New South Wales Winner

Sixpenny

Sixpenny

83 Percival Rd, Stanmore
(02) 9572 6666
sixpenny.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Bridget Raffal
WINEs ON LIST 270 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($65-$15 by the glass)

Sixpenny is a list with an ease and grace that conveys a depth and understanding of wine few can match. It displays clarity and insight, assuring the reader of being in good hands.

What is great about Bridget Raffal’s selection is that it is presented as a succinct snapshot of her favourite producers, their philosophies and styles, and there’s clearly a conscious effort to represent women winemakers in parity. The list is not overly eclectic. Rather it is thoughtful and interesting, inviting exploration. Small family producers are at the heart of the cellar and bottle age is key, allowing the wines time to best express themselves.

Jura and Burgundy are feature favourites. Sous Voile has a say, as do the orange and amber. Mini verticals of Josmeyer, Joly and Prum add weight. The establishment and the renegades stand side-by-side, without ever forgetting the importance of celebrating and underwriting our own unique talent.  

SOPHIE OTTON

Finalists

Bert's

2 Kalinya St, Newport
(02) 9114 7350
merivale.com/venues/berts

CUISINE Coastal European
WINE LIST Amandine Rouviere
WINEs ON LIST 1230 (43 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($360-$13 by the glass)

Unbelievable.  Bert's boasts an unbelievable wine list.  This is an exciting and sensitive curation of some of the best wines from the best vintages, from Australia and the rest of the world.  The selection of iconic Australian wines (including the great and difficult to obtain Wendouree) is thrilling, and the nuance and level of knowledge required to dance across the continents, as this wine list does, is frankly impressive.  Whether you are a 'by the glass' type or 'by the bottle', there is a plethora of choices made available to you.  And not just limited to wine, either.  Pre-dinner aperitifs, sherries, beers, spirits, digestifs... the list, quite literally, goes on.  There is not much more to say.  This list is incredible and should not be missed. Bravo.

Bennelong

Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
(02) 9240 8000
bennelong.com.au

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Seamus Brandt
WINEs ON LIST 500 (46 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($???-$?? by the glass)

A bold and distinct wine list with a near entire focus on Australian wine, a treatise to local product in Australia's most recognised architectural monument. The ambition could have faltered, but hasn't, this is a near encyclopaedic collection of Aussie wine with judicious inclusions of mature releases, vertical tranches of prestige wines, a good selection of zeitgeist wine styles and avant garde producers, alongside boutique offerings from some of Australia's hardest-to-source artisan vignerons. You could quibble that Champagne is the permitted non-Australian interloper, but wow, that section is so impressive it's almost a conversation in itself. By the glass does justice to the rest of this outstanding wine list with diversity and interest in the general listings and it all elevates with rarities, prestige wines and mature releases in the Coravin 'premium' selection. The pay off is realised here, a vision splendid and dedicated. This is so very impressive.

Mimi's

Coogee Pavilion, 130A Beach St, Coogee
(02) 9114 7324
merivale.com/venues/mimis

CUISINE Mediterranean
WINE LIST Paolo Saccone
WINEs ON LIST 650 (41 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($65-$14 by the glass)

Merivale's latest offering, under the direction of Adrian Filiuta MS, could scarcely be more impressive. It is an international list that has its heart in France but illuminates the wines of Australia and so many parts of the globe with verve and panache. The 41 wines by the glass offer diversity and depth. Coravin offers top quality and rarity plus flights of Premier Cru Vaillons, the 2015 vintage in Burgundy, a tasting history of Madeira and more. Brilliant at the top end but there's plenty of choice at everyday prices. A tour de force and deservedly the Tony Hitchin Award winning Best New List in the country.

Glass-Rated

10 William St

10 William St, Paddington
(02) 9360 3310
10williamst.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Mattia Dicati
WINEs ON LIST 300 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($21-$14 by the glass)

This vibrant Paddington bar has a wide-ranging international list with its heart firmly placed in Italy and in a wide-range of sustainable wines from around the globe. It's an adventurous collection which explores the Australian landscape looking for the those on the cutting edge: Latta, Timo Mayer, Ruggabellus, Belinda Thomson and Tom Shobbrook. The international collection is thoughtfully curated, too.

6HEAD 1788

Bay 10 & 11, Campbell’s Stores, 7-27 Circular Quay West The Rocks
(02) 8629 8866
6head.com.au

CUISINE Premium Steak House
WINE LIST Ben Preston and Joel Davis
WINEs ON LIST 288 (30 by the glass including Coravin)
WINE PRICES $$ ($150-$12 by the glass)

A list worthy of its iconic location on Circular Quay, immaculately curated so that diners can choose quality wines at modest prices or lash out and break the bank. The choice of wines by the glass is exemplary while the use of Coravin has been careful considered. This is a strong international list but clearly grounded in established Australian brands.

Altitude

176 Cumberland St, The Rocks
(02) 9250 6000
shangri-la.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Matt Herod
WINEs ON LIST 353 (53 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($85-$15 by the glass)

Altitude offers a streamlined selection of over 350 well-chosen Australian wines (apart from Champagne) designed to capture the imagination of the international tourist market. Located inside the Shangri-La in The Rocks, sommelier Matt Herod has also seized the opportunity to showcase over 40 Australian wines by the glass with the assistance of Coravin. The prices too are fair given the real estate and back vintages add depth and weight to the list. An excellent cellar that is thoughtfully compiled and successfully celebrates the full rainbow of our nation's winemaking abilities.

Amphora Wine Bar

1 Olympic Dr, Milsons Point
(02) 9033 7670
amphorawinebar.com.au

CUISINE Simple seasonal modern Australian and classic European
WINE LIST Mark Dibblin
WINEs ON LIST165 (32 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($20-$10 by the glass)

There's so much to like about Amphora's list: starting with its beginning offers to diners; the diversity of the by the glass offering especially with the quality available at reasonable prices. It is an international list which looks at the latest trends (such as pét-nat) while offering a great selection of classics from home and abroad. There's innovation with Field Blend sections, tasting notes offered after the listings and thoughtful balance throughout.

Anason

5/23 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo
(02) 9188 1581
anason.com.au

CUISINE Turkish
WINE LIST Sanjeev Kapoor
WINEs ON LIST75 (45 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($55-$10 by the glass)

For anyone curious about raki or Turkish beers, this is the place – but there are plenty of other options, of course. Diners at Anason can explore the world of Turkish wine or support Australian winemakers who lost vineyards in the 2020 bushfires. If you're not feeling quite so adventurous, Aussie classics such as Lakes Folly and Leeuwin Estate are also available.

Annata Sydney

69 Willoughby Rd, Crows Nest
(02) 9437 3700
annatasydney.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Christian Blair
WINEs ON LIST 246 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($21-$14 by the glass)

The Mod Oz wine list in all its glory looks to alternative and small-batch winemaking and strong individualists staying under the radar, in addition to modern icons. That's what we like so much about Annata. Whether it's singing the praises of a pinot grigio from Slovenia, a South African chenin blanc, a classic Valpolicella or Aussie superstar in the making, Annata has it covered. It's also a creative list with cocktails that defy imagination (Topaque reduction, anyone?), a world-beating riesling, chardonnay and Italian reds section as well as a celebration of the bigger, fuller-bodied reds. It's the complete package.

The Apollo

44 Macleay St, Potts Point
(02) 8354 0888
theapollo.com.au

CUISINE Greek
WINE LIST Sam Christie
WINEs ON LIST 96 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($33-$13 by the glass)

This wine list mirrors the ease of Apollo's style, and its simple and delicious cuisine. The layout and content is interesting without it taking itself too seriously. The categories are clear and uncomplicated, helping the novice to navigate and select comfortably. Accompanying the wine is a sound selection of beer and festive drinks; cocktails long, short and virgin round out the mix. Sixteen wines by the glass from $13 to $33 will be happily embraced by most budgets. With just under 100 labels, this collection packs a playful punch without being pretentious, working effortlessly to please.

Aqua Dining

Paul & Northcliff St, Milsons Point
(02) 9964 9998
aquadining.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Benjamin Cummings, Iain Wood and Mirko Tamai
WINEs ON LIST 349 (59 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($14-$445 by the glass)

An operatic list featuring predominantly Italian greats supported by Australian benchmarks, Aqua Dining's wine list has a cast of over 300 labels, with near 60 by the glass. The Coravin permits sommelier Ben Cummings to indulge guests with luxuries of commanding age and price, becoming more accessible; Bass Phillip Premium, Gaja Barbaresco, JJ Prum and Grange. Full and half measures make it a living list, where corks are drawn from bottles rather than being lost or forgotten amongst the pages. It's a fitting list for such a dramatic harbourside setting.

Aria Sydney

1 Macquarie St, Sydney
(02) 9240 2255
ariasydney.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Alex Kirkwood
WINEs ON LIST 1700 (84 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($320-$15 by the glass)

This is an action packed wine list celebrating 20 years of Aria, Sydney. With 1700 wines and 84 by the glass, the list weaves its way around the world, showcasing the finer things in life: the new breed and the established; aged sake and amber wines; a Champagne extravaganza from maison to grower and Grange by the glass. A love of chenin blanc, William Downie, all things Jura, the domestic and international greats. Explosive and bursting with information, enthusiasm and exploring unexpected corners of the globe, this is a blockbuster, entirely suited to its plush interiors and iconic setting.

Arthur

544 Bourke St, Surry Hills
0468 991 088
arthurrestaurant.com

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Tristian Rosier
WINEs ON LIST 56 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($18-$14 by the glass)

This is a small yet neatly balanced Australian list that focuses on organic wines. Established producers such as Chalmers, Ten Minutes by Tractor, Terre à Terre, Bannockburn and Scorpo are featured alongside a younger generation pushing the boundaries – Dormilona, Vino Volta, Hughes & Hughes and Latta Vino. It's a quality selection with something to satisfy most tastes.

Ash St. Cellar

1 Ash St, Sydney
(02) 9114 7302
merivale.com/venues/ashstcellar

CUISINE Mediterranean Tapas
WINE LIST Adam Lambeth
WINEs ON LIST 286 (28 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($12-$74 by the glass)

Ash Street Cellar's wine list is a kaleidoscope of beautiful wines with Australasian, French and Italian being the primary colours. The Champagne choices are a treat, and when it comes to vintage depth there is some welcome bottle age to savour. With a tantalising food menu and near 30 by the glass wines, the temptation is to stay for the full experience. While some of the high-end wines command the dollars, on the whole the prices are fair, given the big-end-of-town location.

Azka Restaurant Wine & Tapas Bar

31 Marsh St, Armidale
(02) 6772 7788
rydges.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Monty Maguire
WINEs ON LIST 173 (60 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($8-$55 by the glass)

This is an impressive list for a remote country town, with a range of wines by the glass that would be a treat anywhere –with Coravin providing extra dimension to its offerings. It's an international list with many established superstars represented, and modestly-priced gems abound.

Azuma

2 Chifley Square, Sydney
(02) 9222 9960
azuma.com.au

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Toru Takamatsu
WINEs ON LISt 184 (10 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($13-$19 by the glass)

An appealing menu expertly matched with fine selections from around the globe, Azuma will excite lovers of sake; there is a small offering of wines from Japan as well. Chardonnay and pinot noir are the highlights in what is a relatively tight list but there are gems from every style, region and variety. A cracking wine list.

Azure Bar & Grill

144 Bayshore Dr, Byron Bay
(02) 6639 1550
azurebarandgrill.com.au

CUISINE Australian Contemporary
WINE LIST Marcus Corcoran
WINEs ON LISt 196 (28 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($12-$34 by the glass)

A progressive yet unpretentious compilation of wines. This list has an air of genuine enthusiasm and interest in the producers that are featured. The choices, while representing the more established labels, really champion the small, high-quality producer at the top of their respective genres. To see Craiglee, Bindi, Downie and Sullivan by the glass is a treat for any wine lover. It's well-rounded with equally passionate spirit and cocktail creations. It is exciting to see a hotel-resort being so on-point with their beverage program.

Babyface Kitchen

1/179 Keira St, Wollongong
(02) 4295 0903
babyfacekitchen.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Andrew Burns and Genevieve Digregorio
WINEs ON LIST 80 (11 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$11 by the glass)

Babyface Kitchen is part of the local Burnsbury Hospitality Group who focus on "genuine hospitality and quality affordable dining." Babyface Kitchen is the 'modern Australian' arm of the group and is home to a solid line-up of Australia's natural wine producers. There is a sprinkling of international wines on there – the temptation to include more must have been immense – but this is a proudly homegrown selection, matching the local focus on the food menu. For those who stray off the wine track, the beers are from Australian boutique breweries, and there is a sake selection for the so-inclined. Not to be forgotten are the house-made non-alcoholic drinks and a cleverly curated selection of spirits, focusing on the best – both big and small. Babyface Kitchen is a great win for Wollongong: mini but mighty.

Babylon Rooftop

Level 7 Rooftop, Westfield Pitt Street Mall, 188 Pitt St Sydney
(02) 8014 5663
babylonrooftop.com.au

CUISINE Levantine
WINE LIST Simon Howland
WINEs ON LIST 302 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($29-$9.50 by the glass)

An impressive mix of mostly top Aussies by the glass, and an excellent array of beers, spirits (especially whisky) and assorted fortifieds. The usual suspects are joined by emerging stars. The top regions have been thoroughly plundered to provide an exciting list. Attention is paid to older wines and the better vintages.

Balcón by Tapavino

17 Bligh St, Sydney
(02) 9223 6176
balcontapavino.com.au

CUISINE Spanish
WINE LIST Lee Hayward and Marta Vivarelli
WINEs ON LIST 450 (31 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$-$$$ ($22-$10 by the glass)

It's not every day we come across a restaurant that is as utterly dedicated to the wines of a specific region or country, as Balcón by Tapavino is to Spain.  Wow. This list is comprehensive by any measure. They have gone to the considerable effort of providing a key describing the body/fruit/wood/style/ethos of each wine. At Balcón, you'll find a generous selection of Spanish vermouth; Spanish beer, thirteen Spanish gins; four pages of Spanish fortified and sherries, couched among a trove of interesting, and in some cases aged Spanish wines.  There is an extensive by the glass offering which you may choose to increase to a carafe, should you so choose. There is considerable value to be found on this list, but the opportunity to spend luxuriously, too. The best bit? "4-5.30pm 50% off all bottles under $200". Fantástica!

Bambini Trust

185 Elizabeth St, Sydney
(02) 9283 7098
bambinitrust.com.au

CUISINE Modern European
WINE LIST Neil McKenzie and Angela Potts
WINEs ON LIST 160 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($42-$15 by the glass)

Bambini Trust is a bustling, brassy wine bar and restaurant imbued with European sophistication in the heart of the Sydney business district. The well-heeled clientele are long-term loyalists who like to eat and drink well, and treat the venue as their second home. Established in 1997, the cellar of over 150 bottles primarily plays tribute to the vineyards of Italy, however there is plenty of depth and breadth to keep the local New World palates happy as well. A sound listing of spirits, cocktails and beers make for an attractive setting to let off some post-work steam.

Bangalay Dining

30 Staples St, Shoalhaven Heads
(02) 4448 7729
bangalayvillas.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Jessica Zealand
WINEs ON LIST 43 (11 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13-$18 by the glass)

This list unashamedly focuses on local gems sourced from across the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands wine regions, with an occasional offering from beyond. It ensures a wide array of different varieties and styles. There is plenty here to appeal to both the discerning palate and those simply looking for a top drink.

Banksii Vermouth Bar & Bistro

11/33 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo
(02) 8072 7307
banksii.sydney

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Rebecca Lines
WINEs ON LIST 165 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($10-$32 by the glass)

An accomplished, up-to-the-minute wine list that is bursting with bright, well-executed ideas making for great reading, let alone drinking. Few wine lists are so well-rounded with the categories equally weighted. The diverse array of offerings also reflect the author's knowledge, depth and experience of beverages other than wine, and vermouth, for which Banksii is best known. There is a tasteful Champagne list also. The attention to detail is apparent, down to the grammar, presentation and clean lines that are so often lacking. It is the detailed content and finishing touches that set this list apart.

Bar Totti's

Ivy Precinct, 330 George St, Sydney
(02) 9240 3000
merivale.com/venues/bar-tottis

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Andrea Corsi
WINEs ON LIST 90 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($63-$10 by the glass)

This bar menu focuses on offering a decent selection of local and overseas wines made using sustainable viticulture and winemaking involving minimal additions. Names like Shobbrook, Ochota Barrels, Dormilona and Ravensworth head the list of Aussies while Radikon, Fattoria Franco and Foradori are overseas notables. The listing of Italian wines complements the food while the Reserve Selection adds gravitas.

Bathers' Pavilion

4 The Esplanade, Mosman
(02) 9969 5050
batherspavilion.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Jean-Michel Thouvenin
WINEs ON LIST 443 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($38-$12 by the glass)

Bathers' Pavilion has a wine list to match the views: expansive, impressive and exciting. The premium offering of wine, beer, spirits, digestifs, cocktails and any other drink you could possibly want is all part of the experience here. The food menu is pared back and focuses on quality ingredients designed to highlight local flavours. The wine list itself has a great selection of most things one could possibly ask for in a variety of formats (think half bottles, magnums and more). The vintages of red Burgundy and Left Bank Bordeaux range back to 1976 and 1933 respectively – a jaw-dropping feat in itself. The Australian wines included are a who's who of each of the key regions around the country and detail some of the harder to find and more interesting wineries, at that. The list has grown considerably in the last year, expanding to include some new and excellent wines, showing an enviable sensitivity and knowledge of the topic. Well done Bathers' Pavilion!

Bea

35 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo
(02) 8587 5400
barangaroohouse.com.au/bea-restaurant

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Georgina Larsson
WINEs ON LIST 500 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($50-$16 by the glass)

Bea Restaurant occupies a commanding position on Cockle Bay, in Barangaroo House – a modern feast of curved form (designed to remind us of stacked bowls), olive green leather, brushed brass and trailing plants. The wine list boasts a similarly commanding roll call of premium national and international producers, spanning a vast array of styles, varieties and price points. The food menu showcases local, seasonal produce and is an authoritative display of sensitively chosen simple flavours, seemingly never more than three or four in a dish, meshed together to elevate each to new levels. The wine list is as varied and as exciting as the food and the view require. Excellent.

Beach Byron Bay

2 Massinger St, Byron Bay
(02) 6685 8400
beachbyronbay.com.au

CUISINE Mediterranean
WINE LIST Augusto Pedroso
WINEs ON LIST 143 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($45-$12 by the glass)

Apt for the venue and location, this is a fun, breezy list of party wines, easy-drinkers and hip styles. There's a clever mix of more classic wine producers mingling with the avant garde. You'll find a deft touch from some more serious offerings in the vintage and premium categories but with no less than five pinot gris/grigio, a stack of excellent Champagne, some well chosen amber wines, and a sluice of fresh, young reds, the general gist here is drink well, drink with diversity in mind and find yourself spoiled for choice. There seems to be a strong core of organic wines in the mix too, layering more nuance to this collection. Expect high profile wines from premier producers Cullen and Grosset alongside compelling wines from 'younger generation' producers such as Ochota Barrels, Mayer and BK Wines. It's a terrific selection here, right through to the jeroboams of AIX Rose that demand you have a good time.

Bells at Killcare

107 The Scenic Rd, Killcare Heights
(02) 4349 7000
bellsatkillcare.com.au

CUISINE Italian/Mediterranean influence
WINE LIST Alessio Rubini and Brian Barry
WINEs ON LIST 350 (50 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($70-$10 by the glass)

An outstanding wine list in every sense. It's a selection that runs deep in familiar and excellent wines and winemakers but allows drinkers to explore a superb and neatly chosen collection of Italian wines and emerging producers. It also focuses heavily on wines in which the 'in-the-know' wine aficionados delight. There is a huge collection of Burgundy, particularly the wonderful Domaine Dujac; a tranche of Clape wines of the Northern Rhône; strong offerings from the Hunter Valley including great back vintages, and there's a dazzling array of amaro, liqueurs, sherry and grappa to indulge in. Lastly, the ever-rotating by-the-glass wines are really, really good – there's a Coravin to let you enjoy some of the fancier things that oscillate through this list. A suitably stellar list for this magnificent venue and restaurant.

Bennelong

Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
(02) 9240 8000
bennelong.com.au

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Seamus Brandt
WINEs ON LIST 500 (46 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($136-$15 by the glass)

This bold and distinct wine list has a near entire focus on Australian wine – a treatise to local product in Australia's most recognised architectural monument. The ambition could have faltered, but hasn't; this is a near encyclopaedic collection of Aussie wine with judicious inclusions of mature releases, vertical tranches of prestige wines, a good selection of zeitgeist styles and avant garde producers, alongside boutique offerings from some of Australia's hardest-to-source artisan vignerons. You could quibble that Champagne is the permitted non-Australian interloper, but wow, that section is so impressive it's almost a conversation in itself. By the glass does justice to the rest of this outstanding wine list with diversity and interest in the general listings and it all elevates with rarities, prestige wines and mature releases in the Coravin 'premium' selection. The pay off is realised here, a vision splendid and dedicated. This is so very impressive.

Bentley

27 O'Connell St, Sydney
(02) 8214 0505
thebentley.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Nick Hildebrandt
WINEs ON LIST 1600 (50 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($60-$10 by the glass)

Bentley is a landmark and benchmark wine list that seems to only flex more muscle each time you leaf through it. Director-sommelier Nick Hildebrandt collects wine with one of the keenest senses in the business. He hoards best releases and drip-feeds guests some of the brightest jewels in the vinous landscape. Feature producer lists are often the envy of sommeliers Australia-wide, and drinkers are treated to some of the most exquisite wines produced and imported in Australia. From the stupendous sake collection that fronts the list through pages of outstanding artisan spirits and through a carefully considered beer range, all detail embellishes this remarkable collection of wine. Attention should be paid to suites of wines from Prevost, Selosse, Ganevat, Overnoy, Mount Mary and other super stars, though Bentley does highlight riesling, the region of Jura, diverse pinot noir and Champagne, amongst all of its shiny offerings. This wine list is so good, so stupendous as always.

Berowra Waters Inn

1 Calabash Point, Berowra Waters
(02) 9456 1027
berowrawatersinn.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Leonardo Lupattelli
WINEs ON LIST 154 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($56-$16 by the glass)

This iconic Australian restaurant occupies an important place in the country's culinary history and offers an eclectic range of Australian favourites from around the country. Long-time favourites such as Grosset, Mount Mary, Giaconda and Jasper Hill sit alongside more recent delights such as Rieslingfreak, Topper's Mountain, Clyde Park and Murdoch Hill. The cabernet and shiraz selections offer some attractive aged gems.

Bert's

2 Kalinya St, Newport
(02) 9114 7350
merivale.com/venues/berts

CUISINE Coastal European
WINE LIST Amandine Rouviere
WINEs ON LIST 1230 (43 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($360-$13 by the glass)

Unbelievable. Bert's boasts an unbelievable wine list. This is an exciting and sensitive curation of some of the best wines from the best vintages, from Australia and the rest of the world. The selection of iconic Australian wines (including the great and difficult to obtain Wendouree) is thrilling, and the nuance and level of knowledge required to dance across the continents, as this wine list does, is frankly impressive.  Whether you are 'by the glass' or 'by the bottle' there is a plethora of choices made available to you. And not just limited to wine, either. Pre-dinner aperitifs, sherries, beers, spirits, digestifs... the list, quite literally, goes on. There is not much more to say. This list is incredible and should not be missed. Bravo.

Bibo Wine Bar

7 Bay St, Double Bay
(02) 9362 4680
bibowinebar.com.au

CUISINE Traditional Portuguese/modern French.
WINE LIST Louella Mathews
WINEs ON LIST 402 (40 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$-$$$ ($48-$9 by the glass)

Bibo Wine Bar has over 400 reasons to make a detour and drop in for a glass. The list is a formidable show of exciting, rare, hard to find, classic, emerging and established producers – it has it all. There are little snippets of information scattered throughout the list that serve to ground and locate us as drinkers, to bring us to the place that the sommelier, Louella Mathews was in when she brought those wines to the list. Louella has been there since the beginning, and it shows. This is a sensitive and well thought through list that leaves no vinous stone unturned. Of course, if wine isn't your thing, there are numerous options available by the glass, including local and boutique beer, aperitifs, non-alcoholic concoctions, cocktails, cider, bubbles and fortifieds. Bibo, Louella, fabulous work. This is an ever-evolving and exciting offering to the lucky customers in Sydney.

Big Poppa's

96 Oxford St, Darlinghurst
0499 052 201
bigpoppa.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Minna Hanson
WINEs ON LIST 155 (32 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($80-$12 by the glass)

Big Poppa's. Named after the BIG guy himself, the Notorious B.I.G. One may assume from the name that this isn't a serious wine bar. How utterly wrong they would be. It is energising to witness what can be done with a diverse and premium selection of wines in a variety of formats. The wines chosen span a variety of styles – not just natural, funky, lean, spicy, and international (in particular Italian), but premium, classic and refined. There aren't too many wine bars where you could order a back vintage of Ornellaia or Sassacaia alongside a share plate of pork polpette and listen to hip hop. The Australian examples of Italian varieties (for example, Luke Lambert's Nebbiolo) show us that there is a deep understanding and love of the wines of the world, and are translated to our Australian wine landscape. Not to be forgotten is the great selection of brews, aperitifs, cheeses, cocktails and more. Yes, Big Poppa's. Yes.

Bills Fishhouse & Bar

2/18-20 Clarence St, Port Macquarie
(02) 6584 7228
billsfishhouse.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Pete Cutcliffe and Jennifer Paquet
WINEs ON LIST 35 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$11 by the glass)

New South Wales is very much the focus in this tight but pleasing collection. Names like Tyrrell's, Thomas Wines and Cassegrain will be familiar to most wine lovers. An accompanying list of cocktails, spirits and their ilk round things out. Plenty of by the glass options, if that is your preference.

Birch

2/249 Argyle St, Moss Vale
(02) 4868 1817
birchrestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Renee Wallace
WINEs ON LIST 50 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($22-$14 by the glass)

Couched in a region known for high quality fresh produce, Birch presents a food menu that communicates just this. The concise wine list offers up an array of exciting, value for money wines from the likes of Rippon, Clonakilla, Goon Tycoons, Hurley Vineyard, Dukes Vineyard and Head Wines. The selection expands briefly into France and beyond, bringing Europe to Moss Vale. If wine isn't your preferred choice, there is a selection of beers, spirits, cocktails (you can craft your own if you so choose) and non-alcoholic options, of course.  Another reason to stay longer in Moss Vale.

Bistecca

3 Dalley St, Sydney
(02) 8067 0450
bistecca.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Alice Massaria
WINEs ON LIST 1000 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($48-$14 by the glass)

The 2019 Best New Wine List continues its winning ways with a heart-felt celebration of all things Italian and, in keeping with its Bistecca theme, a mouth-watering selection of matching nebbiolos and sangiovese reds from Piedmont and Tuscany (but not exclusively). Traditional makers mix with new wave stylists; keep an eye out for some well-aged Barolos, in particular. Unusually for a meat-dominant restaurant, the white wine selection sings and is definitely worth a look, maybe a Cortese with an entree of ricotta dumplings or bone marrow. There is a lot to like and enjoy here but do leave room for the comprehensive selection of Italian amari.

Bistro Moncur

116 Queen St, Woollahra
(02) 9327 9713
bistromoncur.com.au

CUISINE French Modern European
WINE LIST Simon Tebbs and Andrew White
WINEs ON LIST 154 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($56-$15 by the glass)

The use of Coravin, and the selection of some most appealing wines, allow guests at this old favourite to kick off in style. There is a fine array of spirits. A tight list makes good use of the choices offered, while the Cellar List provides even more options.

Bistro Rex

50-58 Macleay St, Potts Point
(02) 9332 2100
bistrorex.com.au

CUISINE French
WINE LIST Josh Dunne
WINEs ON LIST 225 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($26-$12 by the glass)

There's never been a better time than now to stay close to home but feel you're travelling far from it. Bistro Rex will satisfy all your French cravings without having to leave Potts Point. From the pork rillette, chicken liver parfait, beef tartare, pissaladiere and steak frites, to the more than 150 French wines on the wine list, there is little reason to stray. There are pastis, absinthe, aperitifs, boutique beer, cider, cocktails, cognac, armagnac and calvados – and that is just the tip of the iceberg. If you haven't explored the wonders of Jurançon, Cahors, the Languedoc, Burgundy, Beaujolais, the Rhône Valley, Bordeaux or Champagne, then you must duck into Bistro Rex and explore them for yourself.

Bivianos Restaurant Dural

628 Old Northern Rd, Dural
(02) 9651 2022
bivianosdural.com

CUISINE Italian and Seafood
WINE LIST Hannah Webb
WINEs ON LIST 203 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($39-$10 by the glass)

A wine list that pleases all comers for its all-corners-of-the-globe coverage of top wine regions and renowned producers. It's a list that leans heavily on traditional and classic wines and wineries, so expect to see gems from Yalumba and Henschke set amongst a collection of tempting, Italian wines. Don't miss the generous collection of Rockford wines including a mini-vertical of famed Basket Press Shiraz, though drinkers will be tempted by the 'Limited' listings that display some of the flex of Bivianos Dural's cellar, offering judicious, mature release shiraz. Champagne is competent and full of best-loved, big name producers and by the glass offerings are keenly priced and suitably diverse for the food menu. It's great to see some lesser-known but high quality brands finding their way into the collection, including well-chosen wines from Silkman in the Hunter Valley and Yangarra in McLaren Vale. It's easy to find good wines here.

BLACK Bar & Grill

80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
(02) 9657 9109
star.com.au/sydney/eat-and-drink

CUISINE Modern Australian Grill Room
WINE LIST Addy Lam
WINEs ON LIST 1200 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($380-$12 by the glass)

Fancy a glass of Cheval Blanc or Grange? You can. How about sipping some of the world's most exquisite sherries? Sure thing. Or how about unearthing local gems from 'proximate' New South Wales wine regions? That's covered. Or perhaps you're after some of the greatest Burgundy, grower Champagne, multiple options of Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay or an obscure wine from Jura or Georgia? It's all here. This is an exceptional list that shows diversity, personality and a distinct flair for showcasing everything from blue chip, fine wine offerings through to the most avant garde producers available in Australia. There's plenty of education in maps and listings with top line messages, as there are thunderous verticals of some of Australia's most sought after wines. Sommelier Addy Lam and team are on hand to eke out your desire and deliver a raft of drinking experiences. It's thrilling to see such lists so chock full of exciting wines and drinks, awaiting exploration.

Bloodwood

416 King St, Newtown
(02) 9557 7699
bloodwoodnewtown.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Maria Hanley
WINEs ON LIST 36 (11 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($18-$14 by the glass)

This is the wine list you wished your local bistro offered, a clever and distinct collection, no wasted space, all hits and no misses with a distinct bent to organic-focussed, smaller family producers. The list offers everything anyone wants but casts a net over avant garde and natural-leaning producers, with quality, fresh-feeling wines the strong motif. Margaret River chardonnay and well-judged Chablis share the stage with orange wines from Alsace and Georgia, with lighter, fresher, food-friendly red wines dominating the darker end of the list. Beer has and is a feature at Bloodwood, an ever-changing collection of interesting styles, experimental brews and, of course, local inner west drops. This stalwart diner continues to push boundaries with its wine list while always finding that happy medium that offers drinkability and quality in their offering. A short list, but a brilliant list and one that long should be used as a template for how to offer a lot with a little. What joy!

The Bon Pavilion

159 Mann St, Gosford
(02) 4302 1593
thebonpavilion.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Michaela Clayton
WINEs ON LIST 104 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($25-$9 by the glass)

Proximity to the Hunter Valley gives this establishment the opportunity to offer many of the riches to be found there, but there is much more here. Thoughtful ‘by the glass’, good value Champagne, interesting wines from far and wide. A superb array of spirits. If you think the gin list is impressive, wait till you see the whiskies!

Bopp & Tone

60 Carrington St, Sydney
(02) 9299 9997
boppandtone.com.au

CUISINE Mediterranean/Australian
WINE LIST Dan Simmons
WINEs ON LIST 215 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($28-$11 by the glass)

Bopp & Tone opened last year and its brand of laid-back wine grooves is very refreshing and needed in these times. If you seek alternative styles, alternative winemaking but also enjoy the odd classic, this is the place to go. Makers from the Mediterranean basin and across Australia feature with stand-out sections on rosé (yay!), Alternative & Adventurous Whites (yes, there are skin contact wines here) and Elegant, Aromatic and Complex Reds. What more do you need?

Botanic Wine Garden

3/26 Clarence St, Port Macquarie
(02) 6584 3685
botanicwinegarden.com.au

CUISINE Modern Wine Bar
WINE LIST Tristan Tomlinson
WINEs ON LIST 39 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$9 by the glass)

The word 'funky' is played out for the most part, unless referring to a genre of music, but this list feels aptly described as such. It veers through the avant garde and experimental wine producers of Australia well, hence Lucy Margaux, Ephemera and Jauma find land fall in this collection, though you'll just as readily dive into prestige wines from Wantirna, Grosset and Leeuwin Estate alongside. The selection is diverse and clever, appealing and interesting, ably straddling just about all tastes for all comers and still managing to find quality in the limited but well chosen selection. By the glass is no slouch either, and the option to go by carafe makes things fun and sit firmly in the realms of big city wine bars. Great to see some maturer wines in the mix of things too, especially under the unique category of 'Aged and Sexy', as it appears in this list. All up, it's a great show of variety and smarts in a collection that sings with the joy of celebrating all walks of wine life.

Botanica

555 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin
1300 192 868
spicersretreats.com/restaurants/restaurant-botanica

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Cameron Brooksby and Myriam Thomas
WINEs ON LIST 237 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($45-$11 by the glass)

With its prime wine country location, it's no surprise that this list is dominated by Hunter Valley producers, though there's a strong allegiance to New South Wales wineries alongside. With a roll call of the Hunter's finest, including well-chosen back vintages, it's a feast for those seeking excellent Tyrrell's, Thomas, Brokenwood or Lake's Folly. That being said, there's good accompaniment from wines from further afield, including a neat and tidy collection of Champagne with some gems from the likes of Crawford River, Clonakilla and Craggy Range. A clever list that works on two speeds, highlighting locals well while offering diversity where needed.

The Botanist

17 Willoughby St, Kirribilli
(02) 9954 4057
thebotanist.com.au

CUISINE Mediterranean
WINE LIST Dan Simmons
WINEs ON LIST 50 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$11 by the glass)

Cocktails are as much a focus here as the wines – even a non-alcoholic gin – but there are well-priced offerings by the glass. A selection of amber wines, and names like Dr Edge, Rieslingfreak and Polperro ensure that the wine lover is more than well catered for. Good beers and spirits are also available.

Brasserie l’Entrecôte

1047 Pacific Hwy, Pymble
(02) 8021 2433
brasserielentrecote.com.au

CUISINE French
WINE LIST Vincent Ventura
WINEs ON LIST 132 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($60-$10 by the glass)

Anyone missing their annual pilgrimage to France should make this their next stop. A smattering of local wines if you must, but this is first and foremost French at every level. They value mature offerings, right back to a 1964 Beaujolais Villages.

Buon Ricordo

108 Boundary St, Paddington
(02) 9360 6729
buonricordo.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Nick Caraturo
WINEs ON LIST 349 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($46-$15 by the glass)

Buon Ricardo, going strong since 1987, has its legions of fans who flock to the restaurant for fine Italian-style eating and drinking. The wine list is up to the task with a focus on the classic producers and styles from Italian regions, but also is adapting and presenting the emerging stars from Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria and Campania. In keeping with the dominance of Prosecco sales in this country, expect a fine selection. The fine, all-rounder list is made better with a small but interesting contribution of wines from Australia.

The Butcher's Block

15 Redleaf Ave, Wahroonga
(02) 9487 8136
butchersblockgroup.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Ben Howes
WINE ON LIST 49 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($18-$10 by the glass)

A list which takes you from a Lebanese sauvignon blanc and chardonnay blend to a pinot noir from Central Otago is one which will appeal to traditionalists and seekers of excitement alike. A good array of ‘by the glass’, decent pricing and a nod to mature offerings are all part of this fine list.

The Butler

123 Victoria St, Potts Point
(02) 83540742
butlersydney.com.au

CUISINE Ibero American
WINE LIST Dan Simmons
WINE ON LIST 78 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$11 by the glass)

Looking for Argentinian malbec, garnacha from Madrid or Eden Valley montepulciano? Perhaps Spanish txakoli, Granite Belt marsanne or Loire Valley chenin blanc? Then this compact list has you covered. Skin contact wines are well represented and there are numerous by the glass options. An appealing and exciting collection.

Cafe Sydney

Level 5, Customs House, 31 Alfred St, Circular Quay
(02) 9251 8683
cafesydney.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Simon Curkovic
WINEs ON LIST 260 (43 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($33-$16 by the glass)

The list opens with an exceptional array of selections by the glass, highlighting the best this country has to offer. And so it continues, a cavalcade of the classic and exciting wines of Australia. Quality spirits, beers and their ilk, and some very fine Champagnes, but otherwise, this is a celebration of Australian wine.

Catalina

Lyne Park, Rose Bay
(02) 9371 0555
catalinarosebay.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Andrew de Vries, Eleonora Vaccarini and Eduardo Fritis-Lamora
WINEs ON LIST 718 (56 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($145-$13 by the glass) 

A superbly compiled list with a wide array of superstars – wines and makers – from all major regions around the world. A good by the glass offering; excellent collection of fortifieds and a superb offering of spirits. Traditional houses are well represented for great Champagnes. Pinot noir and Burgundy shine but whatever your preference, this is your place.

Caveau

122-124 Keira St, Wollongong
(02) 4226 4855
caveau.com.au

Caveau has recently closed.

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Simon Evans and Kirby Moller
WINEs ON LIST141 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($24-$12 by the glass)

A shining beacon for Wollongong fine dining, with a proudly Australian-focussed list covering many smart contemporary domestic wines and a very good representation of NSW's best. Accessible pricing is the (locally made) icing on the cake.

Hotel Centennial

Corner of Victoria Ave and Oxford St, Woollahra
(02) 9114 7349
merivale.com/venues/hotelcentennial

CUISINE Mediterranean
WINE LIST Melissa Moore
WINEs ON LIST 250 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($60-$12 by the glass) 

Proudly zeroing on blue chip labels, this list presents a hit list of established quality. Led by a strong by the glass list and a real focus on the wines of Henschke, and a fascinating collection of large format rosé, there is much to like here.

The Century

The Star, Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont
(02) 9566 2328
thecentury.com.au

CUISINE Cantonese Chinese
WINE LIST Steven Zhou
WINEs ON LIST 556 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($26-$10 by the glass)

With one of the most comprehensive compilations of aged wines in the country, The Century has an enviable list that combines eye-popping rarities dating from the 1800s right through to contemporary Australian favourites. It's easy to lose yourself in this unicorn wonderland.

Charred Kitchen & Bar

1-5 New St, Orange
(02) 6363 1580
charred.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST David Collins
WINEs ON LIST 649 (60 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($45-$11 by the glass)

David Collins' drinks list, is not a wine list, but a love letter to beverages. A regional list that features the best of the region and so much more, perhaps the only challenge is where to start. Don't miss the collection of beer and whisky – they're benchmarks.

China Doll

4/6 Cowper Wharf Rd, Woolloomooloo
(02) 9380 6744
chinadoll.com.au

CUISINE Modern Asian
WINE LIST Christopher Entwistle
WINEs ON LIST 135 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($18-$12 by the glass)

What a pleasure to see a wine list that has cuisine front of mind. The China Doll list isn't about flaunting Penfolds Grange verticals or mind-boggling Burgundy. Instead, these Asian-food friendly drinks show a careful focus on customer drinking satisfaction.

China Lane

2 Angel Place, Sydney
(02) 9231 3939
chinalane.com.au

CUISINE Modern Asian
WINE LIST Christopher Entwistle
WINEs ON LIST 105 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($18-$10 by the glass)

Style, variety and Asian food-friendliness are all well-optioned with the China Lane list, the focus on textural whites and light reds so welcome for this menu and with a real sense of affordability without losing diversity.

Chiswick at the Gallery

The Domain, 1 Art Gallery Rd, Sydney
(02) 9225 1819
chiswickatthegallery.com.au

CUISINE Casual dining and shared plates
WINE LIST Annette Lacey
WINEs ON LIST 50 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($30-$12.5 by the glass)

Wine lists matching exhibitions in the gallery? Why not. Art creeps into drinks selections here with a small list that comes complete with an impressive array of wines by the glass and inspired cocktails.

Chiswick Woollahra

65 Ocean St, Woollahra
(02) 8388 8688
chiswickwoollahra.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian Garden to Table
WINE LIST Eleonore Wulf
WINEs ON LIST 76 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($18-$14 by the glass)

An immaculately-curated small list that balances emerging producers (Dormilona, Marq) and established superstars (Henschke, Mount Mary); and local gems with less well-known overseas wines. It's a place at which to be adventurous or to stay with the luxury of the familiar. With a sommelier as good as Eleonore Wulf, you are in good hands.

Cho Cho San

73 Macleay St, Potts Point
(02) 9331 6601
chochosan.com.au

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Sam Christie
WINEs ON LIST 84 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($19-$14 by the glass)

Japanese restaurants need Japanese drinks, and Cho Cho San brings a diverse selection of strong options beyond wine. There is creativity in the matches, every wine a considered choice, especially with the light-bodied white wines.

Chophouse

25 Bligh St, Sydney
(02) 9231 5516
chophousesydney.com.au

CUISINE Australian Steakhouse
WINE LIST Eleonore Wulf and John MacKinnon
WINEs ON LIST 228 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($30-$14 by the glass)

This list opens with an impressive array of beers and cocktails but it certainly does not stop there. There is a good collection of half bottles, a large offering of fine wines and top producers including Moss Wood, Tyrrells, Tolpuddle, Pannell and so many more. Focuses on Australia but so much to love. It finishes with a seriously good choice of spirits.

Chu

33 Railway St, Rooty Hill
(02) 9265 5500
churestaurant.com.au

Chu has temporarily closed.

CUISINE Modern Asian
WINE LIST Christopher Entwistle
WINEs ON LIST 227 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$9 by the glass)

There is nothing better than a top list offering mouthwatering options at cracking value. Equally important, a list jam-packed with fine choices for the cuisine on offer. Chu's wine list is a cavalcade of wines from big names and emerging stars from offshore as well as locally. Sake and top spirits round out a very fine list.

CHUUKA

Suite 62-64, Jones Bay Wharf, 26-32 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont
(02) 9657 9882
chuuka.com.au

CUISINE Japanese Chinese
WINE LIST Lindsay Carr
wines ON LIST 265 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($66-$13 by the glass)

The Star has a new restaurant, Chuuka, and it's a bit of a star performance with a strong international wine cast. In keeping with its location and those views of the Harbour, the list is strong in celebratory Champagnes and big name producers from Australia such as Coldstream Hills, Petaluma, Bass Phillip, and Henschke. From Europe there are starring performances from Guigal, Ridge, Isole e Olena and more. Check out the wines under Coravin, there are some real beauties.

Cirrus Dining

23 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo
(02) 8214 0505
cirrusdining.com.au

CUISINE Seafood
WINE LIST Nick Hildebrandt
Wines ON LIST 700 (50 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($60-$10 by the glass)

It's easy to get lost in this provocative and comprehensive list of intrigue, with particular strengths in Hunter Valley whites and Nick's always exceptional array of Champagne. With so many options, you'll need more than one visit to scratch the surface.

Clove Lane

19 Clovelly Rd, Randwick
(02) 9326 3573
clovelane.com.au

CUISINE Modern Bistro
WINE LIST Emile Avramides and Maya Garpenfeldt
Wines ON LIST 50 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($20-$12 by the glass)

A list based on weight and texture is not uncommon but here it is done well. A nicely balanced mix of local, Kiwi and European wines. Paringa Estate, Howard Park, Craiglee are just part of the collection of well-respected local producers. A solid array of spirits support a list that is sure to be popular.

Coogee Wine Room

222 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee
(02) 9665 5478
coogeewineroom.com.au

CUISINE Mediterranean
WINE LIST Tom Hardwick and Bhatia Dheeraj
WINEs ON LIST 469 (32 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($21-$13 by the glass)

Thoughtful offerings by the glass, with plenty of left field options for the adventurous. The unconventional themes continue throughout but there are more than enough choices for those seeking the classical. This is a list with which wine lovers could have a lot of fun. A very solid Italian collection and impressive spirits.

Dead Ringer Sydney

413 Bourke St, Surry Hills
(02) 9046 8460
deadringer.wtf

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Sally Gyles
WINEs ON LIST 34 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$13 by the glass)

Chances are there will be wines and producers on this list you've not heard of. Fear not – it's a collection focusing on small quality makers and alternate varieties. Who wouldn’t want to try a sangiovese-verdelho blend called Konpira Maru ‘Dream the Tangerine’? There are more familiar names for those who like their comfort. A fun list with lots to love.

Dear Sainte Éloise

5/29 Orwell St, Potts Point
(02) 9326 9745
dearsainteeloise.com

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Matt Swieboda
WINEs ON LIST 570 (28 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($22-$13 by the glass)

2020 continues the well-deserved 3 Glass tradition for Dear Saint Éloise in Potts Point. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of sneaking in to the moodily lit, cosy and somehow exciting little wine nook of pleasure that is Dear Saint Éloise, might we suggest... that you do. The wine list is thrilling. A clearly natural focus doesn't mean that classic well-known producers are excluded here. This is all about the celebration of wine. There are a few little extra features that we absolutely love. 1. The Mystery Wine option game by the glass "Guess the grape and country of origin and the glass is on us". Yes. 2. "Magnum Mondays" are when you can expect heavily reduced magnums, and it is also when they open some and pour them by the glass. Another yes. There is a wide bandwidth of vintages available across all styles, plenty of "Not Wine" alternatives, and we are really into the snippets of information scattered throughout the list, explaining regions, styles and people.
Just yes.

DeVine Food and Wine

32 Market St, Sydney
(02) 9262 6906
devinefoodandwine.com

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Julian Izzillo
WINEs ON LIST 400 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($39-$12 by the glass)

Walking through the glass brick archway goes some way to preparing you for the luminous and unique offering that awaits you at DeVine Food and Wine in Sydney's CBD. An 'Italian-inspired' menu seems somewhat of a casual understatement when browsing through the five pages of Amaro. The wines available on the list are in majority from Italy, as you may expect, but there is still a significant selection of Australian, French and Spanish. There are some startlingly impressive museums of Australian producers (think Rockford, Moss Wood (magnums from the '90s), Henschke, Jim Barry, Wendouree, Dalwhinnie, Bindi and more. If your forehead isn't yet cramping from sustaining a raised eyebrow then you may be able to get through the last four pages of fortifieds, dessert wines, whiskies, digestifs and grappas. Bravo.

The Dining Room

7 Hickson Rd, The Rocks
(02) 9256 1234
diningroom.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary Australian Cuisine
WINE LIST Tom Robert Riedl
WINEs ON LIST 455 (31 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($375-$13 by the glass)

A superb list by any standards. By the glass will thrill wine lovers, with Coravin offerings from names like Dujac, J.J. Prum, Le Mine and even thirty year old Haut Brion. The list never drops its standards and there is even a collection of DRC. First class at every level.

Duck & Rice

Level 7/188 Pitt St, Sydney
(02) 8014 5663
duckandrice.com.au

Duck & Rice has temporarily closed.

CUISINE Cantonese
WINE LIST Simon Howland
WINEs ON LIST 144 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($20-$9.5 by the glass)

An interesting combination of the obscure and emerging with solid commercial options. A list compiled by a fan of riesling – Donnhoff, Rieslingfreak and Grosset amongst others. Pinot noir also does well but there are plenty of worthwhile options for those looking beyond. By the glass is very solid.

Efendy

79 Elliot St, Balmain
(02) 9810 5486
efendy.com.au

CUISINE Turkish
WINE LIST Iso Kaya
WINEs ON LIST 62 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$10 by the glass)

Efendy is a Turkish restaurant with a modern Australian twist. The wine list features a large collection of Turkish wines, plus a solid lineup of Raki, the anise flavoured, twice distilled grape spirit – Turkey's traditional drink of celebration and gathering. There are a number of Australian wines  to balance the ledger and a very healthily sized offering of beers, digestifs, aperitifs, spirits and more. The food menu is designed to share, and the staff at Efendy have gone to the trouble of designing an Efendy Feast, whereby you can indulge in 11 different dishes, with matched wines, for just $119 per person. Serefinize!

Éremo

57 Ekerts Rd, Pokolbin
1300 590 075
spicersretreats.com/restaurants/eremo

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Stephen Deniz Hardman and Cameron Brooksby
WINEs ON LIST 330 (37 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$-$$$ ($45-$11 by the glass)

Spicer's Guesthouse in the heart of the Hunter Valley is where Éremo  finds its home. The Italian-style cuisine is supported by the not insignificant wine list (over 330 options available) with a healthy selection of Italian wines and varieties, but perhaps most pleasing is the comprehensive offering of wines from the Hunter Valley. This is where the list sings and finds its unique message: back vintage semillon. Hunter Valley semillon was famously described by Jancis Robinson MW as “...Australia's unique gift to the wine world”. The Hunter also excels in shiraz and chardonnay, both of which have a substantial presence on the list. If wine isn't your first choice there are four densely packed pages of drinks at your disposal: whiskies, gins, boutique beers, cocktails and more.

Eschalot

24 Old Hume Hwy, Berrima
(02) 4877 1977
eschalot.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Cassandra Wallace
WINEs ON LIST 90 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ (16-$12 by the glass)

A list short in length but jam-packed with options: intriguing but quality selections focusing on alternative varieties and enough conventional wines to suit those who prefer more traditional paths. Local choices dominate this list but there is also a sprinkling of offshore names. A list well backed by a fine array of spirits and beers.

Esquire Drink + Dine

Level 2, Queen Victoria Building, 455 George St, Sydney
(02) 8023 7604
esquireatqvb.com.au

CUISINE Neo supper style bistro
WINE LIST Fabio Nistrio
WINEs ON LIST 323 (75 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($82-$13 by the glass)

An appealing mix of the usual suspects, classics, emerging stars and some left field curiosities, which really does provide something for everyone. Always good to see a thoughtful array of riesling and the focus on a specific producer each month will offer regulars some variation. The spirit, cocktail and digestif offering is excellent.

Ester

46-52 Meagher St, Chippendale
(02) 8068 8279
ester-restaurant.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Nick Stewart
WINEs ON LIST 185 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($25-$15 by the glass)

There is lots to love in this list, starting with the wines on offer by the glass. It's densely packed and bounces around but that just adds to the fun of the endless discoveries to be had here. Offshore wines are as equally well represented as local. Several growers are featured and there's a nice supply of magnums.

Felix

2 Ash St, Sydney
(02) 9114 7303
merivale.com/venues/felix

CUISINE French
WINE LIST Adam Lambeth
WINEs ON LIST 1800 (35 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$-$$$ ($80-$13 by the glass)

The wine list housed within the walls of Felix restaurant in Sydney's CBD is nothing short of comprehensively impressive.  Amongst many, many other superstars, there are seventeen pages of white and red Burgundy. There is an 18-strong vertical of Hill of Grace going back to 1986; 28 wines from Wendouree going back to 1990 and an almost unbroken run of vintages of Penfolds Grange, dating back to the very first, unreleased 1951 vintage (29 of these are also offered in a magnum format). There's also an authoritative collection of Left and Right Bank Bordeaux, plus wines from the Loire, Rhône and Provence to name a few. There are five pages of drinks other than wine including some old and rare Cognacs and Armagnacs. Interestingly, there is also good value to be found and the list of available wines by the glass is something to behold – a selection worthy of the list beyond.

The Fenwick

2-8 Weston St, Balmain East
(02) 9159 4700
thefenwick.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Benjamin Cummings
WINEs ON LIST 50 (42 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($48-$10 by the glass)

A list well catered in options. There are plenty by the glass, 500ml options and by the bottle. A solid collection with quality wines on offer here. By Farr, von Buhl, Kooyong, Grosset, plus plenty of appealing offerings such as the Jim Barry Assyrtiko.

Fins

5/6 Bells Blvd, Kingscliff
(02) 6674 4833
fins.com.au

CUISINE Seafood
WINE LIST Morgan Snow
WINEs ON LIST 132 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($14-$12 by the glass)

Fins packs a wide ranging and well suited wine selection into its relatively concise total number. Each has each been chosen for its individual merits, of which there is a great bounty. From Champagne, aromatic whites, full bodied whites and rosés, through to reds of all shapes and sizes, and a particular focus on the Duoro Boys (a full page of Portuguese wines follows an introduction to their combined quest to 'relate the story of their heritage' and wines). There are glimmers of older wines scattered throughout the list, and the pricing across the board is very reasonable. If wine is not your first choice there are seven pages of options at your disposal: aperitifs, beers (both boutique and classic), gins (a solid selection by anyone's measure), spirits, digestifs, Ports, fortifieds and more. Fins has won a number of awards for their seafood menu, making it a must visit on your next trip up the NSW coast.

Flooded Gums

North Bonville Rd, Bonville
(02) 6653 4544
bonvillegolf.com.au

CUISINE Australian Seasonal
WINE LIST Niels Sluiman and Riccardo Molfetta
WINEs ON LIST 200 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13-$8 by the glass)

Proudly embracing some Australian favourites, the Flooded Gums list will appeal to anyone who can appreciate the joys of drinking true favourites in the prime of their life, the choices well suited to the audience.

Flying Fish

The Star, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
(02) 9657 9130
star.com.au/sydney/eat-and-drink

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Rocco Pezzullo
WINEs ON LIST 250 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$-$$$ ($25-$15 by the glass)

Flying Fish has curated an excellent list that offers wines from some of the best producers from Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy and beyond. There are some glorious older wines  from the likes of Rockford, Henschke, Felton Road, Penfolds, Château Margaux (the Pavillon Blanc!), Trimbach from Alsace and more. Wine regions in countries such as South Africa and America have taken their places in line also. For after your meal, or before, there is a wonderfully comprehensive selection of Cognac, Armagnac, whisky, tequila, gin – and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Aperitifs, digestifs, dessert wines, cocktails, and beers make up the balance of this list. It's very impressive.

Fred's

380 Oxford St, Paddington
(02) 9114 7331
merivale.com/venues/freds

CUISINE Farm to table
WINE LIST Michela Lubbers
WINEs ON LIST 401 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$-$$$ ($25-$15 by the glass)

Fred's oozes a kind of pared back charm. The 'farm to table' restaurant is built on an ethos of sustainability, sourcing from a large selection of local growers who focus on organic or biodynamic practices. The wine list echoes this sentiment. The wines offered by the glass succinctly cover some of the treasures in the list beyond, but it is the Sommelier's Selection that really shows the precision and love. It offers just two whites and two reds, with an engaging synopsis of each grower, vineyard and wine: you know once you've read the first you're going to read all four. The list unfolds from there into a graceful origami of vineyards, producers and people. It is elegant, well-crafted and thoughtfully compiled. There is a myriad of options under the $100 mark, and plenty far more than that. There is an excellent selection of spirits, sake, dessert wines and fortified wines, beers of course, and a selection of non-alcoholic drinks, too.

General Chao

436 Victoria Ave, Chatswood
(02) 9411 7977
generalchao.com

CUISINE Asian Fusion
WINE LIST Ellen McCallum
WINEs ON LIST 63 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$ ($17-$10 by the glass)

Located in the 'District Dining' food court within the Chatswood Interchange shopping mall, General Chao focuses on 'premium modern Australia-Asian dining'.  The wines on offer are a good match for the upbeat energy of the restaurant - they are approachable, plentiful and fun. General Chao's 'gets' flavour: there is an emphasis on white wines as a suitable food match for the umami heavy dishes, and it's exciting to see varieties such as gewürtztraminer (a perfect aromatic match for many Asian dishes), chenin blanc, riesling and sparkling in profusion. The list beyond what is on offer by the glass is concise, offering only what is needed to complement the food flavours. The bar offers a great selection of spirits and cocktails, and a generous selection of non-alcoholic options as well.

The Gidley

Basement 161 King St, Sydney
(02) 9169 6898
thegidley.com.au

CUISINE American steak house
WINE LIST Alice Massaria
WINEs ON LIST 309 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($60-$16 by the glass)

The offerings by the glass are enough to make this a ‘must visit’ and the focus on Cullen’s wonderful Diana Madeline, back into the '90s, should confirm that. A solid blend of classic wines and wineries with emerging stars. Throw in a very serious collection of whiskies and other spirits to round off a fine list.

Glass Brasserie

488 George St, Sydney
(02) 9265 6068
glassbrasserie.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Mauro Bortolato
WINEs ON LIST 1050 (37 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($66-$13 by the glass)

Amongst the best hotel wine lists in the country, Glass' collection of blue-chip Australian and international wines has an enviable depth and breadth. What's also impressive is how it marries up with the intended audience, the array of half bottle and sparkling options perfect for luring in guests for a quick celebratory drink.

Golden Century

393-399 Sussex St, Sydney
(02) 9212 3901
goldencentury.com.au

CUISINE Asian, Chinese
WINE LIST Billy Wong
WINEs ON LIST 819 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($28-$5 by the glass)

With a treasure trove of the world's best balanced out by some exceptional value, the comprehensive Golden Century list is more like peeking into a private cellar. From copious riesling to verticals of top Bordeaux, this list is an institution.

Gowings Bar & Grill

49 Market St, Sydney
(02) 8262 0062
gowingsbarandgrill.com.au

CUISINE Mediteranean
WINE LIST Chris Morrison and Serena Carl
WINEs ON LIST 800 (50 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($120-$12 by the glass)

Many of us will be torn between so many good wines on this list, from the exceptional aged and rare Aussies to the left field amber wines and Mediterranean newbies (Greece, especially)  to emerging chardonnay, pinot noir and shiraz stars. There are whole collections – many aged – from iconic makers such as Giaconda, Bindi, Wynns, Jasper Hill and more, and the prices come with modest mark-ups. But start first with Wines By The Glass and pay special attention to the stunners available under Coravin.

GPO Cheese and Wine Room

Lower Ground Floor, 1 Martin Place, Sydney
(02) 9229 7701
gpogrand.com/gpo-best-cheese-wine-room-sydney

GPO Cheese and Wine Room has recently closed.

CUISINE Specialty
WINE LIST Maxime Pellegrin
WINEs ON LIST 190 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($33-$10 by the glass)

Featuring an impressive spread of wines by the glass (right through to sweet wine) and tailored wine & cheese flights, GPO's list is entirely fit for purpose. A notably good spread of French and Italian options here, too.

Hartsyard

33 Enmore Rd, Newtown
(02) 8068 1473
hartsyard.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Dorothy Lee
WINEs ON LIST 49 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($25-$14 by the glass)

Here's another great wine bar for Newtown, with impressive food to match the style and pizzazz of its well-balanced Australian, sustainability-focused wine list. There's an emphasis on organic and biodynamic practices with a neat balance of different styles as well as a diverse range of varietals. Established wineries such as Dalwhinnie, Crawford River, Holm Oak and Vasse Felix sit comfortably with Billy Button, Koerner and Ben Haines. There's room on the tiny list for some wines of age and magnums.

Harvest Newrybar

18-22 Old Pacific Hwy, Newrybar
(02) 6687 2644
harvestnewrybar.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Moira Waterfall and Sam Curtis
WINEs ON LIST 48 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($23-$11 by the glass)

Intriguing offering of aperitifs join appealing cocktails and some fine Sake choices to commence proceedings. Names like By Farr, Downie, Bindi, Ochota Barrels and Pannell provide all the information you need to know to see this as a list featuring smaller quality producers and cult favourites.

Restaurant Hubert

Basement, 15 Bligh St, Sydney
(02) 9232 0881
restauranthubert.com

CUISINE French
WINE LIST Andrew Tyson
WINEs ON LIST 600 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($28-$16 by the glass)

Hubert's brilliant wine list is extensive and covers many of the great estates of Europe and Australia. Each wine offered by the glass has a story, including tasting notes, where it comes from and who made it, making choosing easy. The list houses a well-balanced international selection, in terms of varieties and styles, and a plentiful bounty to choose from. The range of back-vintages is something to marvel at. It isn't merely a case of a few old wines being dotted here and there; the list is full of wines 5, 10, 15, 30 and 50 years old. If you like wine, you will find something on here that excites. Drinks other than wine are similarly thrilling; the beer selection alone offers a varied dip into the waters of craft, classic, wild and rare. If you haven't already, Hubert's is a must.

Icebergs Dining Room & Bar

1 Notts Ave, Bondi Beach
(02) 9365 9000
idrb.com

CUISINE Modern Italian
WINE LIST Gabrielle Webster
WINEs ON LIST 740 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($21-$14 by the glass)

Icebergs has been going strong for 18 years with a wine list that keeps expanding. This year sees a boost of some 270-odd extra wines. Modern Italian wines dominate with an emphasis on edgy, new icons with their low intervention winemaking, skin contact whites and wines fermented in amphorae. But there is still room for a lot of other winemaking choices from Italy and Australia. In fact, it's a balanced list including exciting wines from emerging Aussie stars such as Koerner, Frederick Stevenson, Maverick and more.

Il Lago

Unit G01/8 Century Cct, Norwest Business Park, Baulkham Hills
(02) 9634 2487
illago.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Gianbattista Plebani
WINEs ON LIST 189 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$8 by the glass)

This is principally an Italian wine listing in keeping with the restaurant's cuisine, with some of that country's big names on display. Antinori, Pieropan, Allegrini, Pio Cesare, Gaja, Sassicaia keep company with a tight, quality selection of Aussies. Prices are fair so you might wish to consider an aged red such as a perfect Penfolds Grange '91, a '13 Jim Barry Armagh or an '07 Tignanello. There are a few on offer.

Indu

350 George St (entry via Angel Pl), Sydney
(02) 9223 0158
indudining.com.au

CUISINE Sri Lankan
WINE LIST Tom Sinclair
WINEs ON LIST 46 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($19-$12 by the glass)

Indu understands small wine lists, an art in itself, and offers a smart, imaginative selection of small, quality producers from here and abroad and all under 50 wines. The varieties and styles offered are well-suited to the various degrees of heat and spice offered on the food menu. But there's more. The focus on gin is worthy of a second look, and possibly chancing the Colombo No. 7 gin finished with curry leaves and coconut. Otherwise, there's always the G&T flights.

Intermezzo

Ground Floor, 1 Martin Place, Sydney
(02) 9229 7788
gpogrand.com

Intermezzo has recently closed.

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Mathieu Mouraire
WINEs ON LIST 260 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($64-$12 by the glass)

Intermezzo is one of those timeless wine lists; always looking to improve its selections and working hard to provide information the consumer wants and needs. The style is Italian but there is a thorough and interesting listing of wines offered from the rest of the world. But many diners will feel quite contented with the Italians, listed by region and featuring some of the country's top names, big and small.

Jonah's

69 Bynya Road, Whale Beach
(02) 9974 5599
jonahs.com.au

CUISINE Australian / Italian influences
WINE LIST Niels Sluiman and Riccardo Molfetta
WINEs ON LIST 1200 (85 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($49-$13 by the glass)

What a joy Jonah's is! Just looking at it brings a smile whether it's the opportunity to peruse 85 wines by the glass, or maybe a Wine Flight (there are six), or perhaps a classic white Burgundy or a new age wine from Slovenia, Greece, South Africa or Austria. So many choices. And there's the extraordinary and thorough selection of wines from Australia, France and Italy, including aged and museum releases. This is a world-class list of some distinction.

Junction Moama

6 Shaw St, Moama
1800 806 777
junctionmoama.com.au

CUISINE Regional Modern Australian
WINE LIST Daniel Kadamani
WINEs ON LIST 87 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($11.5-$9.5 by the glass)

Junction Moama on the Murray River offers a solid wine listing of quality names at reasonable prices. Built-to-please wines from Innocent Bystander, Dr Loosen and Mount Langi Ghiran, rub shoulders with the odd icon such as Giaconda, Jasper Hill, Yeringberg, Burn Cottage, Defaix. A good, all-rounder kind of listing, it includes a strong back-up selection of cocktails and mocktails, local beers and some enticing spirits.

Kid Kyoto

17-19 Bridge St, Sydney
(02) 9241 1991
kidkyoto.com.au

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Jamie Heather and Chris Whitfield
WINEs ON LIST 33 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($17-$11 by the glass)

Small lists aren't normally known for extensive by the glass (and carafe!) choices, but Kid Kyoto offers plenty of considered wine options – plus notable sake & whisky – spanning contemporary and classic brands, with a sense of real drinkability.

Kingsleys Woolloomooloo

10/6 Cowper Wharf Rd, Woolloomooloo
(02) 8322 2090
kingsleyssydney.com.au

CUISINE Australian steak and seafood
WINE LIST Paul Sadler
WINEs ON LIST 397 (28 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($30-$14 by the glass)

The first thing that comes to mind about this list is ‘complete’. Every base covered, every box ticked. You want a Penfolds Special Bin, no problem. 1982 First Growth? It’s there. But also plenty of more accessible offerings. Fully backed with spirits and beers and by the glass offerings, many under coravin. Impressive collection.

Kipling's Garage Bar

2 Eastern Rd, Turramurra
(02) 9440 4088
kiplingsgaragebar.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Thiago Menezes and Helen Thompson
WINEs ON LIST 400 (150 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($40-$10 by the glass)

It's worth a visit to Kipling's Garage Bar just for the delights on the 'Back Vintage & Rare' Coravin list. Focused on the best from Australia & New Zealand, this broad-ranging collection runs impressively deep, and served at impressive prices.

La Disfida

109 Ramsay St, Haberfield
(02) 9798 8299
ladisfida.com.au

CUISINE Italian and Pizza
WINE LIST Simone Busi
WINEs ON LIST 100 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($33-$9 by the glass)

With an impressive Coravin list leading the charge and a welcome focus on Piedmont, this Italian-focused list provides plenty of attraction for any discerning drinker.

La Rosa The Strand

The Strand Arcade, 133/193 Pitt St, Sydney
(02) 9223 1674
larosathestrand.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Cristian Casarin
WINEs ON LIST 94 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($30-$12 by the glass)

With an accessible mix of classical Italian styles and local interpretations, the La Rosa list reflects an understanding of cuisine and clientele, the drinkable range spanning everything from accessible grechetto to traditional Alto Adige vernatsch.

La Tratt

14 Anzac Ave, Fairfield
(02) 9727 5000
fairfieldrsl.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Anthony Sobb
WINEs ON LIST 175 (41 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($27-$10 by the glass)

An advertisement for the wonders of Coravin, the La Tratt list is a traditional extravaganza, with no shortage of well-priced favourites. Don't miss the aged white section, which features a fascinating array of unexpected mature releases.

Little Red Robin

4/85 Longueville Rd, Lane Cove
(02) 9418 9529
littleredrobin.net.au

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST Alessandro Nelli
WINEs ON LIST 144 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$10 by the glass)

The weird and wonderful of the wine world is well represented here. A serious effort has been made to find top examples of skin contact wines, alternative varieties, emerging stars and more. Perhaps more for the serious wine geek than the beginner, but everyone will find wines to love.

Lolli Redini

48 Sale St, Orange
(02) 6361 7748
lolliredini.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Leah Morphett
WINEs ON LIST 122 (11 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($17-$11 by the glass)

Lolli Redini served Orange faithfully for many years and has been replaced by Birdie, a more relaxed venue that still offers great food and a similar wine list. This serves as an excellent introduction to the best producers from the local region. It offers wonderful diversity with the large number of different varieties offered as well as many less familiar overseas labels. There's a balance between the familiar and the less-well-known to satisfy wine lovers.

Lotus Barangaroo

8/9 Wulugul Walk, Barangaroo
(02) 8006 0518
lotusbarangaroo.com

CUISINE Modern Chinese
WINE LIST Karen Dollimore, Sasha Siljanovic and Jack Harris
WINEs ON LIST 239 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($30-$14 by the glass)

There are few lists that can match the focus of Lotus, with a selection that is perfectly tailored to mod. Chinese. A tight Coravin lineup, and a focus on textured whites and light reds make this list a standout.

Lotus Dumpling Bar

3/16 Hickson Rd, Dawes Point
(02) 9251 8328
lotusdininggroup.com/restaurant/lotus-walsh-bay

CUISINE Modern Chinese
WINE LIST Jennifer Shin and Matthew Stewart
WINEs ON LIST 29 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($25-$12 by the glass)

Value and approachability is the mantra for this dumpling-friendly list, the options all proudly maxing out below $100 a bottle and showing what can be achieved with careful choices. Drinkability is very high.

Lotus The Galeries

The Galeries, 500 George St, Sydney
(02) 9247 6868
lotusdininggroup.com/restaurant/the-galeries

CUISINE Modern Chinese
WINE LIST Ryan Bishell and Arthur Da Silva
WINEs ON LIST 87 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$12 by the glass)

Strengthened by a blue chip assortment of reserve wines, this list leans towards value-for-money, with classic regional styles across both red and white wine options starting at a very affordable $56 a bottle.

Love, Tilly Devine

91 Crown Lane, Darlinghurst
(02) 9326 9297
lovetillydevine.com

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Matt Swieboda
WINEs ON LIST265 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($18-$12 by the glass)

With a proud focus on lo-fi wines, this list isn't so much a collection of wines but of personalities, as the pictures of vignerons throughout shows. This is a list for explorers, rich with intrigue and challenge.

Madame Shanghai

18 College St, Darlinghurst
(02) 8318 8618
lotusdininggroup.com/restaurant/madame-shanghai

CUISINE Modern Chinese
WINE LIST Maurizio Isaka and Matthew Stewart
WINEs ON LIST 162 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$13 by the glass)

There's a lot to like here, from the focus on aromatic grape varieties, medium-bodied, plummy reds such as gamay and pinot noir to the spread of interesting wine choices that includes Slovenian pinot grigio and Greek assyrtiko. The list looks to the world of wine for inspiration while also zeroing in on some exciting Aussies. Aged wines are well chosen and there is also a modest but excellent grouping of half bottles. Prices are more than fair.

Manjits Wharf

10/49 Lime St, Sydney
1300 626 548
manjits.com.au/restaurants/manjits-wharf

CUISINE Indian Fusion
WINE LIST Tom Crosby and Ganesh Khanal
WINEs ON LIST 160 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($18-$11 by the glass)

A very solid list with a focus on quality locals, well supported by select additions from offshore. The Cellar Reserve list has some of Australia’s big guns on offer, well priced. The list is well supported by an extensive array of spirits. Plenty to enjoy here.

Margan

1238 Milbrodale Rd, Broke
(02) 6579 1317
margan.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian Agri-dining
WINE LIST Lisa Margan
WINEs ON LIST 138 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($24-$8 by the glass)

Inevitably, and appropriately, the wines from Margan play a dominant role here, both recent and aged, and they are well supported by colleagues from the Hunter. Numerous top names from around the wine world also find a home here. A joy to see sensible, rather than frivolous, descriptions. Excellent value on offer.

Matteo Downtown

20 Bond St, Sydney
0437 682 295
matteosydney.com/matteo-downtown/downtown-bar

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Chiara Danieli
WINEs ON LIST 274 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($35-$8 by the glass)

Cullen, Felton Road, Clonakilla, Brokenwood, Duval, Mount Mary – a list oozing with the great names, but the highlight here is undoubtedly the extensive collection of fine Italian wines. Superb beers and spirits and a fine set of wines by the glass under Coravin.

Mercado

4 Ash St, Sydney
(02) 9221 6444
mercadorestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Spanish
WINE LIST Christopher Entwistle
WINEs ON LIST 151 (32 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($39-$7 by the glass)

Mercado in Sydney is a Spanish delight.  Offering a plethora of Spanish wines made from varieties we bet you haven't heard before, that are a match made in heaven for the food on the tapas menu.  Starting at the beginning, the beers are a tight representation from Australia and Spain, and are the last thing we see before we dive headlong into the sherries and wines by the glass.  There is a good number here, with a huge price range taking the sting out of ordering wine by the glass.  The wine list beyond is great and starts each style category with the Spanish wines followed by 'the rest'.  The Spanish theme is clear and focused.  Mercado has a 'Tempranillo Highlight': Bodegas Roda, with wines back to 1997.  A brilliant selection - as you'd expect - of sherries and other dessert style wines, plus a formidable armoury of spirits and cocktails.  A digestibly sized and entertaining list, with plenty to delight.  Some great vale propositions on there, plenty for under $100 a bottle.

Mimi's

Coogee Pavilion, 130A Beach St, Coogee
(02) 9114 7324
merivale.com/venues/mimis

CUISINE Mediterranean
WINE LIST Paolo Saccone
WINEs ON LIST 650 (41 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($65-$14 by the glass)

Merivale's latest offering, under the direction of Adrian Filiuta MS, could scarcely be more impressive. It is an international list that has its heart in France but illuminates the wines of Australia and so many parts of the globe with verve and panache. The 41 wines by the glass offer diversity and depth. Coravin offers top quality and rarity plus flights of Premier Cru Vaillons, the 2015 vintage in Burgundy, a tasting history of Madeira and more. Brilliant at the top end but there's plenty of choice at everyday prices. A tour de force and deservedly the Tony Hitchin Award winning Best New List in the country.

Momofuku Seiōbo

The Star, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
(02) 9657 9169
seiobo.momofuku.com

CUISINE Caribbean
WINE LIST Max Gurtler
WINEs ON LIST 250 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$-$$$ ($35-$17 by the glass)

Momofuko Seiōbo may be part of the David Chang restaurant realm, but the last thing you feel here is that you are part of something huge. It is intimate. It is flush with small, boutique, hard-to-find, cult wine producers. The wines themselves are thoughtfully selected, exciting and tempting. Interestingly, the wine list is first divided by weight/texture, not grape varieties. This is helpful when you are looking for an experience, and urges you to look deeper into each section. From there, the description of each wine begins with the grape variety, taking the complexity right out of the game. The restaurant menu is built around the concept of a ten course degustation, with three options of matched drink flights, two wine variations and of course a non-alcoholic option. There is limited a la carte avail, but Seiōbo is all about the full experience.

Monopole

20 Curtin Place, Sydney
(02) 8214
monopolesydney.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Nick Hildebrandt and Glen Goodwin
WINEs ON LIST 800 (50 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$-$$$ ($50-$10 by the glass)

Monopole is a sensation. Starting at the beginning, the wines by the glass are compelling to say the least – a cinch to navigate no matter how little you know about each wine, thanks to the brilliantly concise and clearly knowledgable summaries of each.  The list unfolds beyond, and is a thrilling expose of wine, each hand-selected, and nothing out of place.  Key producers such as Keller, Trimbach, Selosse, Francois Cotat, Dauvissat, Prieure Roch and more; too many to mention. The list is littered with mini-verticals, showing a dedication to bringing us the full and exciting picture of wine. At every turn, when presented with the opportunity to choose the predictable, Hildebrandt and Goodwin have diverted to paths less travelled, resulting in a list of great excitement and originality. The spirits, beers and other drinks available at the beginning of the list offer such a wide variety of options as to beggar belief. Once again, Monopole shows us exactly how it is done.

Moxhe

65B Macpherson St, Bronte
(02) 8937 0886
moxhe.com.au

CUISINE Seafood
WINE LIST Helen Diab
WINEs ON LIST 100 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($25-$14 by the glass)

Beers, Sake and a fine selection by the glass, offerings from around the wine world, are a great start. An excellent balance between emerging and traditional makers here. Interestingly, the emerging producers are largely local and the traditional names mostly from offshore. Works well. A list which will appeal.

Mr. Wong

3 Bridge Lane, Sydney
(02) 9114 7317
merivale.com/venues/mrwong

CUISINE Cantonese
WINE LIST Gary Armstrong
WINEs ON LIST 1175 (28 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$-$$$ ($107-$13.3 by the glass)

Mr Wong is a bright example of a premium wine list. So laden is it with choice that it is almost intimidating. Were it not for the pages upon pages of comforting dim sum options one might feel overwhelmed by the selection of wines on offer, but Shanghai dumplings are a proven cure-all, and fortified we are to continue on with the list. The list of producers includes some of the most exciting names in the world, such as Littorai, Bekkers, tripe.Iscariot, Bindi, Keller, Dujac, Wendouree, 
Clonakilla and Opus One, to name a small few.  All the stars of Bordeaux and Burgundy are here, including seven vintages of Petrus back to '64. There is an impressive Henschke focus including a sizeable vertical of Hill of Grace. A Penfolds vertical including fifty or more wines back to the 1950s. It goes without saying that the beers, spirits, cocktails and every other drink you could possibly want is similarly represented here.

Nagisa

N2 The Boardwalk, 1 Honeysuckle Drv, Newcastle
(02) 4929 4122
nagisa.com.au

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Yohei Namba
WINEs ON LIST 100 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($18-$9 by the glass)

Bringing the inclusive Teppanyaki bar vibe to Newcastle, Nagisa is an oasis of all things modern Japanese. Apart from the usual appetising fare of sashimi, sushi, tataki and everything else you could possibly hope for on a Japanese menu, there is also an unbelievably good selection of Japanese craft beer (yes, a full lineup), Japanese whiskey, sake and a full complement of other international spirits, beers and cocktails. The wine list is largely focused on NSW and is a succinct wrap up of wines from across many of the state's 16 regions. At the end, 'Yohei's Secret Stash' of carefully cellared wines is enough to pique anyone's interest.

The Newcastle Club

40 Newcomen St, Newcastle
(02) 4929 1224
newcastleclub.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Matt Underwood
WINEs ON LIST 607 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($26-$12 by the glass)

The wine list at The Newcastle Club is exactly as one would expect it to be: impressive. It is a large list but it manages to feel concise, turning our attention to Australian wines, and especially those from NSW. There is a comprehensive collection of NSW wines in fact. The list extends its hand to welcome wines from some of the greatest regions on earth: Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, Napa and more. At every corner and every turn, the wine selection is traditional, ticking off the 'greats', and the 'reliables', but just when you assume you know what is coming, there is a lick of modern brilliance.  A wine included that highlights the passion and interest of the sommelier. This is no regular club list. It is brilliant. The selection of spirits, beers, and drinks other than wine are also as you would expect: extensively and abundantly available.

Night Parrot

69 Crown St, Wollongong
0431 684 148
nightparrotbar.com

CUISINE Modern Asian
WINE LIST Simon Evans and Willie Nguyen
WINEs ON LIST 50 (32 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($25-$12 by the glass)

For anyone who has not tried the extraordinary, ‘Qvevri Gentil’ from Le Petit Mort, this might be your best shot. This wine sums up the adventurous approach of this list and there are plenty more like it. a good mix of some traditional names, some emerging stars and exciting unknowns.

NOMAD

16 Foster St, Surry Hills
(02) 9280 3395
nomadwine.com.au

CUISINE Mediterranean & Middle Eastern
WINE LIST Ged Bellis
WINEs ON LIST 325 (45 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($45-$13 by the glass)

Nomad is that rarity, the perfect all-rounder taking cocktails, craft gins and beers just as seriously as it does the main event of quality sparkling and table wines. The theme is sustainable and organic and the wines come from around the world, although the by the glass selection is a showcase of strong Aussies. It also takes 'house wines' to the next level with a small selection made by big names such as Nick Farr and Gilbert. Grower Champagnes and the Burgundy twins –chardonnay and pinot noir – are exceptional offerings.

North Bondi Fish

120 Ramsgate Ave, North Bondi
(02) 9130 2155
northbondifish.com.au

CUISINE Seafood
WINE LIST Emma Williams
WINEs ON LIST 84 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$ ($16-$13 by the glass)

North Bondi Fish offers a mouthwatering selection of wines that have been well-selected for their match to seafood, the menu's main focus. More than 25% of the wines are available to order by the glass or carafe – an impressive feat. The view and the location are almost as captivating as the food and wine on offer; a seat on the balcony looks about as perfect as it gets.

One Ford Street

1 Ford St, Balmain
(02) 9818 4232
onefordstreet.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Fabio Dore and Fabio Deiana
WINEs ON LIST 375 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($38-$10 by the glass)

Italy forms the basis of all things food and wine here and One Ford Street manages to capture the convivial, joyous spirit of the Italian food and wine culture. The food is 'simple' featuring a selection of fresh, local, in many cases organic produce and is about quality over quantity. The wine list starts where all good lists start – with the wines offered by the glass. The selection here is concise but very good, and each wine comes with a decent write up about the style, producer and region. Following this there is a number of features of producers and regions with much more in-depth information, including some of them also offered by the glass. Things are getting interesting. What happens next is a tour of Italy summed up by a curation of wines that is not only excellent value for money, but pushes, nay, urges you to try something new. Additionally, if you want to catch an Italian winemaker hosting a wine dinner, One Ford Street is for you.

One Penny Red

2 Moonbie St, Summer Hill
(02) 9797 8118
onepennyred.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST David Murphy and Mirko Scanu
WINEs ON LIST 369 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($25-$12 by the glass)

One Penny Red gives us a wine list that is a bounty of flavour, texture and variety. It dips its 'toes' into almost every conceivable style of wine imaginable, traversing the diverse continents of natural wine, up-and-coming producers and classicists from Australia and further afield. It is a delight to read this list, and you feel, on every page, the enthusiasm and joy that sommeliers David Murphy and Mirko Scanu feel for wine. It's palpable. The selection of drinks available that are outside the sphere of wine is abundant, so should you be feeling sherry as an aperitif, sake, sodas, non-alcoholic cocktails, spritzes, gin & tonic or craft beer, they're all here
for you.

Onyx Grill

60 Burwood Rd, Burwood
(02) 8889 3915
onyxgrill.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Joe Chen
WINEs ON LIST 106 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($922-$13 by the glass)

An exciting list which features excellent local examples of wines and regions, which are well supported by textbook offerings from around the globe. A superb ‘by the glass’ array backed by fine spirits and, for those that like such things, a cracking set of cocktails. A really good list.

Ormeggio at The Spit

D’Albora Marina, Spit Rd, Mosman
(02) 9969 4088
ormeggio.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Davide Coccia
WINEs ON LIST 383 (50 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($50-$14 by the glass)

We love the purism here – it is wholeheartedly Italian. Upon opening the wine list, we launch straight away into a feature on key producer Bellavista from Franciacorta, Italy's premium sparkling region. As we delve into the list beyond, it is evident the weight of knowledge and passion for Italy does not stop at the expected nebbiolo and Chianti. There is an exceptional selection of sparkling – no Champagne! You know if they aren't going to break rank and make an exception for Champagne, then they are heart and soul focusing on Italian wine, and we love this. The list requires quite a bit of knowledge to traverse, because it is laid out in region, rather than variety, but undoubtedly there would be help close by for navigation purposes. Otherwise, there is a concise Australian section for all of your local needs, and of course a plentiful supply of beverages other than wine, including grappa, digestifs, beers, non-alcoholic options and much more.

Otto

8/6 Cowper Wharf Rd, Woolloomooloo
(02) 9368 7488
ottoristorante.com.au/sydney

CUISINE Italian/Australian
WINE LIST Nathan Lawler
WINEs ON LIST 350 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($47-$15 by the glass)

Otto in Sydney has a sensitively curated and structured list with a fantastic selection of Italian wines. The inclusion of Australian and international wines is executed cleverly, in that the list manages to maintain the feeling and focus of Italy.  The write-ups throughout the list are well put together, and the Champagne selection is incredible.  It touches upon some old and rare wines, and is a balanced offering of the best of the growers and the established houses initially responsible for excellence in the region.  The list features some very premium and expensive wines, but there is a lot of joy available for under $100 a bottle. The options are seemingly endless.

Paper Daisy

21 Cypress Crescent, Cabarita Beach
(02) 6676 1444
halcyonhouse.com.au/paper-daisy-restaurant

CUISINE Coastal Australian
WINE LIST Hiroyuki Okubo and Michael Pyrgos
WINEs ON LIST 240 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($36-$12 by the glass)

Halcyon House has been delivering excellence since its rebirth in 2015. The restaurant within it, Paper Daisy, shows us a very varied and interesting wine list: it eddies about, flowing across the globe like water trickling over rocks in a stream. The selection fluidly crosses ocean and state lines like they didn't exist, and offers us drinks from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Japan, to name a few. The wines by the glass is a balanced view of the wine list at large; delicious and varied, with a plentiful selection of wines, styles, colours and prices.  Yes again.  The wine list is not home to just wines, but a very good curation of beers, spirits, cocktails, mocktails, digestifs, aperitifs and more.

Pará Thirroul

258 Lawrence Hargrave Drv, Thirroul
(02) 4268 5546
parathirroul.com

CUISINE Mediterranean
WINE LIST
 Kayla Burazin
WINEs ON LIST 39 (31 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$9 by the glass)

A real effort has been made with this list to source and offer some lesser known producers and styles. In addition, a number of more familiar names will ensure something for everyone. Solid offerings ‘by the glass’ and well supported with the spirits. A list to explore.

Parlour Cucina

49 Market St, Sydney
(02) 8262 0000
qthotels.com/sydney-cbd/eat-drink/parlour-cucina

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Chris Morrison
WINEs ON LIST 50 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($31-$9 by the glass)

This is a very well judged and appointed wine list. With a mere fifty entries, every wine is special and distinct. It's a list that shows the clever mind and experience behind it, with a rainbow of drinking opportunity on offer. From cellar-matured Radikon through to classy classics from Vajra or Pewsey Vale, this is a please all comers collection that marries diversity and quality in perfect harmony. The list is laid out beautifully and simply, with various pour sizes for by the glass offerings and a brilliant collection of spirits, aperitifs and digestifs. The selection of wine leans to smaller, artisan wine producers, but isn't alienating for those seeking familiarity or best of varieties or styles from well-known regions. It's exciting to see this kind of nous and consideration applied to great hotel wine lists.

Pearls On The Beach

1 Tourmaline Ave, Pearl Beach
(02) 4342 4400
pearlsonthebeach.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Melissa Fox
WINEs ON LIST 112 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($17-$14 by the glass)

Pearls on the beach, perhaps, but definitely some pearls in the wine list. A list which does not restrict itself to any regions or styles, but one which ventures far and wide with traditional superstars from the wine world and an array of emerging exciting producers. Excellent support with spirits, cocktails and beers.

Pendolino

The Strand Arcade, 412-414 George St, Sydney
(02) 9231 6117
pendolino.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Cristian Casarin
WINEs ON LIST 226 (36 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($166-$11 by the glass)

Pendolino in the Strand Arcade, once again offers a high class wine list offering a cleverly curated array of wines from across Australia and the globe.  Although on the pricier side, there is a very good range of prices, from the affordable through to the upper echelons of world wine. With some glorious back vintages on offer, and some (very) hard to find wines available, this is a brilliant wine list. While it predominantly focuses on the wines and varietals of Italy, it does it in a balanced way, and presents Australian options of those same varietals.  Cleverly curated, and never more so than when paired with the food in the matched degustation menu. It goes without saying that the selection of drinks other than wine is similarly inspired, in particular the two pages of Cognac, Bas-Armagnac and grappas.

Pilu at Freshwater

On the Beach, Moore Rd, Freshwater
(02) 9938 3331
pilu.com.au

CUISINE Italian, Sardinian
WINE LIST Wainer Pordeti
WINEs ON LIST 380 (35 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($50-$15 by the glass)

Pilu at Freshwater introduces us to an excellent selection of wines, clearly driven by someone who has passion and keen interest in Italian wines. Each area/region within Italy is described and laid out, which is just as well because this list takes us to some out of the way places, and shows us some varieties indigenous only to Italy.  There is a brilliant sparkling list, and the combination and intermingling of Italian and Australian wines deeper into the list provides context and interest to an already compelling lineup. There are some very tempting back vintages available both from Italy and Australia at not-out-of-reach prices, either. With equal reason to visit for both the view and the wines, Pilu is not to be missed.

Pino's Vino e Cucina

199 Lawrence St, Alexandria
(02) 9550 2789
pinosvinoecucina.com.au

CUISINE Traditional Italian
WINE LIST Matteo Margiotta
WINEs ON LIST 174 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($41-$15 by the glass)

Pino's Vino e Cucina is wonderful, and shows us how exciting a wine list can be. Ordered by style rather than grape variety or region, the collection of wines is a dovetailing of culture, style and regionality. Not only is there a curation of wines that include skin contact styles, roses and sparkling, but there are magnums as well. Owner and sommelier Matteo Margiotta has created this space as an ode to his family kitchen in Rome, and the words on the wine list, and the wines themselves speak to us about his feelings about his upbringing and about Italy. The drinks that he has on offer of course are as exciting as the wines, and are a brilliant selection of beers, spirits, cocktails, aperitifs, digestifs and more.

Pipit

8 Coronation Ave, Pottsville
0490 380 117
pipitrestaurant.com

CUISINE Coastal and Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Aaron Wigg
WINEs ON LIST 42 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($20-$13 by the glass)

One of the most beautiful parts of the world now has the restaurant and wine list it deserves. Great care has obviously been taken with suggested wine matchings and this attention extends to the list. A tightrope between exciting emerging producers and established stars, while eschewing the commercial names. A quality list.

Poly

74-76 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills
(02) 8860 0808
polysurryhills.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Julien Dromgool
WINEs ON LIST 155 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($24-$15 by the glass)

If Covid-19 has you locked down and the travel bug is biting, this list may assuage the itch for a while. It takes one all around the world on a voyage of vinous exploration. Very much the path less trodden, both by glass and bottle. Lots of skin-contact wines on offer and an array from Jura. Some quality grower Champagnes.

Postales

1 Martin Place, Sydney
(02) 9229 7744
gpogrand.com

Postales has recently closed.

CUISINE Spanish and Tapas
WINE LIST Felipe Gonzalez
WINEs ON LIST 100 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$ ($18-$8.9 by the glass)

Located in the Sydney GPO building, Postales brings us a value for money list with plenty of variety from Spain and Australia. With just about every variety required to take you back to your last glass of vino verde in Spain (ok, if not in reality then we can dream) and then a few more thrown in for good measure. Priced very reasonably, with the majority of wines coming in at under $100 a bottle, and many well below that. The by the glass list is a lighthearted summary of all that is held in the list beyond, and if you're in the mood to break ranks from Spain in order to enjoy a glass of Champagne on arrival, then the Gosset has your name on it. A good selection of sherries, spirits, cocktails beers and more.

Prime

Lower Ground Floor, 1 Martin Place, Sydney
(02) 9229 7777
gpogrand.com/prime-best-steak-restaurant-sydney

Prime has recently closed.

CUISINE Steak
WINE LIST Franck Goze
WINEs ON LIST 500 (39 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($78-$13 by the glass)

Prime Restaurant in the Sydney GPO Grand has one of the most comprehensive meat menus we've ever come across.  The wines on the wine list are included to emphasise the strength of the meat offering, and as expected, it is a list heavy with shiraz and cabernet, from Australia, America and France, not to mention an enticing collection of Italian reds. There is a plethora of back vintages available at a price, and all of the big names are here.  Should your tastes run to the more elegant, there is a comprehensive array of wines from Burgundy, Germany, Austria and the Loire Valley. For those whose first beverage of choice is not wine, the selection of cocktails, beers, ciders and spirits contains more than enough to satisfy most.

Public Dining Room

2a The Esplanade, Balmoral Beach, Mosman
(02) 9968 4880
publicdiningroom.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Luke Collard
WINEs ON LIST 380 (37 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($46-$12 by the glass)

A brilliant list.  Occasionally, when a wine list has this much information in it, it can feel a chore to read through it. Not so in this case: the wine list at Public Dining Room has been written by sommelier Luke Collard, and it is overwhelmingly evident how much Luke cares about wine. It is not only entertaining, but incredibly engaging and informative, and really helps to guide us through the selection. In fact, Luke does such a good job of making everything sound enticing that it makes the job of choosing a wine even more difficult.  This is a list that freely explores regions and producers, touching on exciting wine styles, putting others in context, and leaving you in a much better place than when you started.   The collection of wines, cocktails, spirits, beers and every other variant of beverage feels deliberately curated rather than simply 'listed' and it is certain that Public Dining Room has something for every palate. Like the view, a total pleasure to absorb.

Quay

Upper Level Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks
(02) 9251 5600
quay.com.au

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Shanteh Wong
WINE ON LIST 520 (35 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$-$$$ ($365-$13 by the glass)

Quay, overlooking the harbour and the Opera House in Sydney has a wine list that transcends the concept of a mere 'list'. This is a subtle, deliberate and educated curation of wines from all across the globe. Each region, no matter how small, or how far away, has had its best wines, from its best and most interesting vintages plucked and brought here. There are obscure wines, old wines, young wines, wines made by the most experienced hands in the world and by the most gifted. It is an evolving lineup of the very best (this does not always mean the most expensive, although they are here too) wines, and it is a thrill to witness. There are pages and pages of similarly crafted collections of drinks other than wine, including beers, spirits (both local and international), sherries and fortifieds, cocktails, mocktails and more. A wonderful list in 2020 again, at Quay.

Queen Chow Enmore

167 Enmore Rd, Enmore
(02) 9114 7333
merivale.com/venues/queenchow

CUISINE Cantonese
WINE LIST Franck Moreau MS and Nathan Smith
WINEs ON LIST 130 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($22-$8 by the glass)

You know if you're having duck, you're going to be going with pinot or an interesting, textural, dare we suggest, funky white. This list has it all. Red Burgundy, aged Radikon, magnums of Susucaru... all pretty delicious elements to complement the umami-rich flavours of Cantonese food; and all listed here. The wine list at Queen Chow at the Queen's Hotel in Enmore is approachable, fun, and at times, downright brilliant. Value for money is key here, with abundant options that are interesting and engaging. The drinks other than wines, including beers, spirits, cocktails and everything else you could possibly want is as compelling.

The Queen's Club

137 Elizabeth St, Sydney
(02) 9264 1171
queensclub.com.au

CUISINE Australian/French Influences
WINE LIST
 Grace Kerslake
WINEs ON LIST 295 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$ ($17.5-$7 by the glass)

The Queen's Club on Elizabeth st in Sydney boasts a varied national and international list with flashes of sheer brilliance throughout it. There are not many places where one can track down aged German riesling including Joh Jos Prum, and Aussie icon wines Wendouree, Standish and Clonakilla, all at least ten years old or more and priced affordably. The list of wines by the glass is very approachable, prices starting at only $7! The list unfolds into an array of interesting wines from across Australia and the rest of the globe. There is a plentitude of drinks other than table wine available here, including dessert and fortified wines, spirits, cocktails and more. At the very end of the list is a reprint of a wine list from the Queen's Club in 1955. A glance at a moment in wine when Penfolds made a 'Special Chablis' and Champagne was to be ordered ahead of time. The Champagne selection at the Queen's Club in 2020 has significantly expanded on 1955 – and is ready for us now.

Raes Dining Room

6-8 Marine Pde, Byron Bay
(02) 6685 5366
raes.com.au

CUISINE Modern Mediterranean
WINE LIST Gianluca Pagani, Barbara Vega and Michael Haesslein
WINEs ON LIST 113 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($35-$13 by the glass)

Rae's has a firm hold on the modern Mediterranean food and wine vibe, with a wine listing that sings from the French-Italian-Greek-Spanish playbook while also incorporating the best of Australia. There's choice aplenty, too, from classic, quality makers to neo-traditionalists pursuing skin contact and 'natural' winemaking. Even better, prices avoid the usual Byron Bay mark-ups.

Ragazzi Wine and Pasta

3/2-12 Angel Place, Sydney
(02) 8964 3062
ragazziwineandpasta.com

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST
 Matt Swieboda
WINEs ON LIST 300 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$12 by the glass)

It's rare for such a new wine list to come so fully formed, so confident and assured in its mission and delivery. Ragazzi is that list, a continuation of the journey that Sydney wine bar entrepreneur, Matt Swieboda, has been taking us on since creating Love, Tilly Devine. The theme continues to be sustainable, minimal input wine growing and making, a la natural/authentic but this time the focus is on the excitement emanating from Italy. Many of the names and styles will be familiar (Gravner, Radikon, Foradori, La Stoppa), many not, and that's when you let the helpful tasting notes and cute graphics guide you. Aiding and abetting the Italians is a select band of exciting wines from Australia, New Zealand and beyond.

Regatta Rose Bay

594 New South Head Rd, Rose Bay
(02) 9327 6561
regattarosebay.com

CUISINE Mediterranean
WINE LIST Nicolas Cleradin
WINEs ON LIST 124 (33 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($25-$10 by the glass)

This is not the biggest list around, indeed it's on the smaller side with 124 wines, but it certainly packs a lot of excellent wine selections into a tight and interesting wine list. For many, it will be hard to progress past wines by the glass with both the unusual (a Colo River Valley semillon sauvignon blanc) and the classic (Yalumba Signature) amid the odd international star (Antinori's Tignanello). But if you do venture further you will find a fine grouping of French, Italians and Australians dominating and categorised by style. The Pinot Noir and Light Red section is a stand out, as is the number of aged wines from top houses.

Reign at the QVB

Queen Victoria Building, 455 George St, Sydney
(02) 8023 7604
reignatqvb.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST Fabio Nistrio
WINEs ON LIST 228 (31 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($85-$12 by the glass)

A very impressive array of ‘by the glass’ Champagnes, including a set from Veuve Clicquot are a great start to an extensive and exciting list. The Champagne collection is superb, matched by sparkling wines from home and beyond, followed by an excellent cellar from top regions and a very fine offering of spirits.

The Rice Den

30-32 Chandos St, St Leonards
(02) 9438 3612
thericeden.com.au

CUISINE Cantonese
WINE LIST Pak Chan
WINEs ON LIST 99 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$10 by the glass)

In just 99 wines, sommelier Pak Chan certainly packs a lot in. While staying true to the restaurant's Cantonese cuisine, the list explores some intriguing suggestions from Spanish malvasia, Sicilian carricante and Portuguese loureiro to German blaufränkisch, cabernet franc from the Loire Valley and Margaret River merlot, to name a few. The youth and freshness of the list offerings also makes it a joy when looking for the best food match. Low intervention/natural/biodynamic winemaking from some of the world's best practitioners also raises the bar.

Ripples Chowder Bay

Building 7C, Chowder Bay Rd, Mosman
(02) 9960 3000
rippleschowderbay.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Aneta Resmer and Benjamin Cummings
WINEs ON LIST 115 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($15-$12 by the glass)

There is a sense of familiarity with the wines on this list. There are names that many drinkers will know and relate to but there are also some discoveries to be made, especially when venturing down the Italian path to Puglia, the Veneto, Sicily and the Adige. The list strongly features organic and biodynamic wines – they are marked, so look out for them – together with the odd amber wine.

Rockpool Bar & Grill

66 Hunter St, Sydney
(02) 8099 7077
rockpoolbarandgrill.com.au

CUISINE Steak House
WINE LIST Yuki Hirose
WINEs ON LIST 3600 (53 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($68-$9 by the glass)

One of the most complete and astonishing (not to mention, multi-award winning) wine lists in the country comes at you with a rush. The choice of wines by the glass, including rarities from Wendouree and By Farr, and top styles from some seven countries is mind blowing. But there's more; a lot more. The Champagne listing kicks off a thorough immersion in the world's great wines. Making a choice could take some time, so be warned.

Rosetta Trattoria

118 Harrington St, The Rocks
(02) 8099 7089
rosettarestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Richard Healy
WINEs ON LIST 425 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($52-$12 by the glass)

Rosetta maintains a wine list that is more classic than daring, with quality all the way from some of the top names in the business. Name after name, whether in keeping with the strong Italian theme (helpfully, Italian wines are listed by region), or with the interloping Aussies on the list, is like a roll call of deliciousness. The great sparklings of Franciacorta, the emerging stars of southern Italy – Puglia, Campania and Sicily – and the great producers of Barolo, Chianti, Montalcino and Super Tuscans star.

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron

33 Peel St, Kirribilli
(02) 9955 7171
rsys.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Jamie Dickinson and Kim Smith
WINEs ON LIST 1092 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($55-$10 by the glass)

An evergreen wine list that continues to serve its patrons with great wines from Australia and around the world at some amazing prices. Seeing an '04 Penfolds Grange at $860 a bottle is just one of the eye-catching offers to be enjoyed here. At its heart it's a who's who of Australian producers, the cream matched with some of the most promising up-and-comers and emerging stars such as Domaine Simha, Hughes & Hughes, Ocean Eight. The sections on Italy and France in particular, while far from exhaustive, are rich in their offering.

Saga Bar

49-51 Goold St, Chippendale
0499 724 235
saga.bar

CUISINE Modern Asian fusion
WINE LIST Casey Sullivan-Myers
WINEs ON LIST 320 (28 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($55-$13 by the glass)

New on the Sydney wine scene, and what an entrance! Saga is exciting and different with sommelier Casey Sullivan-Myers presenting a very personal interpretation and selection of wines, beers, spirits and cocktails that work in sync with modern Asian fusion. His unapologetic promotion of aromatic whites (particularly from Australia, Germany, Austria and France) and light and medium-bodied reds is spot on with food matching. Wine and spirit flights are offered, a must really, and the mix of old school and low intervention/natural wines works. There's enough here to satisfy the fussiest drinker.

Sails on Lavender Bay

2 Henry Lawson Ave, McMahons Point
(02) 9955 5998
sailslavenderbay.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Francisco Ramirez
WINEs ON LIST 170 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($62-$14 by the glass)

A solid wine list that balances Australian favourites and new finds with a smattering of delicious Europeans. The selection by the glass is particularly strong and appealing, especially the use of Coravin which enables all of us to taste some aged icons such as 2010 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay and a 2011 Segur de Cabanas cabernet from Bordeaux. The selection of chardonnay and pinot noirs is a real highlight. For its location with harbour views, the prices are more than reasonable.

Saint Peter

362 Oxford St, Paddington
(02) 8937 2530
saintpeter.com.au

CUISINE Seafood
WINE LIST Ronnie Gorman
WINEs ON LIST 50 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($26-$15 by the glass)

It's a hard job to excel in, but the small wine list – in this instance, just 43 wines in all – is achieved with style and balance at Saint Peter. What's more, the sommelier pays close attention to the restaurant's seafood theme and delivers a stellar cast of fresh, light and medium-bodied Aussie whites and reds perfect for the task. Grapes such as petit blanc, chenin blanc, aligote, barbera, sangiovese and gamay fit the role.

Sixpenny

83 Percival Rd, Stanmore
(02) 9572 6666
sixpenny.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Bridget Raffal
WINEs ON LIST 270 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($65-$15 by the glass)

One of the more innovative and exciting wine lists going, Sixpenny delves deep into the world of the small wine producer, touching on wines that are innovative, edgy and a little left-field. Sommelier Bridget Raffal looks to Australia and Europe for inspiration presenting featured makers like Jacquart, Josmeyer, Nicolas Joly and Domaine de L'Anglore. This is a wine list full of discovery and the odd surprise, of amphorae and unusual varieties (sciaccarello, aleatico, etc), of  skin contact whites and savoury wines aged under flor. The odd classic also can be found.

Sokyo

80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
(02) 9657 9161
star.com.au/sydney/eat-and-drink

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Alfio Cannavo
WINEs ON LIST 550 (45 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($295-$17 by the glass)

Some of the biggest names in the world of wine can be found at The Star's Sokyo. High rollers will have a field day. This is one of the very few restaurants to serve Penfolds Grange by the glass (with the excellent '04 on pour). The rest of us can also enjoy a thoroughly engrossing list of top producers and classic styles in addition to the more edgier skin-contact whites and low intervention reds. Still, it will be hard to go past the first few pages of the list showcasing a full range of sake and wines by the glass that includes some real stars under Coravin.

South on Albany

3/65 Queen St, Berry
(02) 4464 2005
southonalbany.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST
 Sonia Greig
WINEs ON LIST 50 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($13-$9 by the glass)

How refreshing to see a restaurant so supportive of its local producers. The bulk of entries on this 50-strong wine list are sourced from neighbouring NSW and Canberran wineries. Some names will be familiar – Clonakilla, Pepper Tree, Tyrrell's, Nick O'Leary – and some less so. Exciting makers such as Mada, Gilbert, Logan and Nick Spencer also bring their own magic. For a small listing, it covers a lot of ground, from a pét-nat riesling, aged Hunter semillon and top Orange chardonnay to a Geelong gamay and a preservative-free Margaret River red. Start with a local beer and take it from there.

Spice Temple

10 Bligh St, Sydney
(02) 8099 7088
spicetemple.com.au

CUISINE Chinese
WINE LIST Justin Crawford
WINEs ON LIST 100 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($75-$11 by the glass)

Spice Temple, where "every wine fights for its place," is a masterclass in the selection and presentation of a small wine list of just 100 wines. The adherence to grape varieties and styles from around the world that shine with Asian flavours reveals a close eye to detail, with a mix of small, edgy producers and alternative grape varieties sitting shoulder to shoulder with the odd classic. The cocktail section – including non-alcoholic and dessert styles – is a winner.

The Squire's Landing

Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay, The Rocks
(02) 8014 5663
jamessquire.com.au/brewhouses/the-squires-landing

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Simon Howland
WINEs ON LIST 241 (28 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($44-$9 by the glass)

A showcase for the many beers – including small batch and limited release brews – from James Squire morphs into a pretty handy wine listing headed by Aussie favourites and backed up by a smart selection of others from around the world. Some names will be familiar and popular sellers from trusted brands such as Penfolds, Henschke, Coldstream Hills and Louis Jadot while others will be new, offering a chance for discovery. The Coravin section is used to good effect with some aged beauties. Still, it's the range of beers that will probably create the most interest with patrons. Lots of choice for a refreshing aperitif.

Steamers Bar & Grill

1 Marine Drv, Wollongong
(02) 4229 6895
steamersbarandgrill.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Romain Bastianel
WINEs ON LIST 267 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($22-$9 by the glass)

Steamers had me with the French gin aged in Calvados casks and the selection of local NSW-based beers, just the thing to match the peri peri chicken and spicy gumbo offered. It's a versatile and comprehensive wine list that pays attention to the nearby wines of the Southern Highlands, but also ventures further afield offering big wine names and small from Australia and Europe. Rare finds include Andrea Bocelli Prosecco and a Kangaroo Island pinot gris. Keep an eye out for the aged classics from makers such as Vasse Felix, Rockford, Clonakilla and others.

Strangers’ Restaurant

6 Macquarie St, Sydney
(02) 9230 2924
parliamentarycatering.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST Lee Kwiez and Emily Garland
WINEs ON LIST 59 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($24-$6 by the glass)

We expect no less than a 100% NSW-strong wine list in the dining room at the NSW Parliament, and that's what we have here. The state focus (which takes in the ACT) covers major and emerging regions, from the Hunter Valley, Mudgee and Orange to Yass Valley, Lake George and Hilltops. Choice of pour from glass to carafe and bottle opens up the options, as does the use of Coravin to discover icon wines such as Lake's Folly Chardonnay and Usher Tinkler Reserve Shiraz. Prices are super attractive.

The Stunned Mullet

24 William St, Port Macquarie
(02) 6584 7757
thestunnedmullet.com.au

CUISINE International
WINE LIST Lou Perri and Tom Riedl
WINEs ON LIST 427 (62 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($49-$13 by the glass)

Owner and wine enthusiast Lou Perri is to be commended for his globally relevant and comprehensive wine list that will delight the most discerning wine lover. The list is obviously a labour of love and includes top tier local and international wines. There is a stunning selection by the glass, with the use of Coravin allowing premium wines to be offered. But it is the by-the-bottle selection which is the real attraction, with many tempting wines available. You’ll find contemporary Australia labels such as Hughes & Hughes and Sailor Seeks Horse, as well as prestigious European wines. All bottles have been carefully cellared, so take the opportunity to order something with age.

Sushi E

252 George St, Sydney
(02) 9114 7314
merivale.com/venues/sushie

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Emilien Rebeilleau
WINEs ON LIST 195 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($110-$15 by the glass)

A wine list that pays the closest attention to matching wines and styles to Japanese cuisine while also providing some true vinous excitement at the same time. How about a glass of 2008 Dom Perignon, an aged Australian iconic riesling or a 2010 Central Otago Old Vine Pinot Noir? Many wine lovers will find it hard to move past the excellent wines by the glass selection, but should they delve further they will come across many treasures from Australia and Europe. To start, try the range of gins infused with Japanese botanicals and the sake selection.

Tayim

34 Harrington St, Nurses Walk, The Rocks
(02) 8220 9952
tayim.com.au

CUISINE Israeli Middle Eastern
WINE LIST Margret Olbrich
WINEs ON LIST 70 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($19-$11 by the glass)

A dip into the wines of Turkey is a real attraction here, the perfect accompaniment to the Israeli/Middle Eastern food flavours. Be guided by the sommelier on style for the indigenous Turkish grape varieties and drinks. Alternatively, there is always a selection of international small makers (with Australia dominating) doing interesting things. Vegan wines are also a big feature. Alternative varieties really hit the mark with a savoury, medium-bodied, aromatic and spicy group of wines.

Tetsuya's

529 Kent St, Sydney
(02) 9267 2900
tetsuyas.com

CUISINE French/Japanese
WINE LIST Fabio Danzi
WINEs ON LIST 1028 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($50-$18 by the glass)

A singular, distinguished wine listing of international standing that still retains a personal feel and expression. Some producer names are consistent from year to year, clearly favourites of Tetsuya himself. It's like a personal cellar open to the rest of us with some rare gems such as 1959 Dom Perignon, a wealth of J.J. Prums and stars from Mount Mary, Keller, Prophets Rock, DRC and so many more. Australia, France, Italy, Germany prevail with guest appearances from a handful of support countries. The selection of Japanese wines and grape varieties is worthy of deeper exploration, as is the comprehensive sake collection.

Totti's

283 Bondi Rd, Bondi
(02) 9114 7371
merivale.com/venues/tottis

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Robyn Fisher
WINEs ON LIST 147 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($38-$9 by the glass)

The epitome of the laid-back, modern wine list embracing the cutting edge, while also paying homage to the classics. The Yin & Yang nature of Tottis' list offers an exciting exploration of neo-Italian wines (amongst others) led by helpful style categories, with standouts 'Cloudy Goodness!,' 'Pink, Rosé & Summer Wines', 'Expression of Jura' and 'Volcanic-Etna-Sicily.'

Uccello

Ivy, Level 4, 320 George St, Sydney
(02) 9240 3000
merivale.com/venues/uccello

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Fabio Pallottini
WINEs ON LIST 624 (35 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($102-$14 by the glass)

Welcome to the top end of town where some of the most expensive and rarest wines in the world dwell. A bottle of the very first 1951 Penfolds Grange, perhaps? Or, maybe a 2004 Mascarello Barolo or a 1998 Dom Perignon? Rest assured, this comprehensive listing with an Italian bent also covers more affordable and, arguably, exciting wines. Wines By The Glass is fruitful territory to explore; be sure to check out Premium Wines under Coravin, and the small but delicious range of half bottles. The Aussie contingent is done particularly proud.

Upstairs at The Lord

19 Kent St, Millers Point
(02) 9251 4044
lordnelsonbrewery.com/restaurant

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Kristian Savio and Blair Hayden
WINEs ON LIST 430 (75 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($19-$8 by the glass)

Upstairs At The Lord has one of the more exciting approaches to a wine listing that we have seen. It starts with 75 wines by the glass and includes Coravin selections from any wine listed under White Varietals and Blends, and Pinot Noir. And it gets better with specialist Spotlights throughout on top producers and countries from around the world, and sections at the end of each style category for wines that are old and rare. Then there's the Lord Nelson in-house brews which set the list off perfectly.

Vernon's Bar

2 Moonbie St, Summer Hill
(02) 9797 8118
vernonsbar.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary/Wine Bar
WINE LIST David Murphy
WINEs ON LIST 76 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($25-$12 by the glass)

A solid, well-considered wine list. For a small listing, it packs a lot in. The emphasis is on organic and biodynamic growing and making with small wine producers dominating. With names like La Violetta, Lethbridge, Yangarra, Stoney Rise, Castagna and Thousand Candles wine lovers know they can expect quality. The cast of Europeans are probably less well-known but definitely worth a try. And don't disregard the spirits page which comes at the back of the list. Prices are fair and reasonable.

Where's Nick

236 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville
0481 759 182
wheresnick.com.au

CUISINE Wine Bar Selection
WINE LIST Julian Abouzeid
WINEs ON LIST 250 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$12 by the glass)

This exciting, non-traditional wine list dives deep into all things sustainable, natural, low-intervention, biodynamic and organic. The contents move between the known and the largely unknown, making it a great place to experiment. Fair mark-ups help, too. Aussies like Ochota Barrels, Brash Higgins, Patrick Sullivan and Domaine Simha mix in with a wild bunch of Europeans. Prepare for an exciting ride.

The Wine Library

18 Oxford St, Woollahra
(02) 9368 7484
wine-library.com.au

CUISINE Mediterranean with modern Australian touch
WINE LIST Tim Perlstone
WINEs ON LIST 523 (38 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($245-$12 by the glass)

Pull up a chair and take your time with this list. As the name suggests, there's a lot to take on board before a decision can be made. Do you fancy a skin contact white, a classic from the Jura or a Madeira or rare Fondillon to start? Definitely check out the premium wines by the glass, too. The strong Aussie contingent – new and traditional producers with an emphasis on the sustainable – are bounced off a great range of equally interesting Europeans, some quite edgy.

The Winery

285A Crown St, Surry Hills
(02) 8322 2007
thewinerysurryhills.com.au

CUISINE Euro-Inspired Menu
WINE LIST Paul Sadler
WINEs ON LIST 292 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($24-$11 by the glass)

The Winery's European-inspired menu works especially well with a similarly inspired wine list. Almost half the wines are from Europe; the rest from Australia and New Zealand involving, in many cases, alternative grape varieties. Highlights are aplenty but do keep an eye out for the excellent range of riesling, rosé and Savoury & Spicy young reds. With an emphasis on minimal intervention, vegan and small family business wines, it hits the mark.

The Wood Restaurant at Brokenwood Wines

401-427 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin
(02) 4993 1193
brokenwood.com.au/dine

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Janet Wright
WINEs ON LIST 65 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($19-$10 by the glass)

Yes, this is ostensibly a wine list devoted to the wines of the estate. Brokenwood is known for its semillon, chardonnay, shiraz and regional selections and they are showcased here beautifully, including cellared examples such as the 2013 ILR Reserve Semillon and 2009 Graveyard Shiraz. However, this is also a celebration of the broader Brokenwood wine family, of former winemakers now doing extraordinary things such as Sarah Crowe (Yarra Yering) and Samantha Connew (Stargazer) and of family friends and relations such as fellow Hunter Valley maker, Margan Wines. It feels warm and welcoming. The counter to the home-grown is a selection of tidy wines from Europe. Fair prices, too, will help with the decision making.

The Workshop Kitchen

248 Armidale Rd, Tamworth
(02) 6768 2184
powerhousetamworth.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Daine Cooper
WINEs ON LIST 201 (47 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($34-$8 by the glass)

A solid regional wine list that does Tamworth proud, celebrating for the most part the wines and beers of the local regions. The spotlight falls on names such as Topper's Mountain, Merilba Estate, Philip Shaw and more. In a move that will prove popular, wines are denoted by Vegan, Organic and Biodynamic. It's rare to see so many wines served by the glass and the Coravin selection is definitely worth a visit. The international support from well-known makers and the Rare Australian Icons and Penfolds Grange verticals are among the highlights.

Wyno x Bodega

50 Holt St, Surry Hills
(02) 8399 1440
bodegatapas.com

CUISINE Tapas
WINE LIST Gavin Wright and Lana Gray
WINEs ON LIST 351 (340 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($66-$13 by the glass)

Innovative and exciting, expect to see the leading lights of the alternative winemaking school holding forth with natural, low intervention, sustainable wines. There are many 'wow' moments to be had with a strong suite of movement leaders from Australia and Europe. With 340 wines by the glass you will need to enquire more of your sommelier because the list itself doesn't mention specifics.

XOPP by Golden Century

Shop 31, Mezzanine Level, Little Pier St, Haymarket
(02) 8030 0000
xopp.com.au

CUISINE Cantonese Chinese
WINE LIST Jon Osbeiston and Sophie Otton
WINEs ON LIST 212 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($18-$11 by the glass)

A new addition to a Sydney institution and in keeping with its homage to Golden Century's most celebrated dish, XO Pippies, the wine list beautifully reflects the more aromatic, light and medium-bodied stars of the wine world. There is a strong emphasis on Australia with support from France, Italy and Spain. Check out the in-house wines made by Tyrrell's, Henschke and Chateau Lafite, while the listing of chardonnays and pinot noirs is lip-smacking.

Yellow

57 Macleay St, Potts Point
(02) 8214 0505
yellowsydney.com.au

CUISINE Vegetarian/Vegan
WINE LIST Nick Hildebrandt and Glen Goodwin
WINEs ON LIST 500 (40 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($45-$10 by the glass)

Yellow's solid vegetarian and vegan-friendly wine list offers everything from natural and low intervention wines to alternative styles, from the cloudy to the amber. There is an impressive selection from the Loire, Jura, Central Otago and Piedmont, not to mention Aussie shiraz and rosé. It appears the world of vegan-friendly wines is stronger and more diverse than ever, and for this reason this is an exciting list.