Victoria Winner


Cutler & Co.

55-57 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
(03) 9419 4888

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINEs ON LIST 640 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($55-$12 by the glass)

There is a high level of sophistication and quiet confidence to this list which draws you in instantly. Sommelier Liam O’Brien presents an astute selection of local and international wines, with as much character at the entry level as with the upper echelons.

Wines have been selected for their interest value as well as their inherent quality. There are plenty of left-of-field bottles to keep experimental drinkers happy, though there’s also a good number of more-than-worthy Australian classics and big-name Euro labels.

The diversity of origin is perhaps the most thrilling element of the list. It is a truly global selection, with a spread from traditional European wine regions plus accents from Croatia, Slovenia, South Africa and Argentina. That said, Australian wines make up the heart of the list.

There is also an excellent selection by the glass, a great set of cocktails including low and no alcohol options, a good number of half and large format bottles, and a top choice of fizz.

In all categories, there has been a high level of curation, so you never feel overwhelmed by choice. But at the same time, everything you want to find seems to be there.  




74 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea
(03) 9530 0111

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Jane Lopes
WINEs ON LIST 500 (31 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($11-$68 by the glass)

Attica walks to the beat of its own drum. It takes a refreshing approach to fine dining, such as offering three different beverage pairings: non-alcoholic juices and infusions; global wine, beer and sake; or a mix of the two. The wine-by-the-glass offering traverses a wide range of prices: you can enjoy an affordable glass of rosé or a rare aged wine served via Coravin. By the bottle, the hand-tendered selection is heady and luxurious, catering for the finest of connoisseurs, though there is also an excellent selection of sub-$100 bottles so you can have a fine wine experience whatever your budget.

Dinner By Heston Blumenthal

Level 3, Crown Towers, 8 Whiteman St, Melbourne
(03) 9292 5779

CUISINE Historical English & Australian
WINE LISt Loic Avril
WINEs ON LIST 1,200 (46 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($8-$1,100 by the glass)

For a serious high-end wine experience, Dinner by Heston is the place to go. The restaurant houses an extraordinary collection of wine from Australia and beyond, with back vintages of the most famous labels. The by-the-bottle selection is quite remarkable, as is the breathtaking by-the-glass collection by Coravin. Though if your budget is more moderate, there are plenty of delights, such as Quealy Tussie Mussie Pinot Noir, Yangarra Roussanne, S.C. Pannell Pinot Grigio and Nick O’Leary Riesling. So you can drink international wines of the highest level with prices to match, or you can drink superb local wines, more measured in cost, but delicious and satisfying all the same.



297 Lygon St, Carlton
(03) 9347 1619

CUISINE Modern Italian
WINE LIST James Tait
WINEs ON LIST 425 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($9-$40 by the glass)

Yet another Italian restaurant on Lygon Street? Yes, but rising above the pizza-and-Chianti crowd, Agostino shines with a super-serious wine list to the quality wines of Italy. The comparison between Italian wines and Australian wines made using Italian grape varieties offers added insight and there is plenty of choice by the glass, half bottle as well as bottle. The main listing offers comprehensive choice of Champagne and Burgundy, but the best is kept for last with a stunning collection of Italian reds, many suitably aged and ready to go. Prices reflect the providence, so be prepared.


93-95 Ryrie St, Geelong
0498 012 622

CUISINE South American
WINE LIST Aaron Pollard & Sarah Horsburgh
WINEs ON LIST 121 (9 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$15 by the glass)

There is a lot to like at this hip Geelong eatery. Striking contemporary artwork by Jess Cochrane, combined with moody lighting, sets the scene for the South American inspired food. The wine list perfectly complements the cuisine with many Chilean and Argentinian wines, including a good set of malbecs. Craft beers and local wines are also well represented, and the wine selection is astute at all price points.


152 Yarra St, Warrandyte
(03) 9844 5548

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Michelle & Kelvin Shaw
WINEs ON LIST 383 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$27 by the glass)

This wide-ranging list features a strong presence of Victorian regions spanning Beechworth, Gippsland, the Bellarine Peninsula, King and Yarra Valleys. Highlights and points of interest include cool climate syrah as well as skin contact whites from the likes of La Maison de Ong and Between Five Bells.

Amaru Melbourne

5/1121 High St, Armadale
(03) 9822 0144

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LISTDuncan Peppiatt
WINEs ON LIST 450 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($13-$50 by the glass)

The sophisticated list at this Armadale dining room successfully poses both classic and progressive styles. Think Noon, Henschke, Foillard, Cos and Luke Lambert. A mouth-watering selection of white Burgundy and Victorian chardonnay greats including Giaconda, Dalwhinnie, Bindi, Bannockburn and Mount Mary is especially satisfying.

Arbory Bar & Eatery

1 Flinders Walk, Melbourne
(03) 9614 0023

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Raul Moreno Yague
WINEs ON LIST 64 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($9-$12 by the glass)

The snappy little list at this riverside eatery offers a wealth of interest to defy its diminutive size. Short, sharp and appealing, the creative layout pitches classic against adventurous makers. Explore the likes of Brash Higgins Amphora, Les Fruits Jura, Pheasant’s Tears, Torbreck and William Fevre.


140 High St, Belmont
(03) 5241 9030

CUISINE Platters
WINE LIST Graham Sutherland
WINEs ON LIST 142 (140 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($8-$200 by the glass)

Archive is a place for wine lovers. Almost everything is available by-the-half or full glass, though the use of the wine preservation systems of Coravin (for still wine) and Perlage (for sparkling), so there’s a wide range of styles and origins on offer. It’s quite an eclectic collection, with a focus on local Victorian and European producers plus an exciting selection of craft beers and spirits. There is a mix of old and young wines, with helpful tasting notes to help you choose, and tasty food platters to match.


74 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea
(03) 9530 0111

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Jane Lopes
WINEs ON LIST 500 (31 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($11-$68 by the glass)

Attica walks to the beat of its own drum. It takes a refreshing approach to fine dining, such as offering three different beverage pairings: non-alcoholic juices and infusions; global wine, beer and sake; or a mix of the two.  The wine-by-the-glass offering traverses a wide range of prices: you can enjoy an affordable glass of rosé or a rare aged wine served via Coravin. By the bottle, the hand-tendered selection is heady and luxurious, catering for the finest of connoisseurs, though there is also an excellent selection of sub-$100 bottles so you can have a fine wine experience whatever your budget.

The Avoca

115 High St, Avoca

(03) 5465 3018

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Ian Urquhart
WINEs ON LIST224 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($7-$16 by the glass)

There is no resting on one’s laurels with Ian Urquhart of The Avoca. The list has taken another step up, with even more wines listed. A slight layout tweak has improved the list’s visual appeal, including a greater focus on Japanese spirits, and cocktails. Local wines continue their deserving champion status, with a mix of contemporary and classic, young and old. That said there is an equally good selection of ‘Not Local’ wines too. It is an astute selection that will delight all wine lovers, not to mention beer connoisseurs with a stunning 160 brews on offer.  And then there are the gins... wow!

Bar Lourinhã

37 Little Collins St, Melbourne

(03) 9663 7890

CUISINE Mediterranean
WINE LIST David Bosanquet
WINEs ON LIST 88 (10 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$23 by the glass)

This list is like the myriad of adornments that line the walls of this cosy Melbourne favourite: eclectic, surprising and quirky. The list is peppered with Spanish, Italian and French wines, with modern Australian producers dotted throughout. The selection offers the diner the chance to try something new, with small producers and less-common varieties. If drinking Australian, lap up the gorgeous 2014 Chalmers Sagrantino. Or perhaps experiment with a Spanish mencia paired with the lamb and fennel bocadillo?

Baringo Food & Wine Co.

283 Station Rd, New Gisborne
(03) 5428 2144

WINE LIST Tim Austin
WINE ON LIST 326 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($10-$20 by the glass)

This bistro wine list in the foothills of Mt Macedon features an abundance of local Victorian stars. Explore Italianate reds ranging from Mount Etna to Piedmont or stay close to home with chardonnay and pinot noir from Macedon Ranges, Yarra Valley, Pyrenees, Gippsland and Geelong.

Bistro Guillaume Melbourne

8 Whiteman St, Southbank
(03) 9292 5777

WINE LIST Hugo Delevoye
WINEs ON LIST 255 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($14-$80 by the glass)

Guillaume Melbourne offers its guests an elegant wine list that is brimming with top producers and premium wines. The wines have been expertly chosen, with quality at the forefront of all listings. Enjoy single vineyard wines from Oakridge, youthful spicy grenache from S.C. Pannell, or aged reds from the Barossa. Though if you are after international wine, there are plenty of blue-ribbon producers to choose from. Wine lovers will appreciate the approachable nature of this list, with many familiar labels with pedigree and prestige.

Black Caviar

Gate 22, Station St, Caulfield East
(03) 9257 7100

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Chris Young
WINEs ON LIST 117 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$18 by the glass)

At Black Caviar, you can drink good wine without breaking the bank. The by-the-glass listing is a solid selection of well-known, respectable brands with gems such as Penfolds St Henri by the glass, plus six-year-old Wynns Coonawarra Estate Black Label Cabernet. The list is bursting with well-known favourites, so you can choose with confidence from familiar brands. Careful perusal will reveal some magnificent aged gems, as well as some bargains, such as the underrated Smith and Hooper Merlot for $41 a bottle.

The Botanical

169 Domain Rd, South Yarra
(03) 9820 7888

CUISINE Modern Australian Bar & Grill
WINE LISt Joseph Griffiths
WINEs ON LIST 529 (34 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($10-$38 by the glass)

The Botanical is close to the quintessential Melbourne wine list due in large part because it pays equal attention to every aspect whether it’s beer, spirits and cocktails or wines and digestifs. And it wears its heart on its sleeve with a conspicuous devotion to the wine producers of Victoria, especially the smaller quality makers doing some amazing things, names like Moondarra, Giaconda, Tellurian, Paradigm Hills and Granite Hills. However, at its core this is a love letter to the larger world of wine which makes for exciting reading... and drinking. Start with a Victorian G&T while you study the form.


74 Bourke St, Melbourne
(03) 9654 2252

WINE LIST Ben Knight & Richard Harrison
WINEs ON LIST 158 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$23 by the glass)

There is nothing like a well-curated wine list, and that is what Bottega offers its loyal clientele. There are more than 150 wines, and every single one of those is there for a reason, namely quality with an eye on value.  The prices of the Wines by the Glass are incredibly accessible, which is somewhat of a rarity in Melbourne. I adore the personality of the list, where you can ‘choose your own adventure‘ or select from helpful style groupings. It is a careful and well-tendered list, and I expect that the sommeliers know each and every wine intimately. I wish there were more lists like this – it is no wonder they have such a following.


4285 Cape Otway Rd, Birregurra
(03) 5236 2226

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Tim Brewer
WINEs ON LIST 600 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($18-$38 by the glass)

This thoughtfully crafted and purposeful list reflects a strong provenance ethos, championing grower Champagne, organic and ethical makers. Highlights include elegant and spicy Victorian syrah, Jura giants and iconic Australian riesling from Crawford River alongside international heroes Prager, Prüm and Lauer.

Brass Razu Wine Bar

13 Main St, Mornington
(03) 5975 0108

WINE LIST Dr Paul Collier
WINEs ON LIST 320 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$14 by the glass)

This Mornington wine bar is particularly strong on the local wines which front its international list. An eclectic and sizeable list by the glass will appeal to many because it goes beyond the usual suspects. The local beers are another strength, neatly balanced by a raft of overseas bottles. A wide range of spirits includes gin and whisky flights.

The Byerley

448 Epsom Rd, Flemington
1300 727 575

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Daniel Schwarze
WINEs ON LIST 151 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$45 by the glass)

There's plenty to choose from in all sections of a list that is bound to be well-received by customers. There are many of the most popular large company wines in Australia and overseas (especially from France and Italy): there'll be no problem with familiarity or quality no matter what you are looking for.


66 Little Malop St, Geelong
(03) 5229 6426

CUISINE Northern Italian
WINE LIST Amanda Rimmer
WINEs ON LIST 114 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($9-$13 by the glass)

Start with an aperitivo as you peruse the menu at this Northern Italian eatery. Perhaps a Bellini might suit your mood? Or some Berry Gin? The main wine list is bursting with Italian varieties, from Australia and Italy. There is also a spotlight on the micro-batch wines from local producer Chalmers, including wines made from ancient varieties such as nero di troia and piedirosso. It is an exciting, well-priced, original list with informative descriptions about each wine, and the varieties that they are made from. Make sure to order one of the regional amaros to end the meal the Italian way.

Caterina's Cucina e Bar

221 Queen St, Melbourne
(03) 9670 8488

WINE LIST Caterina Borsato
WINEs ON LIST 434 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($14-$19 by the glass)

A solid and dependable list guaranteed to delight any wine lover. The roll-call of producers is impressive, with quality at the forefront of all listing decisions.  Although it is a global list, Italian wines get special and deserving attention. Highlights include the reds from Tuscany and Piedmont, the excellent selection of Australian wines and the number of wines with bottle age. Bravo.

The Chairman's Club

448 Epsom Rd, Flemington
1300 727 575

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Hamish Small
WINEs ON LIST 247 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$45 by the glass)

This list brings marque Champagne and cru Burgundy together with Penfolds, Yalumba and Coldstream Hills exemplifying the heartland of Australian wine. A winning number of heavy hitting, regional Victorian chardonnay and pinot noir from Giaconda, Yabby Lake, Curly Flat and William Downie is entirely befitting The Chairman’s Club.


141 Flinders Ln, Melbourne
(03) 9650 3155

CUISINE Vietnamese/French
WINE LIST George McCullough
WINEs ON LIST 100 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$39 by the glass)

This is a neatly curated compact international list of 100 wines. It's an innovative list by the glass that is sizeable; has a wide choice of varieties; balances Australian and overseas wines, emerging quality producers and established winemakers of excellent standing; while importantly, feels like a collection of the moment. The same comments could be made of it by the bottle. Fair pricing, too.


35 High St, Kyneton
(03) 5427 2007

WINE LIST Kathryn Russack & Rebecca Rankin
WINEs ON LIST 46 (0 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$16 by the glass)

Based in the Macedon region of Victoria, this list takes advantage of that with some fine local offerings but goes much further providing wines from many districts. The collection of aperitifs and spirits will make many happy. Good pricing as well.


49 Peel St, Collingwood
(03) 9068 7464

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Katie McCormack
WINEs ON LIST 50 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$17 by the glass)

A slick and contemporary wine list which includes boundary-pushing, progressive labels from winemakers doing things their own way. Local and international wines mingle together effortlessly, as do different varieties and styles. Both the reds and whites are youthful, with a strong emphasis on quality. The list is minimal in its presentation, so don't be afraid to ask for direction should you need it.

Cru Wine Bar

916 Glenferrie Rd, Kew
(03) 9818 4366

CUISINE European Australian
WINE LIST Tony Donnini, Colleen Haggarty, Peter Rose & Andrew Pickering
WINEs ON LIST 328 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$18 by the glass)

Cru Wine Bar is as much about the people who run it, as it is about the food and wine it offers. The comprehensive wine list is stunning, with informative and entertaining snippets and categories to make choosing a wine a breeze.  You will be utterly spoilt for choice, with fine Burgundy, Champagne and super Tuscans, quirky artisanal labels and respected local legends. It is most definitely a list for all wine lovers, whether you are after a single glass of textural rosé or a bottle of an aged European classic. I wish it were my local.


Shop 4, 3 Murphy St, South Yarra
(03) 9942 2607

WINE LIST Giacomo Pietrantuono
WINEs ON LIST 49 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$29 by the glass)

Cucinetta's co-owner is proudly Italian-born, so diners will feel a tinge of his deep love for the wines of his homeland on this list. It boasts a tight little selection but the impression, especially through the accompanying tasting notes, is that it is a hand-selection based on long connection. Hence, expect to find some classic and familiar producers like Antinori, Gaja and Isole e Olena joined by some newer faces. Styles such as the sparkling sweet red from Emilia-Romagna are celebrated. Italian digestifs, as ever, are a fine way to finish.

Cumulus Up.

45 Flinders Ln, Melbourne
(03) 9654 9545

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Christopher Ryan
WINEs ON LIST 469 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($10-$32 by the glass)

If you weren't turned on by the exposed brick and warehouse windows, dimly lit dining room and overall intimacy of Cumulus Up., then the edgy and enticing food menu, paired with the extremely strong and engaging wine list will do it. This place has it all. The wine list features wines from all over the globe, and showcases a broad selection of varieties, some of which even had us googling. With Coravin allowing them to pour some very premium wines by the glass, the list continues to offer up some big surprises, not the least of which was one of the biggest selection of larger formats in the country. Overall, some very good value wines here, listed alongside extremely exciting verticals from great houses, and a fabulous champagne offering. Cumulus Up. is strictly not to be missed – there is not enough space in here to list all of the great houses they've procured, and all the reasons why you must go. Simply trust us – and book.  Exciting stuff.

Cutler & Co

55-57 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
(03) 9419 4888

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Liam O'Brien
WINEs ON LIST 640 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($12-$55 by the glass)

An outstanding wine list informs and inspires, showcasing new and exciting producers. Though at the same time, it needs to make the diner feel comfortable and confident. Cutler and Co. does all this and more. It is a thrilling list, with original yet considered listings. The By the Glass list is exceptional, offering wines which vary in style, age and price. Careful management is evident, including with the selection of vintages. It is a list that provides something for everyone: a top range of local and interstate wines, a robust international selection, a wide range of prices and a great selection of signature cocktails, including many with low or no alcohol.


133 Ormond Rd, Elwood
(03) 9531 4900

CUISINE Vietnamese
WINEs ON LIST 63 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13-$16 by the glass)

The selection of wines on the Dandelion wine list is in perfect sync with the flavoursome Vietnamese food on offer. Vibrant, fruit-focused whites and bright, light-to-medium bodied reds. Tasting notes accompany all the wines-by-the-glass to help you choose the perfect drop. And there are plenty of affordable options by the bottle from Australia and beyond. Make sure to save a little room for the stickies and fortifieds at the end.

Dining Room VRC

448 Epsom Rd, Flemington
1300 727 575

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Daniel Schwarze
WINEs ON LIST 50 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$16 by the glass)

There is nothing wrong with a good, classical list, featuring the traditional names, wines and styles. The only thing which is old-fashioned here are the prices. A comfortable list with the names with which Australian wine lovers have known for many years. Solid and reliable selections abound here.

Dinner By Heston Blumenthal

8 Whiteman St, Melbourne
(03) 9292 5570

CUISINE Historical English & Australian
WINE LIST Loic Avril
WINEs ON LIST 1,200 (46 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($8-$1,100 by the glass)

For a serious high-end wine experience, Dinner by Heston is the place to go. The restaurant houses an extraordinary collection of wine from Australia and beyond, with back vintages of the most famous labels. The by-the-bottle selection is quite remarkable, as is the breathtaking by-the-glass collection by Coravin. Though if your budget is more moderate, there are plenty of delights, such as Quealy Tussie Mussie Pinot Noir, Yangarra Roussanne, S.C. Pannell Pinot Grigio and Nick O'Leary Riesling. So you can drink international wines of the highest level with prices to match, or you can drink superb local wines, more measured in cost, but delicious and satisfying all the same.

Doot Doot Doot

166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North
(03) 5931 2500

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINEs ON LIST 350 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($13-$32 by the glass)

Wow, this is an impressive list: contemporary, original and wise beyond its years with remarkable depth and maturity. There are so many highlights that it is hard to know where to start. The by-the-glass listing is beautifully curated, offering wines across a range of styles, including the local estate wines of Willow Bridge. There's an astute selection of grower Champagnes and an excellent collection of local Mornington Peninsula chardonnay and pinot noir, arranged by subregion. Rosé and light reds get deserving attention, as do Italian, Spanish and Portuguese varieties, while cabernet sauvignon and shiraz-based wines play a supporting role. A must-visit destination for any wine lover.

Edwards Waterfront

101 Bentinck St, Portland
(03) 5523 1032

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Mark McIntyre
WINEs ON LIST 143 (28 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($7-$13 by the glass)

A top list of familiar labels, conveniently arranged by style and variety. Order a local Henty riesling from Crawford River, or perhaps a chardonnay from Seppelt's renowned Drumborg vineyard. There are a few surprise inclusions such as an aged Hunter Semillon from David Hook or a Gippsland pinot from William Downie. Locals and visitors alike will enjoy the large number of familiar labels, and the prices are incredibly fair.


60 Lygon St, Brunswick East
(03) 9448 8233

Wine List Hannah Green & Andrew Wyse
Wines ON LIST 74 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$23 by the glass)

A fine list which focuses on quality offerings from Victoria and Italy, but ventures well beyond. Lots of emerging stars with more traditional greats like Meo-Camuzet and JJ Prum. Thoughtful and well priced collection by the glass provides many options and the spirits and aperitifs will impress.

The European

161 Spring St, Melbourne
(03) 9654 0811

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Chris Broughton
WINEs ON LIST 550 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($10-$29 by the glass)

A list that is European in name and nature. Immerse yourself in the wines of the Old World with a stunning selection of Europe's best wines. Champagne, Burgundy and the Rhône Valley are all highlights, as are the wines from Italy, particularly those from Piedmont and Tuscany. Although there are countless desirable producers from famous regions, with prices to match, there is also a great selection of lesser known labels, regions and varieties at more accessible prices. Enjoy the sense of discovery, and don't be afraid to ask for advice if you need some direction.


187 Flinders Ln, Melbourne
(03) 9639 6811

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Brendan Bennett
WINEs ON LIST 330 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($16-$60 by the glass)

This is a sophisticated wine list which covers all bases. For each varietal category, there is a good subset of local and international wines. The strength of the list is in the number of back vintage wines, so you will have no problems finding a wine in its sweet spot. Victoria is suitably well-represented, particularly for chardonnay and pinot noir. The food and wine matching is astute, as is the listing of half-bottles and wines by the glass.

Furlong Bar

448 Epsom Rd, Flemington
1300 727 575

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Daniel Schwarze
WINEs ON LIST69 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$15 by the glass)

Very much the traditional wine list here, one ideally targeted to its clients, but they have gone the extra furlong and included a sprinkling from around the world, as well as local stars like Torbreck, Curly Flat and Rockford. Excellent value as well.


22 Sackville St, Port Fairy
(03) 5539 7523

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Matt Dempsey
WINEs ON LIST 257 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13-$20 by the glass)

You are in for a treat at Gladioli. You'll experience fine country dining with a sophisticated wine list to match. The focus is on small producers, including many from the local area, plus select interstate and international wines. The varietal spread is impressive, and the selection of wines is highly astute. Chardonnay is a highlight, especially the eclectic collection from Victoria, as well as the extensive listing from Burgundy.   Best of all, the prices are excellent, making this a place you can regularly visit, rather than only for special occasions.

Gold Mines Hotel

49-57 Marong Rd, Golden Square
(03) 5443 3004

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINEs ON LIST184 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($10-$15 by the glass)

The Gold Mines Hotel has a new lease of life and locals must be loving the transformation. The menu is a cut above your average pub fare, including fine cuts of Taradale Murray Grey beef. The wine list is a fitting companion, with plenty of local producers such as Balgownie and Sutton Grange. There is the odd interstate wine, plus a few internationals, but the heart of the list is local, which is great to see. Great beer too.

The Grand Dining Room

333 Burnley St, Richmond
(03) 9429 2530

WINE LIST Laura Broadbent & Tim Hale
WINEs ON LIST353 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13-$17 by the glass)

The Grand Dining Room wine list offers something for every wine lover. Firstly, in line with the cuisine, is a sweep of Italian varieties from Australia and Italy. Secondly, there's a contemporary selection of top local producers, including those on the cutting edge of style and approach. And thirdly, there is a crop of familiar and established names to rely upon. Highlights include local pinot noir and shiraz, and also the extensive Italian red selection. And for a finale to your meal, there are also some lovely dessert wines to sip and savour.

Healesville Hotel

256 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville
(03) 5962 4002

CUISINE Regional
WINE LIST Michael Kennedy
WINEs ON LIST 400 (40 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$60 by the glass)

If you want to explore the wines of the Yarra Valley, then the Healesville Hotel is the place to go. Local wines are listed by their subregion, so you can explore the differences in style through the valley, with chardonnay and pinot noir being notable highlights. There are mini verticals of top wines from Mount Mary, Serrat and Gembrook Hill, to name but a few. Even though the focus is on the local area, there is a comprehensive listing from interstate, as well as select international wines. It’s a treat for tourists and locals alike.

Hogget Kitchen

6 Farrington Cl, Warragul
(03) 5623 2211

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Jessica Martin
WINEs ON LIST 85 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$20 by the glass)

If you love discovering authentic food and wine experiences off the beaten track, then head to Hogget in Gippsland. The restaurant, overlooking the vineyard, specialises in regional produce. The wine list is of similar ilk, championing local independent producers, including the wines of resident winemakers William Downie and Patrick Sullivan. The local ethos extends to wider Victoria, with a cherry-picked selection of tiny producers who make regionally reflective wines.

Hotel Esplanade

11 The Esplanade, St Kilda
(03) 9534 0211

CUISINE Modern Pub
WINE LIST Matt Skinner
WINEs ON LIST 50 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($9-$14 by the glass)

It would be hard to have a bad wine experience at Hotel Esplanade. It is a nicely balanced selection of quality, well-known labels, with an eye on value. But those with a keen eye will see the odd cutting-edge producer woven into the mix. The white wines listed all have energy and intensity, making them excellent food partners. And the youthful reds span the spectrum of styles, so there is something for everyone's palate.

Ides Melbourne

92 Smith St, Collingwood
(03) 9939 9542

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Hayley McCarthy & Liam McCurry
WINEs ON LIST 203 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$60 by the glass)

A fine and wide-ranging list, somm inspired, but chock full of surprises. A wonderful opportunity to indulge in a little vinous treasure seeking – where else will you find wines from the Czech Republic and Georgia. Or stick with classics like Bill Downie’s pinots or the Kellers from Germany. So many choices, so little time.


B01/139 Bourke St, Melbourne
(03) 8594 0895

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Sarah & David Lawler
WINEs ON LIST 39 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($10-$49 by the glass)

In the case of the Ishizuka wine list, small is beautiful. Very beautiful, in fact. It is an exquisite and original listing of harmonious wines and sake that complement rather than overshadow the food. The producers selected are outstanding, and care has been taken with the vintages listed. It is a list that does not ostracise, with affordable options as well as premium labels. Everything from the tea to the cocktails and digestives has been carefully considered. The curated nature of this list introduces an element of simplicity into the dining experience, in line with the uncluttered decor and elegant food. Superb.


121 Lygon St, Carlton

(03) 9349 2223

CUISINE Japanese/French
WINE LIST Shane Harris
WINEs ON LIST 240 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($12-$24 by the glass)

A list which is utterly appropriate to the cuisine – look to the sake, even some Japanese wines and their brilliant whiskies (Chichibu is almost impossible to find in Japan, so this is a coup). Feel free to venture beyond to some superb rieslings and Burgundies and much more.


175 Flinders Ln, Melbourne
(03) 9671 4888

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Guillaume Verite, Chad Hamilton & Philip Rich
WINEs ON LIST 795 (37 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($13-$90 by the glass)

The Chablis Bar alone would make me flock to Kisumé in an instant. Wow. Not to mention the Wine Wall. There are also Single Vineyard Tap Wines, by the glass, half litre and litre. This is definitely a place doing things differently. The main list reads like a roll-call of the world's best wines, with multiple vintages of the top labels. And the Burgundy... well I may have just fainted. Whatever your vinous leanings, you will probably find it here, whether you are into the contemporary or the classics.

Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club

489 Glenferrie Rd, Kooyong
(03) 9822 3333

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Patrice Renaudin
WINEs ON LIST 160 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($4-$10 by the glass)

The members of the Kooyong Tennis Club must absolutely love this wine list. Not only is it a comprehensive selection, but the prices are incredibly fair, which is one of the many benefits of membership. The list is current, with a mix of easy-drinking locals, stylish boutique producers and select international drops. The red selection is particularly impressive, and there is a great selection of back vintages available.

Lake House

4 King St, Daylesford
(03) 5348 3329

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Robin Wilson
WINEs ON LIST 1184 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($13-$35 by the glass)

An outstanding, comprehensive selection with a compelling number of cellared wines. The classics are well represented, though there is a good number of contemporary listings too, as well as avant-garde wines for 'Wine Explorers'. The Champagne collection superb, riesling is a highlight, and there is also a good number of chenins and from the Loire, and Rhône whites, which you don't always see on Australian wine lists. Australian chardonnay, pinot and shiraz are well represented, and the Burgundy collection is mind-blowing. Barolo lovers are well-catered for, too. There are too many highlights to mention and wine lovers will undeniably be in seventh heaven.


273-279 Cecil St, South Melbourne
(03) 9690 3737

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Paul Bryant
WINEs ON LIST 286 (34 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$48 by the glass)

At this South Melbourne pub, you'll find an extensive range of top wines by the glass including quality whites, and juicy reds to match the flame-grilled steaks, as well as additional premium wines served via Coravin. In the main list, the riesling, chardonnay and pinot noir sections are particularly strong. There is also a sweep of premier Australian shiraz and cabernet, many with age, and some impressive international wines throughout the list, too. This is clearly a place where wine is taken seriously.


3649 Frankston-Flinders Rd, Merricks
(03) 5989 9011

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Andrew Murch
WINEs ON LIST 756 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($12-$43 by the glass)

I get shivers perusing the wine list at Laura. It speaks a vinous language that everyone can understand, which is a rare thing indeed. There are fabulous entry-level wines like Pewsey Vale, Chalmers and Coriole, as well as cutting edge producers and lofty European benchmarks. No doubt countless hours have been spent assimilating, sorting and tasting to compile this  astute list. It is contemporary, yet not untouchable; local, yet not parochial; and international, though not exclusive. The prices are fair, and the range is mind-blowing. The only agenda it has to push is ensuring its patrons drink the finest of wines. Highly impressive.

The Lincoln

91 Cardigan St, Carlton
(03) 9347 4666

CUISINE Pub/Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Tom Hunter
WINEs ON LIST 152 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$15 by the glass)

New sommelier Tom Hunter has definitely left his mark on the list. He has built on the avant-garde theme and  taken it to the next level. For many, this list will be a journey into the unknown, and I suspect many a diner will be taking a stab in the dark when ordering. That said, it is cutting edge and full of surprises, with a star on the most unconventional of styles. Enjoy the ride.

Lobster Cave

18 North Concourse, Beaumaris
(03) 9589 6329

WINEs ON LIST355 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13-$249 by the glass)

Order a glass of Champagne on arrival to allow yourself time to pore over the wine list. It is a trove of styles, vintages and wines from Australia and beyond. The wine by the glass are well suited to the menu, with a string of good producers, and there is also a small set of wines served via Coravin, including Penfolds Grange. Champagne is a highlight, and there are some lovely rieslings and chardonnays as well, though always keep an eye on vintages when ordering. For big red lovers, there is a sweep of wines with age from classic producers and regions.

Long Chim Melbourne

8 Whiteman St, Southbank
(03) 9292 5777

WINE LIST Matthew Brooke
WINEs ON LIST 50 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$22 by the glass)

Compact and focused with Thai-food friendly styles, such as bright whites, including some with a little residual sugar, and lighter reds. The pricing is excellent, with the odd lavish bottle if you have something to celebrate. All wines have been hand-chosen for their inherent quality, and not their fashion, which means there is wine from the whole spectrum of the wine producing fraternity. This refreshing approach ensures that the diner will have a great wine experience whatever selection they make. Basically, you can't go wrong.

Longrain Melbourne

40-44 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
(03) 9653 1600

CUISINE Modern Thai
WINE LIST Guillaume Bonange
WINEs ON LIST 99 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$17 by the glass)

Beautiful things come in small packages, and that is what you get with the wine list at Longrain. Every wine is listed for a reason, and the quality is high across the board. Riesling and pinot noir are highlights, as is the collection of aromatic and interesting white varieties. The selection is perfectly tailored to match the cuisine. It's an impressive list where you can choose wine with total confidence.

Lucy Liu

23 Olive Ln, Melbourne
(03) 9639 5777

WINE LIST Ollie Yan Qiu Wang
WINEs ON LIST 284 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$20 by the glass)

A slick list with quality wines by the glass, interesting beers and spirits and a great set of sake and plum wine. An excellent selection of fresh, bright whites, as well as lively, energetic reds, in line with the Pan Asian cuisine. The listings are a refreshing blend of the well-known and the eclectic, both from Australia and abroad. Plenty of aged wines dotted throughout. Lots to love.


226 Coventry St, South Melbourne
(03) 9690 0185

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST John Paul Wilkinson & Orlando Marzo
WINEs ON LIST 173 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($18-$65 by the glass)

Lûmé's new sommelier, John Paul Wilkinson, has quickly added his stamp to the list. The focus is on producers who have organic or biodynamic accreditation, as well as those who identify with 'sustainable' philosophies. As a consequence, some of the familiar names have gone. Though there are helpful tasting descriptions on the By the Glass list, which I expect will be appreciated by many, and if you don't recognise many of the producers, beverage pairings are available for three, five or seven courses. There are many exceptional wines to be found, particularly at the top end, and don't be afraid to tap into the knowledge of the sommelier if you need some guidance.


5 Gamon St, Seddon
(03) 9362 7333

CUISINE Modern Vietnamese
WINE LIST Ben Knight
WINEs ON LIST 91 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$15 by the glass)

This list has doubled in size from last year, offering even more quirky and intriguing wines. A snappy selection of well-priced wines by the glass or carafe. By the bottle, you will find a mix of top-shelf small producers, like Farr Rising and Home Hill as well as some boundary-pushing labels like Brash Higgins. There are also some local treats such as Adelaide Hills grüner veltliner or Clonakilla Viognier Nouveau. It's a deliberate and personal selection of wine in perfect sync with the Vietnamese food. Many of the wines have a story to tell, and every wine has been selected for a reason.


21 Bond St, Melbourne
(03) 9629 5900

CUISINE Middle Eastern
WINE LIST Rhys Baker
WINEs ON LIST 355 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($15-$31 by the glass)

A continually refined, confident list that is in tune with its menu and clientele. In all categories, the wines are well-chosen, with respectable labels plus a few lesser-known gems.  International wines mingle effortlessly with local labels, and there is a good number of bottles with age. If you wish to keep things simple, Maha offers excellent wine pairings for four, six or eight courses. There is also an additional premium wine option with the six and eight-course menus.

The Malvern Hotel

1117 Malvern Rd, Toorak
(03) 9822 3582

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Thomas Robson
WINEs ON LIST 291 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$34 by the glass)

You have to love a pub that serves aged reds by the glass. But The Malvern Hotel is no ordinary pub when it comes to wine. The wine list is fabulously extensive, with its focus firmly on Australian wines, with hints of international flavour at the end of each variety category, particularly reds made from Italian varieties. It is bursting with quality wines from established producers, but if you look closely, you will also discover some new names.

Many Little

159 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill
(03) 5989 2471

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Sam Coverdale & Stephen Collins
WINEs ON LIST 62 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$ ($10-$23 by the glass)

It's fair to say that Australia needs more venues that champion and celebrate local produce and wares, like Many Little. Their mantra "to celebrate the land and the nourishment it provides, with our passion for sustainability, local produce, and high quality at the heart of it all", shines through on every page of this concise and focused list. Here you will find a selection of wines speaking to an extremely strong regional focus from country Victoria, alongside an exceptional selection of beverages other than wine (including non-alcoholic drinks, cocktails, spirits, and fortifieds). The venue itself oozes relaxed country luxury, and plays host to a winery, the restaurant, villa-stays, a yoga studio, perfumery and fashion boutique. Truly something for everyone. Australia needs more small regional champions like them.  


51-53 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
(03) 9419 6262

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Liam O'Brien
WINEs ON LIST 180 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$37 by the glass)

Marion is responsible for one of the cooler lists we have had the pleasure of looking at. Here you will find a really interesting and varied selection of wines, tending towards the minimal intervention/natural/modern etc. The producers featured are absolutely spot on trend, and are great examples, not only of the wine zeitgeist in Australia currently, but in most cases, of small production equaling passionate and high quality output. Wine with feeling. Marion presents us with a brilliant collection, and one we'd happily sit around and peruse for hours. It is important to note, that this list, while being engaging and enticing, is also very accessible with regards to pricing and the 'vibe'. Come here to try new, exciting and delicious things. As an aside, we LOVE the Deadman's Dozen – 12 bottles delivered to you monthly, this is well priced and well thought out, and the selection changes monthly – a good reflection of the vibe of the main list. Don't delay another moment.


313 Drummond St, Carlton
(03) 9347 5610

CUISINE Regional Italian
WINE LISTKara Maisano
WINEs ON LIST 607 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($25-$12 by the glass)

An exceptional wine list which offers diners a finely tuned selection of local and international labels. It is a carefully managed, ever-changing list that seems to satisfy every requirement: there is an excellent selection of Italian wines, in line with the restaurant's theme; local Victorian wines are supported, though so are interstate wines; the diversity in variety and region is outstanding; the pricing is fair; there is something for everyone's budget, and contemporary producers sit comfortably alongside the classics. Sommelier Kara Masiano makes it look easy, however, no doubt there has been countless hours of tasting and research behind every listing.

Masons of Bendigo

25 Queen St, Bendigo
(03) 5443 3877

CUISINE Modern Australian/Locavore
WINE LIST Simon Parker
WINEs ON LIST 150 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$15 by the glass)

Masons of Bendigo champions local produce, and this philosophy extends to the drinks list. There is an emphasis on wines from Central Victoria, including the regions of Bendigo, Heathcote, Strathbogie Ranges, Upper Goulburn and Goulburn Valley. Even the beers, ciders and soft drinks are Victorian. There are some lovely wines from Granite Hills, Sutton Grange, Chalmers and Gembrook Hill, to name but a few. It is an exposé of what Victoria has to offer, and it’s good to see the spotlight on some of the less well-known regions, with plenty of new labels to discover.


445 Little Collins St, Melbourne
(03) 9670 5347

WINEs ON LIST 200 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($14-$25 by the glass)

Massi, much like its sister restaurant in Kew, Mister Bianco, jumps to an Italian beat. A fair percentage of its list is devoted to Italy and it's not just the usual suspects but exciting regions enjoying a renaissance like Calabria, Puglia, Campania and Emilia-Romagna that are also covered. Fair prices invite further exploration. The selection of wines by the glass is definitely worth considering, especially so the premium reds by the glass.

The Meat & Wine Co

3 Freshwater Place Queensbridge Square, Queensbridge St, Southbank
(03) 9696 5333

CUISINE Modern Australian Steak House
WINE LIST Ben Preston & Joel Davis
WINEs ON LIST 123 (36 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$48 by the glass)

The list is approachable with plenty of familiar brands and labels. And with over thirty options available by the glass, you have the freedom to try many different wines during the one dining experience, including a set of premium wines served via Coravin. The list is mainly Australian, though there are some international wines peppered throughout, including a spotlight on South African wines. As expected, there are a good number of hearty reds available to pair with your fillet or rib-eye.


116 Bridport St, Albert Park
(03) 9690 5155

CUISINE Mediterranean
WINE LIST Sonia Popovic
WINEs ON LIST 248 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($9-$18 by the glass)

The most exciting thing about the list at Mediterraneo is not the wide array of well selected and 'value' wines on the list, nor is it the enticing food menu, or the very convincing show of beers and spirits. No, it is the very large collection of aged wines. Mediterraneo has a wonderful selection of older wines aged ten or more years peppered throughout the list, many dipping back into the ’90s and prior. Wines often take some time to 'come into their own', and here at Mediterraneo, you have the opportunity to try so many of them. There is a well-played balance between Australian and international wines, with wines from France, Italy, Serbia, New Zealand and Croatia, among others.

Melbourne Supper Club

161 Spring St, Melbourne
(03) 9654 6300

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Chris Broughton
WINEs ON LIST700 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($13-$21 by the glass)

Setting the tone for this high-end wine bar are six pages of premium Champagne. The delights continue from there with a sweep of international and local wines of the highest calibre. In all variety categories, you will find benchmark producers, and there are plenty of rare wines to delight the most discerning of wine drinkers. Though there is also an excellent array of well-chosen sub-$100 bottles.

Member's Dining Room

501 Bourke St, Melbourne
(03) 9944 8000

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIstChristian Maier
WINEs ON LIST 611 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($7-$29 by the glass)

The RACV Club in Melbourne has a remarkable cellar which has been carefully cultivated over the years by talented sommelier Christian Maier. It is a sophisticated, in-depth selection of Australia's best labels, as well as carefully chosen international wines. What elevates the list into the stratosphere is the collection of cellared wines, with multiple vintages of the best wines available. It is rare to find this many wines with age, making it a sublime treasure trove for oenophiles.

Merne At Lighthouse

650 Andersons Rd, Drysdale
(03) 5251 5541

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Caleb Fleet
WINEs ON LIST 95 (10 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$15 by the glass)

Many winery restaurants use their wine lists to push their own wines. However, at Merne, while Oakdene wines form the core of this nifty wine list, there's an enticing offering of regional wines, wines from around Australia and across the vinous globe. Cocktails and beers are a special feature with the By the Glass descriptions an added bonus.

Merrijig Kitchen

1 Campbell St, Port Fairy
(03) 5568 2324

CUISINE Regional
WINE LIST Tanya Connellan & Hannah Williams
WINEs ON LIST 216 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($8-$16 by the glass)

Tanya Connellan and Hannah Williams instill a special energy and enthusiasm into this tantalising winelist. The wines of the Henty region are celebrated in style with its Victorian neighbours given plenty of airplay. New wave wine producers share the limelight with the classics. Settle in for a wonderful ride.

Mister Bianco

285 High St, Kew
(03) 9853 6929

WINE LIST Maurizio Lepori
WINEs ON LIST 200 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($14-$29 by the glass)

The wine list at Mister Bianco is curated by Mr Lepori who keeps a close eye on quality for price. The vast majority of the 200-strong collection of wines are priced under $150 a bottle, and there's a comforting mix of producer names and styles that many will know, even amongst the Italians with names like Bortoluzzi, Bolla, Gaja and Biondi Santi. You have to ask your waiter about the day's premium wine special.

Mitchell Harris Wines

38 Doveton St North, Ballarat
(03) 5331 8931

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST John Harris
WINEs ON LIST 244 (32 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($8-$24 by the glass)

A list for the Italophile. A fine collection of that country’s vinous gems which is well supported by numerous other local offerings, well priced. Sicily, in particular, has some intriguing choices. Those game should take the trip to Italy and sample some of these gems.

Mya Tiger

Level 1, 11 The Esplanade, St Kilda
(03) 9534 0211

CUISINE Cantonese
WINE LIST Matt Skinner
WINEs ON LIST 56 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$15 by the glass)

Beer and cocktails share equal billing with wine at this Cantonese-focused restaurant. Aromatic whites, rosés and lithe-framed reds are well matched to the food with sufficient benchmarks to satisfy the traditionalists. Settle in, there's plenty to enjoy.

Natural History Bar & Grill

401 Collins St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9982 1811

CUISINE Gastropub
WINE LIST Gavin Wraith
WINEs ON LIST 162 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$16 by the glass)

Gavin Wraith has pulled together an electic range of new age and the classic wines. Quealy Natural Red on tap is just one of the highlights with Jura savagnin adding to the fun. The wide range of skin contact whites and rosés are backed by lithe-framed reds with the magnum offerings another feather in Wraith's vinous cap.

Neighbourhood Wine

1 Reid St, Fitzroy North
(03) 9486 8306

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Simon Denman
WINEs ON LIST 500 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($9-$25 by the glass)

Wow, every-now and then a wine list comes along that screams out 'drink me' and the Neighbourhood is one. From the roll-call of edgy grower Champagnes to a compelling offering of Mount Etna whites and reds this is a truly inspirational wine list. Revel in the opportunity.

Noble Rot

51 Point Lonsdale Rd, Point Lonsdale
(03) 5258 5115

CUISINE Seasonal share plates
WINE LIST Jordan Berry
WINEs ON LIST 317 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$27 by the glass)

This is a truly amazing list offered at a smidge above retail prices. Indeed, take $15 off the price, and take home one of Jordan Berry’s vinous goodies. Wines from Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula form the core of the list, backed by a well-curated selection of new wave varieties and producers. Point Lonsdale locals should be proud.

Nobu Melbourne

8 Whiteman St, Southbank
(03) 9292 5777

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Christopher Trickey
WINEs ON LIST 380 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($14-$22 by the glass)

The tempting selection of sake sets the scene for this internationally focused wine list. The classics form the cornerstone with a 20-year-old DRC Richebourg just waiting for a buyer. The focus on aromatic whites and fine-boned reds suits the Japanese-inspired food. Finish off with a whisky be it from Japan, Australia or Scotland.


23 Woods St, Beaconsfield
(03) 9769 9000

CUISINE Fresh Garden Produce
WINE LIST Chayse Bertoncello
WINEs ON LIST 71 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$40 by the glass)

Concise is the correct word to describe this tight, highly focused and well-thought-out wine list. Drinkability is the key with the cellar list adding extra depth and breath. The Wines by the Glass list is enhanced by the Coravin offerings.

Osteria Ilaria

367 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
(03) 9642 2287

CUISINE Modern Italian
WINE LIST Raul Moreno Yague & Melissa Falabella
WINEs ON LIST 500 (31 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$23 by the glass)

This quirky list deserves great applause with the layout and descriptions adding to the fun. The Italianate headings say it all – ’Vino Arancione’, ‘Vino Rosso Fresh and Vibrant’ or ‘Vino Rosso Firm and Structured’. Revel in this exciting list, it's both serious yet frivolous. We need more lists like this.

Paringa Estate

44 Paringa Rd, Red Hill South
(03) 5989 2669

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Eric Wagnon
WINEs ON LIST 216 (50 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$35 by the glass)

While the Paringa wines are (naturally) highlighted, Eric Wagnon has curated an amazingly ecumenical wine list that celebrates good wine from the Mornington, across Australia and the vinous globe. The By the Glass list is astonishing and there's plenty of value amongst the 'off piste' and new wave wines.

Pier Farm

34 The Strand, Williamstown
(03) 9397 7799

CUISINE Mediterranean
WINE LIST George Haralambopoulos
WINEs ON LIST 133 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$14 by the glass)

There will be those who gravitate to Pier Farm for the familiar Aussie brands, many of which diners would have cut their teeth on, names like Rockford, Elderton, Leeuwin Estate and Mount Mary. Ditto the Europeans like Bredif Chenin Blanc, Pieropan Soave and Brocard Chablis. It's a very comforting list from that point of view made even more so by some terrific older vintages. Then there are the newbies creating a bit of a stir like Fire Gully, Onannon and Deviation Road. Reliable and just a tad nostalgic, there is a lot to like here.

Pt. Leo Estate

3649 Frankston-Flinders Rd, Merricks
(03) 5989 9011

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Andrew Murch
WINEs ON LIST 196 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$19 by the glass)

It's refreshing to see a list with a clear purpose (in this case Victorian only wines) that's so well executed. The range of varieties and wine styles is crafted to keep thirsty customers completely satisfied. Beers, cocktails, spirits and digestives share equal focus with wine on this top notch wine list.

Polperro Winery

150 Red Hill Rd, Red Hill
(03) 5989 2471

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Sam Coverdale & Morgane Mainguy
WINEs ON LIST 120 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$ ($11-$23 by the glass)

It's not everyday that one can pop into a winery cellar door/restaurant, and expect to be able to drink wines from different wineries and regions, but such is the love for wine at Polperro that here you can do just that. The list is a concise and exciting range of wines, not only from the Polperro and Even Keel wine ranges, but also a carefully curated collection of wines from Barbaresco, Burgundy, premium Barossa Valley (think the hard-to-find Standish Shiraz), Champagne, Austria and New Zealand, to name a few. This is a truly wide ranging list, with a great selection of drinks other than wine, including beer, spirits, fortifieds and cocktails. We especially love the write-ups throughout the list, providing detail about the specific wineries featured, the regions, and the single vineyards around the Mornington Peninsula, used in the Polperro by Even Keel range of wines.

Porters Williamstown

49 Nelson Pl, Williamstown
(03) 9397 1251

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Raul Moreno Yague
WINEs ON LIST 70 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$65 by the glass)

A tight list but one offering surprisingly extensive choices. Plenty of mature options, brilliant pricing and a reserve list which offers the top wines of producers like Cullen's, Mount Mary, Bindi and Moss Wood. What’s not to like?

Portsea Hotel

3746 Point Nepean Rd, Portsea
(03) 5984 2213

CUISINE Australian Modern Pub
WINE LIST Peter Marr, Mathew Veenhof & Felicity Muller
WINEs ON LIST 130 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($8-$16 by the glass)

The Portsea Hotel lies in the heart of the Mornington Peninsula wine region and its wine list starts with a dedicated list of Peninsula wines and those of ‘friends’ including the hard to find such as Philippa Farr, Circe and Jane Eyre. And it gets better with a selection of wines in sync with the maritime location from a big choice of rosés and medium-bodied alternative variety whites and reds to a tight bunch of gamays (the all-rounder food match) as well as the odd European benchmarker – J.J. Prüm, Ramonet, Château Mont-Redon, Leroux – and exciting Aussie newcomers.

Post Office Hotel

229-231 Sydney Rd, Coburg
(03) 9386 5300

CUISINE Modern Pub Food
WINE LIST Tristan Jallais
WINEs ON LIST 130 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$14 by the glass)

This nifty little list oozes energy and excitement. It’s short and sharp and cover all bases, with enticing drops from Corbières, Friuli, Sicily, Jura and beyond. There's plenty of value too, especially  the By the Glass offerings served over the bar. Well done.


86 Ford St, Beechworth
(03) 5728 1786

CUISINE Modern Australian with Japanese influence
WINE LIST Damian Moylan
WINEs ON LIST 228 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($12-$25 by the glass)

Provenance in Beechworth, Victoria is the fruit of labour for husband and wife team Michael Ryan and Jeanette Henderson and certainly is first class. The list here manages to be a champion for Victorian wineries that we love, and also an extremely well-read and carefully curated international list. It doesn't shy away from interesting, hard-to-find Australian wines, and overall offers an engaging and original selection of drinks, across all categories, styles, and price ranges. It is unexpected, refreshing, concise and brilliant. Love it. Truly, it is difficult to improve on what they have here. Whether you're staying for dinner or for the weekend in the luxury accommodation, make sure Provenance is on your list – if you love food, wine and above all flavour, Provenance is for you.

Red Emperor

M10/3 Southgate Ave, Southbank
(03) 9699 4170

WINE LIST Yandy Sham
WINEs ON LIST 236 (43 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($7-$27 by the glass)

It's refreshing to read a wine list that's tailored to the customer not the ego of the sommelier – and Red Emperor's list does just that. All the family favourites are on show with lots of additional information to guide the naive client. Benchmarks and icons abound, with many older vintages offered at their peak.

Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne

Shop 1/ 8 Whiteman St, Southbank
(03) 8648 1900

CUISINE Australian Grill
WINE LIST Jonathan Ross MS, Ashley Boburka, Amy Oliver, Tim Sacklin, Manuele Pignotti, Pierre-Marie Caillaud & Michael Hegerty
WINEs ON LIST 1,800 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($14-$380 by the glass)

Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne offers quality all the way, although admittedly at a price, with one of the great Australian and French wine listings in Melbourne. The Burgundy and Bordeaux selections – so in tune with the wood-fired grill menu – is drool-worthy. Thanks to Coravin, wines by the glass can now include some superlative offerings such as aged Barolo or the $380 Torbreck The Laird. Multiple vintages of top producers is the kind of one per centers we have come to expect from the Rockpool group, together with an extensive half bottle and magnum collection (depending on your mood). A complete all-rounder, the list finishes with a comprehensive digestif listing, if you can get that far.

Rosetta Melbourne

7/8 Whiteman St, Southbank
(03) 8698 9000

WINE LIST Jonathan Ross MS, Lisa Cardelli, Amelie Lacroix & Hannah Day
WINEs ON LIST 450 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($14-$225 by the glass)

Rosetta exudes a quiet and classic Italian charm from the Strega Sour cocktail and its distinctly Italo-inspired pre-dinner drinks, through to the exhausting array of Italian wines which take the drinker region by region starting up the north and working down to the south, and finally the amari and grappa to close, it's full-on and fabulous. You may think about a non-Italian wine – they are listed, especially a wonderfully complete offering of Champagne – but frankly, that would be missing the point.

Sardine Eatery + Bar

3/65 Esplanade, Paynesville
(03) 5156 7135

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Victoria Briggs
WINEs ON LIST 88 (32 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($8-$43 by the glass)

Energy and excitement are infused into this small but beautiful wine list with all bases covered in less than 100 wines. The By the Glass list is especially well-thought-out with the top drops served via Coravin. The short flavour descriptions add gravitas to this natty little wine list. Good work.


211 Queens St, Melbourne
(03) 9089 6699

CUISINE Modern Australian with a European Influence
WINE LIST Jack Nolan
WINEs ON LIST 150 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$18 by the glass)

It's fair to say that Saxe doesn't play by the usual rules. With foods including peanut parmesan custard and duck breast with white pudding on the menu, expect some similar left-of-centre choices on the wine list. Mod Oz with a European Influence is the theme here with a rich vein of nationalities and styles on display from a Slovenian pinot gris to a Croatian malvasia, an amber gewürztraminer from Alsace and some savoury, low intervention styles from Australia and beyond. Hidden deep in the menu is a treasure trove of aged wines at crazy prices from Torbreck, Mount Mary, Dalwhinnie and a raft from France. Do yourself a favour and check them out first!


6 Melbourne Pl, Melbourne
(03) 9663 9882

CUISINE Armenian
WINE LIST Keline Fabre
WINEs ON LIST 80 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$ ($12-$25 by the glass)

Arak might be the national drink of Armenia but the country also makes wine and fortunately diners at Sezar get to drink a number of them alongside the wines of near and neighbouring countries such as Georgia and Croatia. They are a definite highlight on the Sezar wine list and perfect accompaniments to the Middle Eastern spices, dried fruits and honey that form the basis of a lot of dishes. Start with one of the imaginative cocktails offered such as The Bubbly Armenian or Bachik Bachik and move on to trying Armenian indigenous varieties by the glass. Some top Aussies to choose from throughout the list. Finish with Armenian brandy. There are four!


302 Toorak Rd, South Yarra
(03) 9041 7707

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Michael Thom
WINEs ON LIST 100 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$20 by the glass)

A tight list, where the plethora of great spirits somewhat overwhelms the wines, but search through and there are numerous under-the-radar labels, others offering skin contact or free from preservatives and some exciting newcomers like Jim Barry’s Assyrtiko. More traditional superstars, like Mount Mary and Cullen, are also available.

Shark Fin House

131 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
(03) 9663 1555

CUISINE Cantonese
WINE LIST Sherman Cheung
WINEs ON LIST 150 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($7-$13 by the glass)

A step back in time at this Melbourne institution where cocktails from the 1980s are still all the rage – Grasshopper, Orgasm, etc – and where the wines of many of the big Aussie wine companies tend to rule. However, in the mix there is some joy to be had in the form of quality small makers such as Curly Flat, Tapanappa, Grosset, Giaconda, Bream Creek and Shaw + Smith. The odd international maker is safe territory, too. The selection of reds tends to move up a notch with some fine choices included and prices are fair. And being Chinese, expect a thorough choice of  whisky and spirits, including Chinese spirits.

Source Dining

72 Piper St, Kyneton
(03) 5422 2039

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Tim Foster & Steve Gerdes
WINEs ON LIST 301 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$-$$$ ($10-$26 by the glass)

There's a lot of passion on display here. Passion for the wines of regions close by Source Dining's Kyneton address, from makers such as Granite Hills, Mitchell Harris, Cobaw Ridge, Rill House and Curly Flat. The owners make it clear that many of the wines included are from friends in the Aussie wine industry and are priced fairly. It's probably an understatement because this is a sophisticated Aus-European wine selection that employs Coravin to showcase some special wines and includes an Old & Rare selection. The attention to detail as shown in the collection of 11 rosés reveals all. This is a wine list that cares for the drinker.

Spice Temple Melbourne

Shop 7/ 8 Whiteman St, Southbank
(03) 8679 1888

CUISINE Provincial Chinese
WINE LIST Jonathan Ross MS, Ben Fergus & Ashley Boburka
WINEs ON LIST 135 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$28 by the glass)

Spice Temple Melbourne is the near perfect small wine list, chock full of wines from around the world that whet the appetite and the curiosity, rewarding multiple trips. Neil Perry's Chinese-inspired menu is the cornerstone and yes, you can taste Chinese beer and Baiju (by the glass) and even a Chinese Zodiac cocktail for your birth year, but look deeper and be amazed. Central Otago sparklings, German rieslings and Margaret River chardonnays mix it with Tasmanian gamay, Veronese corvina and pinots by the score. Choose your wine by the style categories and don't overlook the importance of the sweeties.

Squires Loft Albert Park

St Kilda Road Towers, 1 Queens Rd, Melbourne
(03) 9863 7700

CUISINE Steakhouse
WINE LIST Ross Brown
WINEs ON LIST 92 (32 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$15 by the glass)

This Squires Loft selection is on the traditional side, favouring established names with reputation and history. A particular highlight is the Reserve List. It is a carefully considered, descriptive array of benchmark Australian bottles that carry some welcome bottle age at terrific prices. Over thirty wines by the glass allows guests to drink less and explore more. The Single Malt selection is of note, as are the aged Champagnes and an array of classic and creative cocktails to whet the appetite and kick start the conversation.

Squires Loft Nunawading

Shop 54, 288 Whitehorse Rd, Nunawading
(03) 9894 0583

CUISINE Steakhouse
WINE LIST Ross Brown
WINEs ON LIST 75 (35 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($8-$15 by the glass)

A succinct Australian selection of strong, well regarded producers like Henschke, d'Arenberg and Tahbilk. It's good to see a few boutique labels such as Coates, Best's Great Western and Seville Estate that give the small makers a look-in. Plenty of shiraz and cabernet bottles dominate in the full-flavoured spectrum in addition to wines with some welcome bottle age. A good selection with all the fundamentals to accompany a prime cut of beef.

Steak Ministry

39-51 Kingsway, Glen Waverley
(03) 9560 1818

CUISINE Steakhouse
WINE LIST Hamish Small
WINEs ON LIST 175 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($10-$38 by the glass)

A list jam-packed with wine and spirit action, from the Coravin program to mini verticals, large and small format bottles to spirit flights and guest taps. A strong selection of domestic and international choices from benchmark producers with back vintages considered. A full-bodied list, bursting with well chosen, well-priced options, which reflect its author's energy and passion for all things vinous.

Stokehouse St Kilda

30 Jacka Blvd, St Kilda
(03) 9525 5555

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Gavin Cremming
WINEs ON LIST 750 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($12-$26 by the glass)

A discerning selection presented with care and clarity. From traditional classics to skin contact, it caters to both conventional and adventurous tastes without forgetting those who choose to abstain. There is special focus on champagne, chenin blanc and riesling, investment in mini verticals provides depth, and is well stocked in the red categories. A stylish, accomplished list that befits the setting and atmosphere of the venue.

Straight Six

448 Epsom Road, Flemington
1300 727 575

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Daniel Schwarze
WINEs ON LIST78 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($10-$20 by the glass)

A tight list, largely offering traditional varieties and good examples of them, with the occasional offshore gem thrown in – look for wines from Domenico Clerico, Jadot, Stags’ Leap and others. The pricing is more than competitive. An array of famous names kicks off the Champagnes.


577 Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds
(03) 9078 3574

CUISINE Tapas/Sharing Plates
WINE LIST Christopher Exell
WINEs ON LIST 550 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($10-$22 by the glass)

An avid collection of Australian bottles comprises the bulk of this list, closely followed by whisky galore and a cache of fabulous gins. Investment in half bottles and mini verticals of Grosset and Cullen; Felton Road, By Farr and Rockford layer the page; an eclectic list conveys the author’s passion and palate for Australian classics and small batch spirits. Spoilt for choice, this is a treasure trove, the sort of cellar you would love to get lost in.


180 Flinders Ln, Melbourne
(03) 9650 8688

CUISINE Modern Asian
WINE LIST Stephanie Jacob
WINEs ON LIST 242 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($9-$26 by the glass)

A good, eclectic selection of wines by the glass, some seriously good champagne and a fine array of sake kicks off this list. If the pockets allow, try the wonderful 2000 Pierre Péters Les Chétillons Oenothèque, a stunning Champagne almost impossible to find. Pinot another highlight and a brilliant collection of Japanese whisky. Bravo!


23 Bank Pl, Melbourne
(03) 9670 1777

CUISINE European/Mediterranean
WINE LIST Florian Valieres
WINEs ON LIST 828 (47 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$-$$$ ($10-$57 by the glass)

What started out originally as a more Italian-focused wine list in keeping with its Sicilian namesake, Syracuse, has broadened into a thoroughly detailed and exciting world wine list that sizzles and thrills! Full of personality it goes from strength to strength and broadens its reach with a best of listing for wines by the glass, including some lovelies like 2012 La Perla nebbiolo from Lombardy by the glass under Coravin. Sparkling wines, not to mention Champagnes, are eye-opening, just like so much of the list. You are invited into a livelier, more comprehensive wine listing than you have probably ever encountered before. Soak it up. Red wines are possibly even more exciting than whites such are the depths reached with sourcing and multiple vintages offered.

Tender Trap

266 Blackburn Rd, East Doncaster
(03) 9842 3466

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Chris Moraitis
WINEs ON LIST 262 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($12-$16 by the glass)

A less than typical suburban restaurant, it takes its wine role very seriously indeed. From the generous pour for table wines by the glass (170mls) to the top German rieslings, Italian nebbiolos and the odd Spanish superstar like Telmo Rodríguez, you are in good hands. This is a list that is bound to grow on you and your wallet or purse with many wines priced under $100 a bottle. Even better for some will be the great selection of back vintages and alternate format bottles. Aussie reds get the star treatment, especially shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, and few suburban restaurants care about fortifieds as much.

Terrace Restaurant

315 All Saints Rd, Wahgunyah
(02) 6035 2222

CUISINE Contemporary European
WINE LIST Nicholas Brown
WINEs ON LIST 62 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$ ($10-$16 by the glass)

Not to be confused with Terrace at Flemington racetrack, Terrace Restaurant is at All Saints Estate, owned by the three Brown siblings of the late Peter Brown of Brown Brothers fame. The list is devoted to the considerable number of wines from sparkling through to fortifieds produced at All Saints and with 24 available by the glass, a meal here becomes a sophisticated cellar door tasting. The property is historically associated with marsanne, shiraz, durif and, of course, fortified wines. This is a good starting point for diners, which is not to dismiss the many styles now produced. Choice is the key here with a number of price points covered to suit any budget. Essential for any diner is a meal that finishes with an All Saints fortified. The company has some of the oldest stocks in the region, fabulous blending material for some world-class wines.

Terrace VRC

448 Epsom Rd, Flemington
1300 727 575

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Hamish Small & Daniel Schwarze
WINEs ON LIST 162 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$-$$$ ($10-$15 by the glass)

As befits a restaurant at one of the world's leading racetracks, Champagne takes front and centre on the wine list at Terrace. Winners and losers alike will need a bottle of classic Champagne and most of the big names are here. Equally, in celebration of The Single Bottle Club which has operated there for members, the listing throws open for purchase a selection of older Australian wines at mostly fair prices. The selection like most of the list has a strong focus on the wines under Australia's – and one of the world's – biggest wine producers, Treasury Wine Estates. Expect to see a lot of Wolf Blass, Coldstream, Seppelt, Wynns, Devil's Lair wines, etc. The odd European offers respite for those who seek it.

Thousand Pound

82 Main St, Rutherglen
(02) 6032 8179

CUISINE Modern European
WINE LIST Nicholas Brown
WINEs ON LIST 123 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$ ($10-$30 by the glass)

Owned by the Brown family behind All Saints Estate and St Leonards, this trendy little wine bar in the main street of Rutherglen has become a haven for wine lovers. In what is not only a showcase for the Brown family wines (including Brown Family Wine Group and Brown Brothers) and local wines, the tight 123-strong listing visits some of the world's leading wine makers and regions. Well-priced and accessible, Thousand Pound delivers on a number of platforms in this small country town. Delve into the featured sections on Durif, muscadelle and muscat for a peak Rutherglen wine experience.


20 Duckboard Pl, Melbourne
(03) 9650 3155

WINE LIST George McCullough
WINEs ON LIST 254 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$26 by the glass)

Not your usual Indian restaurant wine list, no sir. Tonka displays a very Melbourne multicultural approach to its task enlisting wines from all over the world to suit its spicy, flavourful and diverse cuisine. By the glass offerings include an Alsatian riesling, Austrian grüner veltliner, Victorian pinot gris, New Zealand chardonnay and that's just the whites. The choices are eclectic, even chaotic, from the "natural wines" of Georgia and Friuli to grapes such as chasselas and aligoté. The Italians take a large slice of the wine action. The brief seems to be to offer thought-provoking wines which reveal the great diversity of styles suited to Indian food and it works!


Shop 7/681 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn
(03) 9078 5492

WINE LIST David Wickwar & Alexia Kealey
WINEs ON LIST 85 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($10-$60 by the glass)

A rarity in the increasingly crowded Italian wine list market in Australia, here we have a list largely devoted to the wines of the Veneto region from its world-class sparklings, its world-beating proseccos and its classic white wines made from the corvina grape and the one-and-only amarones and valpolicellas. Where to start! Well, a Bellini cocktail would make sense or a Vaperol Spritz, maybe, or a Venetian or Italian beer or Italian wine on tap. It's not all Veneto's way however with the rest of Italy well-represented, and a small slice of Aussie makers the owners like, including those working with Italian grape varieties, names like Pizzini, Chalmers, La Prova and Sam Miranda.

Vue de Monde

Level 4, Rialto Towers, 525 Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9691 3888

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Dorian Guillon MS
WINEs ON LIST 2,000 (56 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($17-$115 by the glass)

An experience awaits, admittedly it's an expensive one of the bucket list variety but super special nonetheless. The wine options are many, you could start with a wine pairing (prices start at $220 per head), or discover some new tastes or the odd classic from around the world from the extensive wines by the glass offering. Fancy a glass of 1997 Chateau Musar cabernet? Some wine categories are truly mouth-watering led by Champagne, Burgundy and top Aussie icons but there will be the odd newbie to discover, too. The Lui Bar is one option not to be overlooked where cocktails from the boom days of the 1860s Victorian Gold Rush have been brought back to life.

Wickens At Royal Mail Hotel

96 Parker St, Dunkeld
(03) 5577 2241

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Peter Dillon & Matthew Lance
WINEs ON LIST 1,250 (105 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$-$$$ ($10-$180 by the glass)

This is a big list, literally and figuratively-speaking, with 1,250 of the world's greatest wines based on the wine collection of owner, Allan Myers. It takes five pages just to view the selection of half bottles and larger format wines! Be prepared to be amazed from the largest collection of Burgundy and Bordeaux in the Southern Hemisphere, to a comprehensive look at the wines of Victoria, especially the western half, and then multiple vintages from fabulous winemakers all over the globe. With 10 sub-categories for red wine alone it could be a long night, or you could find solace in working your way through some fine tastes – including grape varieties like schönburger and assyritiko – by the glass.

Wine 1160

1160 High St, Armadale
(03) 9191 7884

CUISINE European  
WINE LIST Pierre M Caillaud & Prabir Majumdar
WINEs ON LIST 150 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13-$65 by the glass)

Working outside the usual wine bar model, Wine 1160 arrived in 2017 with a wine list devoted to "provenance and purity". "We look for wines with a story." And quite literally it tells the "story" of each of the 150-odd wines listed. It's an interesting exposition on the state of the global wine world with a particularly strong selection of wines by the glass, including a couple of Premier Cru chardonnays from Burgundy as well as a 2012 Barolo and 2009 Hermitage from top makers. The Champagne listing is particularly delicious, and for those who like a vinous adventure, there are top names not always seen on lists like Burn Cottage, Huber, Nazaaray and Groiss. Wine lovers will know they are in the right place because the food is made to suit the wines and not vice versa.

Wine and the Country

1/97 Vincent St, Daylesford
(03) 5348 3756

CUISINE Charcuterie & Cheese
WINE LIST Jeremy Shiell, Bronwyn Liddelow & Jennifer Latta
WINEs ON LIST500 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($9-$19 by the glass)

Smart, articulate, caring and, above all, utterly tempting Wine and the Country dares to be different and wins! It might wear its heart on its sleeve – it is devoted to showcasing local wines, small makers and those who practice sustainable grape growing and making wine in both Australia and Europe – but you have to applaud the passion. A serious 500-strong wine list that delves deep into its local winemaking culture with highlights from Bindi, Joshua Cooper and Owen Latta. Offerings from sustainable makers in Europe include a thorough selection of Champagnes, Muscadets, a serious bunch of rosés and nebbiolos. As for Beaujolais, it has to be one of the biggest offerings in the country.

Woodland House

78 Williams Rd, Prahran
(03) 9525 2178

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Hayden McFarland
WINEs ON LIST 485 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$-$$$ ($17-$45 by the glass)

Woodland House has settled into a fine mod Oz wine list weighting classic Aussie wine regions (for the most part) and winemakers against a bunch of daring newcomers. It's a similar story on the European side. Big names with big prices are fortunately balanced with classy over-achievers at reasonable prices. Strengths are wines by the glass, 20 in all and deliciously tempting, with strong pockets of exceptional Chablis, German rieslings, Aussie cabernet and Barolo. The selection of half bottles is top class. On the downside is the small pouring sizes of wines by the glass, just 100mls for sparklings and 120mls for table wines.