gives a good spread of classic and contemporary interpretations of d'Arenberg's quarry, and for those seeking additional drinking beyond the home, there's a tightly chosen international spread of 'best of' classic wine styles from Europe. As far as winery-restaurant lists goes, this one is deep and broad in the offering, despite the 'outsider' list being relatively short and simple.

Eden Valley Hotel

11 Murray Street, Eden Valley
(08) 8564 1072

edenvalleyhotel.net.au

CUISINE Classic Pub Food and Seasonal Selections
WINE LIST Cassaly Fitzgerald
WINEs ON LIST 50 (11 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$ ($10-$7 by the glass)

This is one of those short wine lists that regional pubs should aspire to. It offers drinkers comfort in well-known producers while extending the interest-factor with emerging varieties and styles, and supports a raft of artisan wine producers. While the hotel may be an extension of Max & Me wines (and you can try the range onsite), the homage to 'friends' and interesting wines is writ large in this short but well-chosen list. Therefore you see cult wines from Sami-Odi or the hard-to-find Flaxman set alongside big name wineries like Henschke and Petaluma. By the glass neatly provides a journey through classic and contemporary, while a few choice 'mature' wines pepper the list. While hyper-local and South Australian drops may be a feature, you can see the input of the local winemaking community interests in smaller-house Champagne, idiosyncratic blaufränkisch and other curious imported wines. All-in-all it's a ripper collection that should please all-comers, yet excels in its own right.

Hardy's Verandah

1 Mawson Drive, Crafers
(08) 8339 6777


hardysverandah.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Brendan Cantrall
WINEs ON LIST 650 (35 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($39-$12 by the glass)

A comprehensive wine list that delivers a satisfying hit of marquee, blue chip and boutique Australian wine with a scattering of valuable input from landmark international wine regions. It's a list that feels jovial and open weave from its detailed introduction through to effusive category descriptions and punchlines in headers for each collection of wine. Amongst the prestige wines there's a dedicated focus on the Adelaide Hills, a well-chosen tranche of sake, a diverse beer list and a collection of aptly fancy Champagne, both big house and grower alike. Mini-verticals of wines are also appealing, particularly those of cult wine producers like Charles Melton, Felton Road or Wendouree, with the latter spread across multiple cuvees. For heavy hitters, there's enough in the grand cru and equivalent zone to take the dining experience to an upper echelon. A list that delivers gravitas in the offering while remaining accessible in its delivery of that content.

Orana

285 Rundle Street, Adelaide
(08) 8232 3444

restaurantorana.com

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Shaun Lau
WINEs ON LIST 399 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($38-$15 by the glass)

A stellar wine list that delivers a broad and interesting collection to guests of Orana. It pays homage to the local (even hyper-local in the separate listings for Adelaide Hills wines), showcases smaller farmer-grower wineries and champions organic farming as an underpinning for most of the offering. This means you get some of the more exciting wines available in Australia served alongside the native ingredients that feature so distinctly on Orana's menu, or, if your wallet extends well, then there's high class Burgundy from Prieuré-Roch, a very smart collection of Jura wines, rare François Cotat or, for an occasion, fine, grand marque Champagne. That being said, sommeliers at Orana are best asked for the local gear as they intimately work with proximate producers and many wines seem more aptly matched to the cuisine. While the list doesn't wallow in the encyclopaedic listings of other three glass lists, this one nails every entry for quality and relevance. It's great work here.

The Playford

120 North Tce, Adelaide
(08) 8213 8844

theplayford.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Kimberley Jackson
WINEs ON LIST 133 (45 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($40-$9 by the glass)

A wine list celebrating strength of South Australia's premier wine regions and producers with a collection that delivers classic wines, blue chip producers and well-loved wineries of grand repute. A feature page showcasing Yalumba's breadth of styles heralds a list that delivers tradition and steadfast support for the familiar and reliable. Wirra Wirra, Bleasdale, Wynn's and Parker are some of the big names, though sections titled Whites For The Adventurous and Reds For The Adventurous introduce diners to grape varieties like pinot meunier, assyrtiko, mourvèdre, grüner veltliner and vermentino. By the glass stretches to 45 different wines, a handy by-product of having a large scale system of Enomatic machines allowing customers to gain portions of precious drops. All-in-all a likeable list that readily supports a legion of dyed in the wool, tried and tested Aussie wine brand fans.

Republic Norwood

120 Magill Road, Norwood
(08) 8362 4657

republicnorwood.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Benjamin Gough & Jason Ryan
WINEs ON LIST 125 (51 by the glass)  
WINE PRICES$$ ($21-$8.5 by the glass)

A list which unashamedly trumpets the glories of its home state, South Australia, and uses many of the very best producers to do so. Good information is provided on these wines but best of all is the value offered here. Some gems at great prices. A solid, impressive collection from SA.

The Salopian Inn

5 McMurtrie Rd, McLaren Vale
(08) 8323 8769

salopian.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Alex Marchetti
WINEs ON LIST 565 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($50-$10 by the glass)

One of South Australia's most prominent wine country restaurants excels with their drinks collection on every level. No conversation about The Salopian Inn is free from mentioning one of the best gin collections in the country, but the wine list holds its own and excels. This is a strongly regional list, detailed in the nuances of big and small, established and emerging wineries of McLaren Vale, with a shiraz selection that will have bold red wine lovers gasping. Amongst this, there's canny choices from Tasmanian wunderkind Dr Edge, loads of avant-garde winemaker Taras Ochota's Ochota Barrels wines, rarities in imports from Pyramid Valley, Napa's Matthiasson winery and strength in numbers from Didier Dagueneau. Amongst all this there's affordable South Australian drops from emerging producers like Somos, Lino Ramble and Aphelion. It's a serious list, a colourful list, imbued with the good vibes of the venue and championing quality wine from all corners of the wine world.

Sean's Kitchen

North Terrace, Adelaide
(08) 8218 4244

adelaidecasino.com.au/restaurants/seans-kitchen

CUISINE Seafood & Steakhouse
WINE LIST James Parham
WINEs ON LIST 360 (39 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($250-$10 by the glass)

Why stop at a glass of Penfolds Bin 389 when you can have a glass of 2005 vintage Grange? Sure, it will set you back a cool $250, but if you've won big at the Casino, that should be a trifle. This is a decadent wine list that impresses with top-flight, marquee wines of the globe, but seems to sneak in some of the more colourful wine producers of South Australia, with the likes of Ochota Barrels and Koerner included. Rockford, Seppelt's, Henschke and Wynn's command multiple listings, but it's the slew of amazing Penfolds wines and a run of big name First Growth Bordeaux that should get the high rollers excited. That being said, the meat on the bones of this list is exceptional Australian wines from all over the country, with attention paid to best varieties and their ideal regions. This is a list built around prestigious wines and unashamedly offering drinkers the full flex of a luxury experience. It's a well curated list, pitch perfect for the venue and cuisine.

Uraidla Hotel

1198 Greenhill Rd, Uraidla
04 6680 8210

uraidlahotel.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Mattia Tognon
WINEs ON LIST 210 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13-$9 by the glass)

A fantastic pub list and one that pays great honour to the local wine region, with a cavalcade of Adelaide Hills producers given their time in the sun. It's great to see traditional, local producers finding space amongst the bustle of the avant garde sect of the Basket Range, and more so the even-handed inclusion of wines chosen for quality, not just hype. The list also delivers excellent additions of multiple vintages and cuvees of Yarra Yering, Kaesler and Burgundy producer Prieuré-Roch, a by-product of Uraidla Hotel owner Ed Peter's invested connection to these wineries. Champagne and sparkling wine is a strength, so, too, the collection of Adelaide Hills distillates, importantly, local gin. It's a belter of a collection punching high for a regional pub and delivering drinkers into a loving embrace of diversity, personality and interest of wine, beer and spirits available in South Australia. Well done that pub.

Wined Bar @ National Wine Centre

Hackney & Botanic Roads, Adelaide
(08) 8313 3355

wineaustralia.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST James Boden
WINEs ON LIST 870 (120 by the glass)  
WINE PRICES$ ($180-$7.5 by the glass)

A list that emphatically and deeply celebrates and promotes the width and breadth of Australian wine, this is indeed a remarkable collection of local fare covering new releases, vintage wines, cult winemakers, big name classics and a pitch-perfect balance of emerging and established producers. The most emphatic statement, however, is the Coravin program that allows drinkers to go by the glass on around 120 different wines! Truly remarkable. Australian wine may be the hero, but for those fatiguing, or, indeed, seeking a broader church, there's well-chosen offerings in the varied imported wine sections. That being said, the main aim is to educate (you can even ask for flights of blind tastings to be served!) guests about all things local, and this list delivers so much opportunity it is almost overwhelming! It's worth a detour here to try the obscure or to delve into cellar-release blue chip wines from marquee wineries. A wonderful list.