Queensland Winner

Blackbird

Blackbird

Riverside Centre, 123 Eagle St, Brisbane
(07) 3229 1200
blackbirdbrisbane.com.au

CUISINE Heritage Australian
WINE LIST Penny Grant
wines ON LIST 645 (31 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($59-$9 by the glass)

This is a strong, professional wine list that offers an extensive range of thoughtful choices throughout. Little wonder that under the direction of sommelier Penny Grant, it has won the award for Best List in Queensland for the third time.

Attention is paid to the local industry with both a white and a red by the glass, and a collection of more than 20 Granite Belt wines. Thoughtful use of Coravin extends the possibilities with the offerings by the glass.

It’s an international list that balances a selection from all parts of Australia with those from many parts of the globe – especially New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain, and the US.

There’s an obvious interest in sustainable viticulture and winemaking, which is reflected in an interplay between established superstars and cutting-edge producers. A major theme – the fascination with varieties yields wonderful offerings of grüner veltliner, gamay, nebbiolo, nerello mascalese and much more.

Peter Forrestal

Finalists

Harbourside Bar & Kitchen

209-217 The Esplanade, Cairns
(07) 4080 3000
harboursidebarandkitchen.com.au

CUISINE Tropical Interpretations of World Food
WINE LIST Chris Ford
WINEs ON LIST 940 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($26-$10 by the glass)

This is quite a remarkable wine list with a near total dedication to natural wine, though the spectrum under that banner will have you drinking from Bindi wines of Macedon Ranges to Chateau le Puy of Bordeaux and through to distinct wines of Jura, wonderfully chosen obscurities from Savoie, brilliant Friulian winemakers and Austrian cult producers. There’s deep collections of Australian back vintage wine, horizontal selections of distinguished producers of Europe and a set of homage pages at the end of this lengthy menu that revel in cellared wines from Castagna, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Giaconda. While the list touts itself as natural-focused, those seeking the fine-wine paradigms and prestigious Burgundy, Champagne and Bordeaux wines that adorn all great wine lists, well, you're also very well catered for here. Outstanding selection, and one that surely is the prized jewel of northern Queensland.

Signature Restaurant

267 Grey St, South Brisbane
(07) 3556 3333
emporiumhotels.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Tony John
WINEs ON LIST 1170 (41 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($200-$12 by the glass)

A seriously amazing wine list here, near encyclopaedic in its scope and scale. Huge numbers of back-vintage wines are available, with ludicrous runs of prestige wines from Raveneau, Armand Rousseau and Château d’Yquem. You’ll also find incredible wealth from Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhône and Champagne, along withAustralian premium wines, littered throughout this incredibly deep wine list. By the glass is mind-blowing too, with Coravin allowing everything from judiciously cellared Yalumba Signature through to mature (1999!) Roda 1 and (1989!!) Calon Segur, though you'll find gems in the regular list too, and premium Australian wine is a focus. All up, a huge round of applause for holding this much stock for customers to bathe in the wealth of wines on offer.

Glass-Rated

Bacchus South Bank

Cnr Grey & Glenelg St, South Bank
(07) 3364 0837
bacchussouthbank.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Andrew Giblin
WINEs ON LIST 600 (40 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($34-$12 by the glass)

This extensive and detailed wine list has been carefully thought out and put together.   Both the long-term iconic producers and some more recent arrivals are represented here covering a vast array of regions, varieties and styles. The list is well presented and easy to navigate so the many gems within it are not hard to find. There are some fabulous half bottle options and the wines by the glass section is mouthwatering and has plenty of choice including dessert and fortified wines.

Balfour Kitchen

37 Balfour St, New Farm
(07) 3358 8888
spicersretreats.com/retreats/spicers-balfour-hotel

CUISINE French/Vietnamese
WINE LISTJack Fisher
WINEs ON LIST 81 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($19-$12 by the glass)

You can’t go wrong in this delightful hotel restaurant which boasts a nicely crafted and carefully thought out wine list, well suited to the French/Vietnamese style cuisine. The wine list is very approachable, short but packed with a lot of interest and variation.  Moscato, Picpoul and Beaujolais are a few indications of the diversity available and two pour sizes in the wine by the glass and a good selection of half bottles means you have plenty of options to pair your wine and meal selections.

Bella Venezia

95 Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mooloolaba
(07) 5444 5844
bellavenezia.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Todd Young
WINEs ON LIST 322 (37 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($180-$10 by the glass)

Bella Venezia has a beautiful wine list dominated by Italian wines, perfectly suited to the Italian cuisine.  The wonderful thing about Italy is that it produces such diverse wine styles, one need go no further. From Franciacorta to Vin Santo, one can find almost any wine style imaginable. There are of course plenty of other wines on offer here too, from Australia and abroad, even our own Grange by the glass if you’ve always been curious but never had quite the right opportunity to try this famous classic.

Blackbird

Riverside Centre, 123 Eagle St, Brisbane
(07) 3229 1200
blackbirdbrisbane.com.au

CUISINE Heritage Australian
WINE LIST Marcel Thomson and Penny Grant
wines ON LIST 645 (31 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($59-$9 by the glass)

One could just enjoy relaxing and reading the wine list here at Blackbird.  It has all the bases covered with a vast array of wines, varieties, styles, regions and price points to suit any diner and occasion. This comprehensive list provides a virtual tour around the world of wine, from the classics and iconic producers to the up and comers. The wine by the glass list offers a beautiful selection including a choice of pour size, so you can take the opportunity to try a few wines you might not normally be able to. And perfect for this Queensland restaurant is a great selection of Queensland wines that beautifully showcase the region.

Bucci

11/15 James St, Fortitude Valley
(07) 3252 7848
buccijamesstreet.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Tanja Malone and Hans Palandt
WINEs ON LIST 85 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($40-$12 by the glass)

This cheerful Italian restaurant has a great little Italian-dominated wine list you’ll love, whether for a casual, regular meal out or for a dinner to celebrate a special occasion. Whether you choose your wine to go with the meal from their enticing menu or the meal to go with the excellent range of wines, all the necessary options are available for a memorable dining experience.

Carmody’s

Corner Olsen & Musgrave Ave, Southport
(07) 5532 1155
southportsharks.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Socky Soares
WINEs ON LIST 105 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$10 by the glass)

A solid club wine list with a good range of wine styles handpicked from an array of well-known regions and producers across Australia, and a few select ones from overseas. There is also a focus on organic and sustainable wines, which adds interest and diversity to the list and ensures the perfect match with your meal.

The Charming Squire

3/133 Grey St, South Brisbane
(07) 3077 7254
jamessquire.com.au/brewhouses/the-charming-squire

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Brendan McFarlane
wines ON LIST 140 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($21-$9.50 by the glass)

A concise list featuring a mix of the favourites you might expect – Penfolds, Peter Lehmann and Yalumba – as well as a few surprises, such as several vintage of Grange and a number of magnums of Australian red classics. A mostly Australian line-up, including a few from Queensland, with some nice wines from our friends overseas punctuating the list.

CRU Bar + Cellar

1/22 James St, Fortitude Valley
(07) 3252 2400
crubar.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Chris Walker
WINEs ON LIST 1567 (106 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($160-$8 by the glass)

The wine list opens with a very tempting, diverse and excellent range of wines by the glass, all under Coravin and in different pour sizes. There is enough here to satisfy anyone, but that is just the start; this is a very complete wine list covering all wine styles imaginable, a very good selection from the local Queensland producers and a particularly dizzying range of Champagnes if you are up for a celebration. From Arneis to Xinomavro, you will be spoilt for choice here.

Cucina Vivo

1 Casino Drv, Broadbeach Island, Broadbeach
(07) 5592 8757
star.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Isaac Coleman
WINEs ON LIST 215 (38 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($25-$9 by the glass)

A very relaxed setting to thoroughly enjoy what this Italian restaurant and understandably Italian-focused wine list have to offer. Italian wines have terrific diversity and this is showcased here, whether by the glass (three pour size options) or bottle. There is something for every taste, occasion or budget.

Donna Chang

171 George St, Brisbane
(07) 3243 4888
donnachang.com.au

CUISINE Modern Chinese
WINE LISTAshley Murray and Penny Grant
WINEs ON LIST 245 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($60-$13 by the glass)

The Donna Chang establishment has developed a very solid wine list with a very interesting and diverse offering. Wines by the glass, half bottles and magnums are available to fill out a very classy array of bottled wines. There are plenty of options that will perfectly match your dinner choice. There is also a great range of other beverage options to enjoy to make the most of your dining experience.

Dovetails Restaurant

88 Limestone St, Ipswich
(07) 3819 0264
4heartsbrewing.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Abbie Glossop
WINEs ON LIST 28 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($32-$10 by the glass)

Dovetails wears its brewing heart on its sleeve with a strong focus on its own product. Having a wine list at a brewery venue is a benefit and distinction, and visitors to 4 Hearts Brewing can choose from a decent collection of well-loved, well-known wineries and wine styles. Cape Mentelle and Cloudy Bay are big names, while Queensland winery WItches Falls finds space alongside. The list is not extensive but it is neatly chosen, seems like it's selected for easy drinking and does a good job of providing diversity for the food menu drinks matches. If you get past the great beers, there's more than enough wine to satisfy.

Embassy XO

Cnr Duke and Bryan St, Sunshine Beach
(07) 5455 4460
embassyxo.com.au

CUISINE Modern Asian
WINE LISTChris Burton
WINEs ON LIST 129 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$10 by the glass)

A peaceful setting, an adventurous modern Asian menu and a nicely put together wine list await you at Embassy XO. From classics to newer players in the wine world, there is a tight list of excellent and diverse wines on offer. And if you cannot make up your mind and want to let someone else do the leg work, try one of the degustation menus (including a fabulous vegetarian option), already paired with a stellar selection of wines.

Etsu Izakaya

2440 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
(07) 5526 0944
etsu.com.au

CUISINE  Japanese
WINE LIST Jamie Melvin
WINEs ON LIST 56 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($19-$9 by the glass)

A really great array of sake is available here, well-described, in a number of serve sizes, and totally on trend and appropriate for this Japanese restaurant. This very affordable wine list, while not long, has been carefully selected to ensure a good range of varieties and styles. The wines are mostly from Australia with a smattering of a select few from abroad, making it a nicely balanced list.

Garden Kitchen & Bar

1 Casino Drv, Broadbeach Island, Broadbeach
(07) 5592 8757
star.com.au

CUISINE  Modern Australian
WINE LIST Isaac Coleman
WINEs ON LIST 57 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($17-$9 by the glass)

A diverse selection of wines that leans strongly towards the classics, but the wine team here knows their way around cutting-edge producers and local wines. Therefore we see Shobbrook, Blind Corner and Ridgemill Estate tucked in neatly alongside a stately collection of Penfolds, big name Champagnes, and Australian and New Zealand royalty like Shaw + Smith and Cloudy Bay. While the collection is relatively short at just over 50 wines, there’s breadth and interest that covers all the main bases for drinkers and delivers a little zeitgeist in the mix. By the glass is a little lacklustre and safe – but that’s the only quibble. Good work by sommelier Isaac Coleman the Garden Kitchen team.

Grape Therapy

471 Adelaide St, Brisbane
(07) 3102 7213
grapetherapy.com.au

CUISINE Italian/Spanish (Tapas)
WINE LIST Federico Dordoni
WINEs ON LIST192 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($70-$12 by the glass)

It is not hard to make yourself comfortable here with a relaxed dining setting, a great looking menu and a complete beverage offer. There are wine, whisky and sake tasting paddles to explore, and a detailed wine list where the wines are listed according to style, rather than variety, which means you might just discover a new favourite.

Greca

Howard Smith Wharves, 3/5 Boundary St, Brisbane
(07) 3839 1203
greca.com.au

CUISINE Greek
WINE LIST Nick Ingall and Morgan Golldge
WINEs ON LIST 115 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($17-$10 by the glass)

If Greek food was not enough to entice you here, the chance to try some Greek wine should be. At Greca, the focus of the wine list is Greek wines and there is a good assortment of these available. While agiorgitiko might not be easy to pronounce, it is definitely worth a try and available by the glass or carafe if you want to save some room for something else from this diverse and interesting wine list.

Gusto da Gianni

Portside Wharf Remora Rd, Hamilton
(07) 3868 2011
gustodagianni.com

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Danilo Duseli
WINEs ON LIST 256 (0 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($40-$13 by the glass)

A wine list that shouts loud and proud of its Italian focus. Prosecco and Franciacorta lead the way, though some ‘rogue’ (and quite impressive!) Champagnes do make their way into the list. Barolo is a very serious collection, with wines spanning back decades available and very reasonable prices, and Gaia and Conterno the big names in that section. Barbaresco is also outstanding, and offerings from Brunello di Montalcino are appropriately lengthy. Those inclined will also find comprehensive lines from the Super Tuscan field, and, of course, if you aren’t after some of the world’s biggest names in Italian reds, then there’s plenty of thirst-slaking whites to go around. While Italy is a focus, a roll call of Australian and New Zealand wines hit the back pages, so too an oblique but welcomed set of Rockford, Barossa Valley wine. Pretty smart.

Harbourside Bar & Kitchen

209-217 The Esplanade, Cairns
(07) 4080 3000
harboursidebarandkitchen.com.au

CUISINE Tropical Interpretations of World Food
WINE LIST Chris Ford
WINEs ON LIST 940 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($26-$10 by the glass)

This is quite a remarkable wine list with a near total dedication to natural wine, though the spectrum under that banner will have you drinking from Bindi wines of Macedon Ranges to Chateau le Puy of Bordeaux and through to distinct wines of Jura, wonderfully chosen obscurities from Savoie, brilliant Friulian winemakers and Austrian cult producers. There’s deep collections of Australian back vintage wine, horizontal selections of distinguished producers of Europe and a set of homage pages at the end of this lengthy menu that revel in cellared wines from Castagna, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Giaconda. While the list touts itself as natural-focused, those seeking the fine-wine paradigms and prestigious Burgundy, Champagne and Bordeaux wines that adorn all great wine lists, well, you're also very well catered for here. Outstanding selection, and one that surely is the prized jewel of northern Queensland.

Hellenika at The Calile

48 James St, Fortitude Valley
(07) 3252 2060
hellenika.com.au

CUISINE Greek
WINE LIST Alexandra McPherson and Andrea Gatti
WINEs ON LIST 340 (40 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($100-$9 by the glass)

As you might hope, this Greek-themed restaurant provides a wonderful array of Greek wines to complement their food and to keep you coming back. There is more than enough great choice just within the Greek section, but if you do need to foray into the more traditional part of the wine list, you’ll find a very thorough selection of wines from across the globe, at a range of price points, suited to a range of occasions.

Homage

617 Mount Mort Rd, Grandchester
1300 179 340
spicersretreats.com/restaurants/the-homage-restaurant

CUISINE Native Australian
WINE LIST James Russell
WINEs ON LIST 215 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($70-$11 by the glass)

Authentic and thoughtful are two words that spring to mind when poring over Homage’s menu and wine list. The establishment has a keen eye on sustainability and the environment, growing a lot of its own produce or sourcing it from nearby. Before you start on the wine list, settle in with a beer or cocktail from their very tempting list, then spend a bit of time selecting a great wine to go with your meal. Apart from a very good selection of Champagne, the wine list is unashamedly Australian focused, and showcases a great selection of styles and varieties from many regions across Australia. There is plenty to enjoy here.

Jafa

7/253 Ferry Rd, Southport
0416 133 519
jafa.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Michael Hopkinson
WINEs ON LIST 38 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($21-$10 by the glass)

A short wine list totally appropriate to this casual pizza place where you will have no trouble finding a good glass of wine to enjoy with your chosen meal. Affordable, easy and relaxing is the vibe here, and it’s the perfect climate in Southport to do just this.

Jam Restaurant

1 Palmer St, South Townsville
(07) 4721 4900
jamcorner.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Matt Merrin
WINEs ON LIST 65 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($14-$9 by the glass)

Jam has picked the eyes out of the sea of wine options to provide a small but excellent handpicked selection of quality wines from Australia and abroad, all complementing a very tempting North Queensland cuisine-based menu.

Jimmy Wah’s

1724 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
(07) 5659 1180
jimmywahs.com.au

CUISINE Modern Vietnamese
WINE LIST Shelly Greaves
WINEs ON LIST 49 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$10 by the glass)

A smart and compelling wine list that tips in at just shy of 50 entries but feels like all hits and no misses. The blend of producers – from small, avant garde makers through to well known and boutique wines – is brilliantly handled and provides drinkers with a 'something for everyone' motif. Tyrrell’s sits alongside La Violetta and can be found among Giant Steps, Ochota Barrels and Langmeil. You could say the collection is eclectic, but that sort of denigrates what feels like a really carefully chosen collection that delivers a scintillating version of what modern Australian drinking can be. Fresh whites, great sparkling wine and Champagne, natural wines chosen on quality, varied rosé styles, light, chillable reds and some classic staples interspersed. Clever stuff, and great drinking emerges.

Kiyomi

1 Casino Drv, Broadbeach Island, Broadbeach
(07) 5592 8757
star.com.au/goldcoast/restaurants/kiyomi

CUISINE Izakaya
WINE LIST Isaac Coleman
WINEs ON LIST 212 (45 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($377-$11 by the glass)

An extensive wine list that opens with a mouth-watering array of sake and shochu. This is followed by a diverse range of wines from across the globe and includes some deep dives into previous vintages for some of the icons such as Grange and Château Mouton Rothschild. There are half bottles and magnums and a very good array of wines by the glass, so all tastes and occasions are catered for here. Check out the very tempting list of Japanese whisky to complete your dining experience at Kiyomi.

La Lune Wine Co

44 Fish Lane, South Brisbane
(07) 3255 0010
lalunewineco.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Bailee Dewes
wines ON LIST 142 (31 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($39-$12 by the glass)

La Lune have put a great deal of thought into their eclectic wine list featuring some local Queensland drops along with a good mix of styles from across Australia and the globe. There are some of the more unexpected wines such as the wonderful Xinomavro from Naoussa, Greece by the glass, through to a great selection of red and white Burgundy or Rhône shiraz. A diverse offer, well suited to the modern Australian cuisine.

La Lupa

3/321 Montague Rd, West End
(07) 3532 3875
lupapizzabar.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Andrea Contin
wines ON LIST 147 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($23-$11 by the glass)

With a total focus on natural, organic and biodynamic wines, this is a very different wine list. The wines have been carefully and personally selected to fit this criteria and there is an Italian bent, which perfectly suits the Italian cuisine.  All your favourite varieties and plenty of less familiar ones are here, and from producers who are pushing the boundaries, which makes this wine list exciting and innovative.

The Local Larder Wine Bar

479 Waterworks Rd, Ashgrove
0491 629 101
larderwinebar.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary Bar Food
WINE LIST James Alcock
wines ON LIST 100 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($19-$12 by the glass)

There is nothing ho-hum about this small, but very carefully selected and interesting, wine list. It exudes personality and is well suited to this dining venue. With innovative styles and producers, along with some classics, there is no lack of choice in either the wines by the glass or by the bottle. Very nicely done and approachable pricing, too.

Locale

62 Hastings St Noosa Heads
(07) 5447 5111
localenoosa.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Sarah Hagan
WINEs ON LIST 350 (28 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($22-$13 by the glass)

Locale in Noosa is a haven from the hustle and bustle of busy Hastings Street. Tucked in a tropical garden and a stone’s throw from the ocean, Locale is an Italian-style restaurant that sources much of its produce from its own farm in the  hinterland. The menu is detailed and comprehensive, focusing on seafood and Mediterranean flavours with a distinctly Australian flair. This is exactly how the wine list is constructed: thoughtful selections of Australian and European wines, many of which are varieties that are either grown in Italy or are Italian. There is plenty on offer at under $100 a bottle, but should you wish to splurge, there is an abundance of premium wines available, often from interesting past vintages. If wine is not your first choice of beverage, there is page after page of premium beers, cider, spirits, digestifs, aperitifs, cocktails, cocktails and more. Bravo.

The Long Apron

68 Balmoral Rd, Montville
1300 252 380
spicersretreats.com/restaurants/the-long-apron

CUISINE French
WINE LIST Peter Marchant
WINEs ON LIST 212 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($80-$14 by the glass)

The Long Apron restaurant at the Spicers Clovelly Estate is a sophisticated slice of European pie with Australian icing. The wines included on this list span virtually all major wine growing areas in Europe and Australia, and occasionally branch out into some less commonly encountered wine countries like Lebanon and Canada. The wines have been selected to complement the sustainably sourced fresh produce featured in the cuisine and as all good food and wine matches go, this is a major reason to divert to Spicers and stay an extra night. If you find yourself booked in for dinner and wine is not your first choice of beverage, there is more than ample opportunity to stretch your legs in the spirits section, or try one of the many beers or cocktails. To finish, there is an impressive selection of dessert wines, teas and coffees. Love the Degustation Omnivore, Degustation Vegetarian and the Autumn a la carte menu, all with optional wine or non-alcoholic drink matches. Sante!

Mamasan Kitchen & Bar

3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
(07) 5527 5700
mamasanbroadbeach.com

CUISINE Modern Asian
WINE LIST Lauren Duitsch and Alexia Martin
WINEs ON LIST 100 (35 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($18-$9 by the glass)

When an Asian restaurant kicks off the wine list with a list of sakes and then a selection of sake flights, you know you're in the right place – especially when they've taken the time to give an outline of flavours for each. Mamasan Kitchen and Bar in Broadbeach doesn’t stop at sake for interest and excitement, there is a wealth of exciting wines and drinks on offer including 35 wines by the glass. Featuring wines from Japan, some of the best wineries in Australia and a peppering of great producers from Europe, there is a different wine for every flavour available on the menu. If your preference runs towards beer or spirits, you’re in luck. There is a solid selection of beer and cider. Seven pages of spirits. The whisky selection is where this list shines – there’s a good selection from Japan, Taiwan, Scotland, Ireland, Australia and the US. The Japanese Single Malts are impressive, offering the rare Hakushu 18YO and Yamazaki 18YO by the pour.

Megalomania

35 Arthur St, Yeppoon
(07) 4939 2333
megalomaniabarandbistro.com.au

CUISINE Modern International
WINE LIST Joshua Dredge
WINEs ON LIST 45 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($33-$7 by the glass)

The look and feel of the menu channels Word Art and 1980s gelato menus, but the content is considered, diverse and engaging. There’s a section designed to get customers drinking more broadly, so the sample wine list showcases a tasting panel of saperavi wines from Australia and Georgia. Cool. You can get wines from Granite Belt in Queensland as readily as incredibly well-priced mature wines from notable producers, a couple of edgier numbers from the avant garde set (including orange wines), and unusual varieties and wines are scattered through the menu. It feels like someone is having a lot of fun here: the intro beer selection and cocktails are riotously presented compared with the staidness of most wine lists, and tastings notes alongside all wines are dynamic. Kudos to the Megalomania crew for having such a red-hot go here.

Montrachet

1/30 King St, Bowen Hills
(07) 3367 0030
montrachet.com.au

CUISINE French
WINE LIST Alexis Rojat
WINEs ON LIST 532 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$-$$$ ($110-$13 by the glass)

Montrachet, in Bowen Hills, on the cusp of the Fortitude Valley, maintains a brilliant list. It is comprehensive, focused and laden with wines of impeccable quality. The cuisine is French, and the selection of wines is similarly focused, offering an array of wines from far and wide across the French wine regions. There is an Australian wine selection and while it is succinct, it manages to cover the bases of premium, approachable, rare and covetable in a very convincing way. The drinks on offer do not cease at wine; the compilation of spirits from across the globe, beers, cocktails, mocktails and more offer an abundance of choice for those for whom wine is not their preference. Montrachet has a compelling list curated with care and attention, littered with Old-World charm, and a haven for lovers of all things French.

Moo Moo Brisbane

39 Edward St, Brisbane
(07) 3236 4500
moomoorestaurant.com/brisbane

CUISINE Steak
WINE LIST Steven Adams and Mark Ganga
WINEs ON LIST 417 (54 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($65-$11 by the glass)

Moo Moo steak house in Brisbane is a stone’s throw from the Botanical Gardens and situated in a grand old monument-style building. The wine list is perfectly suited to the premium steak house that it is, offering an abundance of wines that span the ages in terms of vintages. The selection shows us there are innumerable producers from Australia and abroad who are responsible for glorious wines perfectly matched to the cuisine on the menu.  Moo Moo employs the use of an nomadic machine and Coravin, meaning there are far more wines – and premium ones – than usually available by the glass.  A thrilling compilation. If wine is not your preferred accompaniment to steak, there is a great selection of spirits, cocktails and more on offer.  Finally, Steve’s Reserve Cellar provides a rarefied selection of cellared wines reaching well into the ’90s, traversing regions such as Barossa, Bordeaux, Coonawarra, Hunter Valley and Beechworth.

Nineteen at The Star

1 Casino Drv, Broadbeach Island, Broadbeach
(07) 5592 8757
star.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Trent Brook
WINEs ON LIST 390 (39 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($165-$11 by the glass)

A detailed and solid wine list with plenty of choice to match the very tempting menu. Whether a special night out or a more casual dining occasion, you will find a range of wines from across the globe – and not just the usual inclusions but with plenty of unusual and interesting wines on offer. The wine by the glass selection is concise yet diverse, so get started with a glass while deciding on the main event.

Noosa Waterfront

142 Gympie Tce, Noosaville
(07) 5474 4444
noosawaterfrontrestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Anna Paris and Andrea Ravezzani
WINEs ON LIST 424 (38 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($44-$10 by the glass)

Noosa Waterfront Restaurant + Bar has a wine list almost as beautiful as the view, which is saying something. From start to finish, there is an exciting and predominantly Italian offering of wines. Start at the wines-by-the-glass list. The wines are varied and premium but well priced; there are not many places one can order a glass of Gravner, Gaja Barolo or Tignanello ... but here, you can. The list is a who’s who of producers from across Italy, Australia, France and the US. There are back vintages available and although the premium Champagnes are expensive, they are very well priced here. If wine is not your preferred tipple, you are in luck; there is an abundance of choice in the beer, cocktail and spirits sections, including a large selection of gins.

The North Room

2527 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
0468 311 003
thenorthroom.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Shannon Stewart
WINEs ON LIST 50 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($24-$12 by the glass)

A carefully thought-out and concise wine list that manages to neatly showcase a diverse array of wines and styles with no more than 50 wines in total. It is refreshing and interesting. Nicely done.

Nu Nu Restaurant

1 Veivers Rd, Palm Cove
(07) 4059 1880
nunu.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Hayley Wano and Miles Browne
WINEs ON LIST 220 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$ ($25-$10 by the glass)

Set on the coast behind a grove of tall palm trees, Nu Nu has a lush, tropical vibe. The food echoes the feeling of being on holiday, heavily skewed towards share plates, seafood and a mouthwatering theme of coconuts, pineapple and all things tropical. Inside ferns hang from the ceiling, cushioning you as you peruse the not-insubstantial wine list. Wines from all over the globe are featured, plus an excellent showing of some of Australia’s finest. The curation is sensitive and interesting, forming a compelling collection of libations that would be difficult to choose from were the wines by the glass not such a good representation of the main list.  Plenty of good value to be found and a decent amount of back vintages. Should wine not be your first port of call, there are many options available in the form of beers, cocktails, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks.

Ochre

6/1 Marlin Pde, Cairns
(07) 4051 0100
ochrerestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Carley Elsum
WINEs ON LIST 85 (42 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($17-$9 by the glass)

G'day, Cairns, what a cracking list you have at your fingertips. A healthy marriage of the boutique and emerging wineries alongside some big names we know and love. You can find wines from Queensland from Robert Channon and Symphony Hill alongside Petaluma and Henschke, wedged between drops from Charles Melton and Coriole. There are snappy tasting notes for each wine to guide the L-plate punter and a decent spread of styles under all the classic grape varieties. Great to see so much love for the local wine scene. A couple of big-name, cellar release wines round out the collection, but mostly the focus is on easy-drinking and interesting wines to sidle up to the cuisine of the kitchen.

The Old Seven

567 Old Cleveland Rd, Camp Hill
(07) 3398 1853
facebook.com/theoldsevenbrisbane

CUISINE Fromage & Charcuterie
WINE LIST Matt Lucas
WINEs ON LIST 200 (32 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($32-$8 by the glass)

With Australian, French, Italian and Spanish inspired fromage and charcuterie platters, and a terrific range of cheese and ploughmans boards, there are plenty of great food options to partner with a perfect choice of wines from this extensive though not daunting wine list.  While it might be tempting to stay in the rosé section of the list – there are 32 of them – there are many other great choices that make the list well worth a careful browse to find that gem you are after. This is a place to keep coming back to.

Orzo Restaurant

IN-02, The Oracle, 12 Charles Ave, Broadbeach
(07) 5570 3476
orzorestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Coastal Italian
WINE LIST George Ibrahim
WINEs ON LIST 34 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($16-$11 by the glass)

A short and to-the-point wine list that seems to deliver polar expressions of the world of wine, with classic Italian styles married alongside expressive drops from pint-sized natural wine producers. Hence, Shobbrook and Gentle Folk hang out alongside Bandini, Bruno Rocca or Gaja, but you can also get an amazing glass of Paltrinieri Radice lambrusco. The wines seem to oscillate nicely between obscure and better known, though you’ll still enjoy engaging with the staff to get a handle on what might work best with the cuisine. While not offering reams of pages to wade through, the list is a good assertion of diversity in Australian wine lists.

Otto Brisbane

4/480 Queen St, Brisbane
(07) 3835 2888
ottoristorante.com.au/brisbane

CUISINE Modern Italian
WINE LIST Alan Hunter
WINEs ON LIST 350 (35 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($86-$14 by the glass)

Otto Brisbane shares its DNA with its sibling in Sydney, but it expresses its own personality in Queensland. It’s a sensitively curated and structured list with a fantastic selection of Italian wines, showing the predisposition of sommelier Alan Hunter towards textural, worked, interesting and dare we say, vanguardist wines. Australian and international wines are dovetailed expertly, the line blurred between Italy and not-Italy.  The list veers towards the premium, with an abundance of expensive, rare and aged wines. However, there’s no shortage of wines under $100 that offer fabulous drinking as well.  With views of the Story Bridge and Brisbane city, it’s pretty hard to beat the combination of wines, food and views.  As expected, the selection of other drinks is substantial, to say the least.

Patina at Customs House

399 Queen St, Brisbane
(07) 3365 8921
patinarestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Benjamin Hawley
WINEs ON LIST 109 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$ ($16-$12 by the glass)

Customs House is one of Brisbane's most iconic heritage-listed buildings and is owned by the University of Queensland.  Perched on the bank of the river in the city, and overlooking the Story Bridge, Patina has what you might call 'front row' seats. The ingredients used in the kitchen are local or regional, with a farm-to-table ethos. The selection of wines is accessible and many very good value for money, as they traverse not just the Australian wine scene, but the international stage as well.  There are plenty of options to partake in that are not wine, including beers, spirits, cocktails and more.

The Peak

1 Wilkinson Rd, Maryvale
1300 253 103
spicersretreats.com/retreats/spicers-peak-lodge

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Nivard Nelson
WINEs ON LIST 145 (34 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($100-$12 by the glass)

The Peak is effectively in the middle of nowhere. The brilliance of it is once you’re here, you hardly need to leave; there is everything you could want, especially from a wine lover’s perspective. There are not many places in the country that offer wines like the Vasse Felix Heytesbury, the Mount Mary Quintet and the Wendouree Shiraz Mataro by the glass. The overall list is exciting and engaging, with a compelling array of wines from Australia, New Zealand and Europe. The drinks on offer other than wine are similarly expansive. 

Restaurant Dan Arnold

959 Ann St, Fortitude Valley
(07) 3189 2735
restaurantdanarnold.com

CUISINE Modern Australian/European
WINE LIST Norbert Beaujean
WINEs ON LIST 145 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($44-$14 by the glass)

A wine list of great pedigree, easy to read through and easy to find great wines of the world judiciously listed throughout. Burgundy, Loire whites, a long selection of well-chosen Champagne, boutique wines from Australia and an unusually large collection of dessert wines are all a highlight. By the glass delivers some serious diversity and quality too. Great gamay is found in the mix, Loire Valley is old-school, good-school, and the list is divided between Australia and France for ease of selection. All up, the offering is compelling, very well organised and gives drinkers a strong showing of premium wines, but not all that is expected and normal. Cleverly done, wonderful to drink from.

Rosella’s

1734 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
(07) 5633 5905
rosellasbar.com.au

CUISINE Australiana
WINE LIST Jon Debeere
WINEs ON LIST 93 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$12 by the glass)

What a bonza wine list! All Australian natural and avant garde wines. A feast for the senses and a well-chosen collection of everything from Lucy Margaux to Unico Zelo, and across to cult favourite Brian wines from Tasmania. A snappy by-the-glass selection kicks things off, then there’s a call to action –"Feel like a bottle? Turn to the next page you drongo!" – that continues the Australiana theme. Great to see a list organised by style, weight and texture, easy to navigate, and a selection of wines that’s appropriately about drinkability and a sense of fun. That being said, there’s still plenty of depth here. This is a top-flight example of contemporary drinking in Australia.

Royal Queensland Golf Club

431 Curtin Ave, West Eagle Farm
(07) 3633 6500
rqgolf.com.au/cms

CUISINE Club
WINE LIST Adam Michaels and Andrew Corrigan MW
WINEs ON LIST 75 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($9-$6 by the glass)

A wine list that relies heavily on own made labels with a relatively narrow focus but some gems hidden within the collection for those looking to up the ante. The wines are selected between sommelier Adam Michaels and MW Andrew Corrigan, with inclusions like Rockford Basket Press, Ruggabellus and John Duval. It’s great to see the balance between classic, old-school producers and some of the emerging set writ large in this tightly chosen selection. A pretty smart line-up for this revered golf club.

Sails Restaurant

75 Hastings St, Noosa Heads
(07) 5447 4235
sailsnoosa.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Sam Troxell and Bernie Molloy
WINEs ON LIST 500+ (42 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($100-$12 by the glass)

Well, this is something special. An epic wine list that thunders with the greats of the wine world, often in significant vertical runs of vintages, generally delivering an out-of-this-world experience for guests at the revered Sails Restaurant. It’s hard to go past the ludicrous number of bottles of Salon, Krug or Raveneau Chablis, though Mount Mary, DRC and heaps of Grange should be a significant distraction, too. Amongst all the prestige wines, there are excellent selections from more modest, boutique estates, and drinking ranges from entry level to spending thousands in a broad swathe of things to choose from. By the glass is the icing on the cake, with a brilliant depth for stretching up to special wines via Coravin. An incredibly good menu here.

Signature Restaurant

267 Grey St, South Brisbane
(07) 3556 3333
emporiumhotels.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Tony John
WINEs ON LIST 1170 (41 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($200-$12 by the glass)

A seriously amazing wine list here, near encyclopaedic in its scope and scale. Huge numbers of back-vintage wines are available, with ludicrous runs of prestige wines from Raveneau, Armand Rousseau and Château d’Yquem. You’ll also find incredible wealth from Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhône and Champagne, along withAustralian premium wines, littered throughout this incredibly deep wine list. By the glass is mind-blowing too, with Coravin allowing everything from judiciously cellared Yalumba Signature through to mature (1999!) Roda 1 and (1989!!) Calon Segur, though you'll find gems in the regular list too, and premium Australian wine is a focus. All up, a huge round of applause for holding this much stock for customers to bathe in the wealth of wines on offer.

SK Steak & Oyster

48 James St, Fortitude Valley
(07) 3252 1857
sk-so.com

CUISINE Classic
WINE LIST Alexandra McPherson
WINEs ON LIST 280 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($125-$14 by the glass)

Champagne leads this fabulous list, an assertion of quality producers from prestige houses through to great grower-producers, well balanced between the big ticket wines and those cleverly priced to be enticing. By the glass follows and is very well judged, offering guests everything from familiar, local drops right up to Grand Cru Burgundy and Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay. In the main body of the collection, there’s a stellar mix of well-known, premium wineries and those of a boutique ilk. Organic, biodynamic and avant garde producers are given good inclusion, though the mainstay is classics and ‘best wines of best regions’ as a theme. A very thoughtfully realised collection.

Songbirds

Lot 10 Tamborine Mountain Rd, Tamborine Mountain 0433 983 693
songbirds.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Alex Menzies
WINEs ON LIST 314 (52 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($60-$9 by the glass)

A wine list that leans strongly into the organic and biodynamic with a focus on high-quality wine producers both established and emerging. The by-the-glass selection is incredibly good, if not one of the strongest in the country, with amazing offerings usually not seen available thanks to judicious use of the Coravin tool. If you can get past all the great wines to try in that section, there are clever selections of everyone from Clonakilla through to Sorrenberg, and bits and pieces from cult European vignerons like Foradori and Radikon. While cellar release wines may be a little scarce on the ground, those that are included are excellent and from appropriately high-quality years. ‘So much diversity’ could be the motto of Songbirds. It’s great drinking here.

Stanley

5 Boundary St, Brisbane
(07) 3558 9418
stanleyrestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Cantonese
WINE LIST Thibaud Cregut
WINEs ON LIST 300 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($35-$13 by the glass)

This list feels appropriately skewed towards the Cantonese menu, leaning heavily into riesling, Champagne, chardonnay and pinot noir, with a diversity of styles under each of these sections. It all allows for enjoyable drinking across a broad selection of well-known and premium wine producers. The list typically showcases a high-profile winery; at the time of judging, Felton Road was offering amazing wines across their folio as a speciality within this very well put together general menu. A run of Peter Lauer wines is an ‘in the know’ addition for enthusiasts of rarer, high-quality riesling. It‘s also great to see Aussie producers like Epis listed alongside young guns like Joshua Cooper and Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown. A more traditional collection here, perhaps a little off the tempo of the hip, waterside venue, but, regardless, guests will find a wealth of good drinking in these pages.

Stokehouse Q

1 Sidon St, South Bank
(07) 3020 0600
stokehouseq.com.au/restaurant

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Aleks Balodis
WINEs ON LIST 580 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($40-$11 by the glass)

Stokehouse Q has permanently closed

A diverse and exciting collection that travels the globe vividly, with high-quality wines, emerging producers, current and back vintages and a kaleidoscopic nature that makes this simply one of the most engaging wine lists in the country. It’s great to see such distinct support for Australian wines, with the avant garde and younger generation given space alongside stalwarts and traditional offerings reinforcing the diversity found in this wide, brown land. That being said, if it’s fancy Champagne, exotic European varieties and styles, primo New Zealand pinots or a red wine from Greece, then it’s all here for the taking. By the glass is considered and very good, there’s mature releases in the mix, half bottles and large format is enticing too. Clever, full of personality, extremely deep in its offering, this is a stellar list.

Tamarind Cairns

35-41 Wharf St, Cairns
(07) 4030 8897
reefcasino.com.au/dine/tamarind-restaurant

CUISINE Contemporary Asian
WINE LIST Akshay Sawant
WINEs ON LIST 158 (31 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($45-$10 by the glass)

A wholesome and appealing wine list that woos with crowdpleasers and big name favourites, with the likes of Jansz sparkling and Mumm Champagne leading the fizz section followed by familiar wineries of note, including Henschke, Yalumba, De Bortoli and Langmeil in the mix. Boutique offerings, like Yangarra and Jericho, make their way amongst the luminaries of Australian wine, too. Lots of wines are on offer by the glass, which is another feather in the cap of this well-chosen wine list. It’s great to see a couple of wines with some age on them, value-adding in the collection. A smart collection that works well for the mass market.

Spicers Tamarind Retreat

88 Obi Lane, South Maleny
1300 311 429
spicersretreats.com/retreats/spicers-tamarind-retreat

CUISINE Modern Asian
WINE LIST Ty Pope
WINEs ON LIST 104 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($60-$12 by the glass)

Spicers Tamarind has a list of around 100 wines with 20 by the glass options and Coravin allowing for some choice drops to be enjoyed. Fittingly, there is focus on aromatic whites, the perfect foil to wash down the freshness and spice of the food. Happily, too, there is an excellent beer selection that also hits the spot. Overall this is a smart, considered list that works admirably to embellish the Asian cuisine.

Tartufo

1000 Ann St, Fortitude Valley
(07) 3852 1500
tartufo.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Gordana Savic
WINEs ON LIST 288 (23 by the glass)  
WINE PRICES $$ ($19-$10 by the glass)

It’s clear that the focus of this well-heeled wine list is Italian wines or wines produced using Italian grape varieties, but there’s way more going on here. There are marquee wines from Mount Mary, Lake’s Folly and Levantine Hill, alongside avant garde wines from the likes of Patrick Sullivan, William Downie and Save Our Souls. There’s so much to choose from, it’s a kaleidoscope of styles and expressions. That said, the magic is really in the sections marked Brunello, Barolo, Tuscany, plus a brilliant selection of Italian sparkling wines. There’s some great synergy happening between the kitchen and the cellar.

The Wolfe

989 Stanley St East, East Brisbane
(07) 3891 7772
thewolferestaurant.com

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Josue Lopez and Krystal Lopez
WINEs ON LIST92 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($36-$14 by the glass)

It’s a fancy feeling wine list no doubt, with prestige and premium wines galore, big name producers with big reputations nestled up next to emerging vignerons and a couple of good local wines from Granite Belt. Fun stuff. Be prepared to step above $100 a bottle pretty quickly as there’s a distinct bent to wines that command that price and above (some well above), but bargains in aromatic whites, rosé and, to an extent, light-bodied reds will help out those who are on a budget. This is a list that celebrates best of best, with Hawke’s Bay, Barossa Valley, Burgundy, Central Otago and Margaret River all featuring. Quality stuff here.

Yoko

Howard Smith Wharves, 2/5 Boundary S, Brisbane
(07) 3236 6582
yokodining.com.au

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Nick Ingall
WINEs ON LIST126 (20 by the glass) 
WINE PRICES $$ ($52-$10 by the glass)

A very cool wine list here. It kicks off with a neatly chosen collection of diverse sake, does well with it’s by-the-glass collection, showcases some great Champagne, and riffs Japan-inspired cocktails. Great stuff. The body of this drinks document is impressive too, with a good deal of zeitgeist-y producers of the ilk of cool dude Ochota Barrels, left-of-centre Mosel vigneron Trossen, Yokel Swan Valley wines from Jo Perry of Dormilona and cult Loire Valley winery Domaine Bobinet. The list veers towards natural wines and there’s a roll call of avant garde Australian producers in the mix, but for those seeking a big ticket wine experience, you’ll find great wines from prestige producers Craggy Range, Stephane Ogier and Cullen, as examples. It’s a contemporary selection done righteously.

YoYo Bar & Restaurant

1/249 Gympie Tce, Noosaville
(07) 5447 1818
yoyobarnoosa.com

CUISINE Spanish
WINE LIST Lara Graham and Marc Romanella
WINEs ON LIST137 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($50-$9 by the glass)

A wine list that seems to cover a lot of ground, from global benchmarks through to the exciting, left-of-centre wines found under the ‘weird & wonderful white varieties & blends’ section. You can drink the outstanding Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Millénaires and in the next breath be sipping on quixotic Jura white wine from Lulu Vigneron Savagnin or the famed Ribolla wines of Gravner. It’s a treatise to contemporary drinking here, best wines from best regions in Australia emerge alongside the exciting sect of new-wave producers born from small batches, amphora, interesting vineyard sites and intriguing varieties and blends. YoYo also has you covered with a compelling range of spirits, beers and classic cocktails. All up, it seems like a darn fun place to catch a drink or two with a very cleverly chosen wine list – all hits, no misses.