Victoria Winner

ATTICA

Attica

74 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea
(03) 9530 0111
attica.com.au

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Jane Lopes and Dom Robinson
WINEs ON LIST 500 (32 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($62-$11 by the glass)

An excellent compilation with the focus on paths less trodden. That does not mean that quality producers like Clonakilla, Yalumba, Mt Mary, Henri Bonneau and many others are not littered throughout, but there are many more obscure producers which have also earnt their positions here. Excellent by the glass, aperitifs, digestifs and more. A list which will thrill the adventurous wine explorer – sparkling sake, anyone?

Read more about Attica's list here.

Finalists

Cutler & Co.

55-57 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
(03) 9419 4888
cutlerandco.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Liam O'Brien
WINEs ON LIST 590 (31 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($75-$13 by the glass)

There are some places where you almost feel that there is no need to go beyond the wines offered by the glass. Cutler is one of them, made even better by the use of Coravin. Or simply go with the various sommelier selections designed to go with the menu. Otherwise, this is simply a superbly crafted list with a fine balance between classics and the weird and wonderful. You can’t go wrong.

Masani

313 Drummond St, Carlton
(03) 9347 5610
masani.com.au

CUISINE Regional Italian
WINE LIST Kara Maisano
WINEs ON LIST 590 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($22-$14 by the glass)

The wine list at Masani Dining (established in 1983) is written by Kara Maisano who has worked in her family restaurant since she was a little tacker. She is well qualified, having studied hard, and this is reflected in her knowledgeable drinks compilation. This is a mature list that has been shaped over time with impressive vintage depth and a good half bottle collection. Cocktails are classic and the range of aperitifs and spirits is broad. Points for clear layout and presentation, with a small but smart by the glass list that you want to drink- think Paris Syrah, Yangarra Grenache, Silkman Chardonnay.<br>This is an 'A' list that carries the considered taste and experience of its author, befitting an established family run eatery.

Glass-Rated

Agostino

297 Lygon St, Carlton
(03) 9347 1619


agostinowine.com

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST James Tait
WINEs ON LIST 700 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($38-$10 by the glass)

A stellar wine list that wears its Italian-leaning bent on its sleeve. Sections named Frizzante and Aranciata (orange wines, anyone?) are charming, but the real story is just how deep and considered this wine collection is. The 'regular list' is stellar in its own right, traversing Australia for Italian grape varieties while highlighting a 'best of Italy' motif that leaves no corner unexplored. The real clincher, however, is the 'cellar list' which stretches beyond the Italian theme and takes on great wines of the world with many examples matured judiciously and long. Cellar-held Champagne, JJ Prum riesling, Burgundy and blue chip classics of Victoria are a highlight here, though there's plenty of interest in the sect of emerging producers, avant garde wine styles and experimental wines. The icing on the cake is an exceptional spirits list, with a great collection of vermouth and amari.

Alma

93-95 Ryrie St, Geelong
0498 012 622

almarestaurant.com.au

CUISINE South American
WINE LIST Aaron Pollard and Sarah Horsburgh
WINEs ON LIST 130 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$9 by the glass)

An interesting mix of sparklers here, ranging from France, local efforts and as far afield as England and Argentina. It's a tight list with some fine locals, some with a degree of maturity, but a list which offers exceptional value. Some real bargains to be found here, without much effort. The perfect local.

Arbory Bar & Eatery

1 Flinders Walk, Melbourne
(03) 9614 0023
arbory.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Raul Moreno Yague
WINEs ON LIST 67 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$10 by the glass)

An interesting concept, splitting the list into ‘Classics’ and ‘Adventurous’ – one that will no doubt bring about plenty of debate among wine lovers. This is a tight list but there are some real gems – d’Arenberg Dead Arm Shiraz 2010 for $90? Pricing is truly exceptional.

Archive Wine Bar

140 High St, Belmont
(03) 5241 9030
archivewinebar.com.au

CUISINE Tapas and Mixed Plates
WINE LIST Graham Sutherland
WINEs ON LIST 174 (172 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($200-$9 by the glass)

The use of Coravin is always a good indication of an establishment that cares about its wines and so it is here. Personally, I'd be happy to stay with the offerings ‘by the glass’ and dart all over the world with some special wines at impressive prices. But then, pretty much everything is available by the glass. A wide-ranging list with gems hidden everywhere.

Attica

74 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea
(03) 9530 0111
attica.com.au

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Dom Robinson and Jane Lopes
WINEs ON LIST 500 (32 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($62-$11 by the glass)

An excellent compilation with a focus on paths less trodden. That does not mean that quality producers like Clonakilla, Yalumba, Mount Mary, Henri Bonneau and many others are not littered throughout, but there are many more obscure producers who have also earned their positions here. Excellent by the glass, aperitifs, digestifs and more. A list which will thrill the adventurous wine explorer – sparkling sake, anyone?

The Avoca

115 High St, Avoca
(03) 5465 3018
theavocahotel.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Ian Urquhart
WINEs ON LIST 274 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$7 by the glass)

A fascinating array of sake leads into a proudly local list. Well priced regional wines are strewn across the ‘by the glass’ collection. The list is divided into ‘Local’ and ‘Not Local’, with those from further afield often from less well known varieties and regions, but quality wines nonetheless. The value here resides locally.

Bar Lourinhã

37 Little Collins St, Melbourne
(03) 9663 7890
barlourinha.com.au

CUISINE Iberian
WINE LIST Matt McConnell
WINEs ON LIST 78 (11 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($24-$12 by the glass)

A wonderfully esoteric list with ‘by the glass’ bringing together wines from all corners. Italy and Spain dominate; there's an appealing offering of sherry and some lesser-known sparklings. This is a list for the adventurous. Dive in and discover some hidden gems. Well priced.

Botanical Hotel

169 Domain Rd, South Yarra
(03) 9820 7888
botanicalhotel.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian Bar & Grill
WINE LIST Fabien Moalic and Katarina Lange
WINEs ON LIST 612 (33 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($71-$11 by the glass)

A really wonderful by the glass section leads wine lovers into a wonderland. A couple of terrific sherries will take you further. A brilliant selection of spirits will amaze. From there a parade of brilliant wines, great makers, top regions – everything a wine lover could dream of. Superlatives at every turn. If forced to choose, pinot noir and chardonnay are the real stars.

Bottega

74 Bourke St, Melbourne
(03) 9654 2252
bottega.com.au

CUISINE Modern Italian
WINE LIST Ben Knight
WINEs ON LIST 168 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($25-$12 by the glass)

A tight mix of selections by the glass, including some options under Coravin, kick off this list. Plenty of appealing options here but it is the well-priced quality Italian offerings to which the eye is drawn. And at the pointy end, there are fine examples from top makers like Quintarelli, Clerico, Ornellaia and more.

Brae

4285 Cape Otway Rd, Birregurra
(03) 5236 2226
braerestaurant.com

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Tim Brewer
WINE ON LIST 600 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($95-$17 by the glass)

A wide-ranging and extensive list, kicking off with a superb array by the glass. Champagnes are very much for those exploring the emerging growers rather than traditional houses. Beyond that, the balance is more evenly spread among the great and well known on one hand, and the exciting emerging and sometimes obscure producers – try the Jura wines of Ganevat, for example – on the other.

Brass Razu Wine Bar

13 Main St, Mornington
(03) 5975 0108
brass-razu.com.au

CUISINE Tapas
WINE LIST Dr Paul Collier
WINEs ON LIST 300 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$9 by the glass)

A seriously well-priced, though tight, list of by the glass wines venturing to all manner of regions, not least home territory for this establishment. As well as many of the Peninsula’s finest, if you want semillon from the Hunter or furmint from Hungary, this is the place. A fine collection of spirits and some innovative flights round off an impressive list.

The Byerley

448 Epsom Rd, Flemington
1300 727 575
flemington.com.au/dining-and-hospitality/the-byerley

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Hamish Small
WINEs ON LIST 158 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($45-$11 by the glass)

A list for the traditionalist, but one who wants to step outside boundaries. Names like Bass Phillip, William Downie, Ata Rangi and Dujac will assist those pushing envelopes. A solid list where one will never be short of appealing choices. Pricing is more than competitive.

Cape

Trent Jones Drv, Cape Schanck
(03) 5950 8000
racv.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LISt Aaron Christian
WINEs ON LIST 243 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$10 by the glass)

A fine list very much dominated by wines from the Mornington Peninsula. And beers, ciders, spirits. The top local wineries are featured. There are a few wines from outside the Mornington Peninsula, although it almost feels that they are a test you would fail should you have the temerity to order any of them. It is a fine regional collection.

Caterina's Cucina E Bar

221 Queen St, Melbourne
(03) 9670 8488
caterinas.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Caterina Borsato and Elena Leardini
WINEs ON LIST 442 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($19-$14 by the glass)

The place for all things Italian, from the comprehensively intriguing collection of wines by the glass to the array of beers. But borders are crossed. Some good sherries, plenty of quality Australians and some fine, well-priced Champagnes. The list goes where the quality is found, so we have riesling names like Dönnhoff and Grosset, and some fine Burgundies, but going past Piedmont, Tuscany or the Veneto will not be easy.

The Chairman's Club

448 Epsom Rd, Flemington
1300 727 575
flemington.com.au/dining-and-hospitality/the-chairmans-club

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Hamish Small
WINEs ON LIST 244 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($45-$12 by the glass)

A focus here on quality Australian wines with a sprinkling of some very fine offshore selections, all well priced. Kicks off with a serviceable array of beers, spirits and fortifieds. Names such as Giaconda, Bass Phillip, Tolpuddle, Freycinet and Cullen lead an all-star local cast. Some superb Burgundies take it further.

Coppersmith Hotel

435 Clarendon St, South Melbourne
(03) 8696 7777
coppersmithhotel.com.au

CUISINE Gastro Pub
WINE LIST Nathan Valkanis
WINEs ON LIST 600+ (50+ by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($70-$10 by the glass)

The immediate impression is that there is some serious value here, with excellent wines at great pricing. Next is that the collection offered ‘by the glass’ is enough for mere mortals. Coravin flights are offered. The emphasis is very much Victoria and Western Australia, but that sells them short – there is much more here. A cracking list.

Cosi

68 Toorak Rd, South Yarra
(03) 9867 3999
cosirestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Giacomo Pietrantuono
WINEs ON LIST 222 (32 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($30-$13 by the glass)

A list which leads you in with Italian beers, soft drinks, spirits and ciders – even a few sparklers – has given away its bias early, but here, appropriately. From there, a cavalcade of fine Italian wines, some well known and others to provide new interest. Those who prefer to stay home, with names like By Farr, Moss Wood and Bindi, are also well catered for. A fine list.

Cru Wine Bar

916 Glenferrie Rd, Kew
(03) 9818 4366
crukew.com.au

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Tony Donnini
WINEs ON LIST 300 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($20-$10 by the glass)

The trend towards organic, natural and biodynamic wines is thoroughly represented here. More conventionally, the highlight of this extensive list is the various collections – Rockford, Jasper Hill and the Italians, such as Sassicaia, Masseto and Solaia. The use of Coravin is to be applauded.

Cucinetta Melbourne

4/3 Murphy St, South Yarra
(03) 9942 2607
cucinettamelb.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Giacomo Pietrantuono
WINEs ON LIST 49 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($30-$13 by the glass)

Some thrilling Italian offerings here, many of them by the glass as well as the bottle. Well priced, as well. Sassicaia, Isole e Olena, Anselmi, Antinori, Gaja and others will be comfortable names for lovers of Italian wines, but there is much more to explore.

Cumulus Inc.

45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
(03) 9650 1445
cumulusinc.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Chris Ryan
WINEs ON LIST 430 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($34-$9 by the glass)

With names like J.J. Prum, Dönnhoff and Keller, this is a fine list for lovers of German riesling but much more importantly, this tiny glimpse shows the attention to quality producers that is exhibited throughout the list. A collection of Raveneau will thrill fans of Chablis. This list travels far and wide, including along some lesser trodden paths, always finding gems. Some mature offerings round off a fine collection.

Cutler & Co.

55-57 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
(03) 9419 4888
cutlerandco.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Liam O'Brien
WINEs ON LIST 590 (31 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($75-$13 by the glass)

There are some places where you almost feel that there is no need to go beyond the wines offered by the glass. Cutler & Co is one of them, made even better by the use of Coravin. Or simply go with the various sommelier selections designed to go with the menu. Otherwise, this is simply a superbly crafted list with a fine balance between classics and the weird and wonderful. You can’t go wrong.

The Dining Room VRC

448 Epsom Rd, Flemington
1300 727 575
flemington.com.au/dining-and-hospitality/the-dining-room

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Hamish Small
WINEs ON LIST 70 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($17-$9 by the glass)

A list for those who find comfort in the commercial – in other words, a list full of recognisable producers who have earnt their reputations over many years with reliable wines. A mix of local offerings with a sprinkling from offshore is to be found across all categories. The pricing is exceptional.

Doot Doot Doot

166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North
(03) 5931 2500
jackalopehotels.com/drink-dine

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Justin Biskup
WINEs ON LIST 405 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($31-$15 by the glass)

While home territory, Mornington Peninsula, is well represented, the team have searched far and wide beyond its borders (likewise, Willow Creek is naturally featured, but not to the exclusion of many other top Mornington wines). Champagnes excite, though more for lovers of growers than the traditional houses. Quality across the board here – look to the feature of Bordelet cider. As befits the region, pinot noir and chardonnay star.

Du Fermier

42 High St, Trentham
(03) 5424 1634
anniesmithers.com.au/du-fermier

CUISINE French
WINE LIST Bronwyn Kabboord
WINEs ON LIST 98 (6 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($18-$15 by the glass)

With the menu changing weekly, this is an ideal establishment for those who rely on sommelier suggestions, but there are many intriguing choices as well. Aperitifs include the brilliant Michel Couvreur whiskies and Bordelet ciders. Even the more familiar names speak of quality – Bindi, Paradigm Hill and Charteris for pinot. A real effort has been made to avoid the traditional, the usual suspects, and to offer curious, thoughtful and often obscure selections.

Ezard

187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
(03) 9639 6811
ezard.com.au

Ezard has recently closed.

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Brendan Bennett
WINEs ON LIST 330 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($60-$15 by the glass)

The Australian offerings in this extensive list favour the home state but there is more than enough joy here to satisfy the most fastidious. Sake and fortifieds make an immediate impression; selections by the glass are stellar and lovers of Burgundy may have to dig deep but they will be more than rewarded if they do so. The degustation pairings are definitely worth exploring.

Furlong Bar

448 Epsom Rd, Flemington
1300 727 575
flemington.com.au/club-membership/club-stand/bars-and-casual-dining

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Hamish Small
WINEs ON LIST 67 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($17-$11 by the glass)

A solid and traditional list which is certain to be more than appreciated by the clientele here. There is an understanding of mature wines which are on offer and even a few for those pushing vinous envelopes. A list offering excellent value.

Gaea

1/166 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
(03) 9417 7248
restaurantgaea.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian (Degustation only)
WINE LIST Richard Buck
WINEs ON LIST 58 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($49-$12 by the glass)

An intriguing collection of quality sake, some excellent spirits, a surprising array of tonics and widely sourced beers bookmark a tight but well structured list of wines from around the globe. The emphasis is on the smaller, top notch producers, often working with emerging varieties or from regions less trodden. A really interesting and worthwhile list.

Ging Thai

8 Whiteman St, Southbank
(03) 9292 5777
crownmelbourne.com.au/restaurants

CUISINE Thai
WINE LIST Matthew Brooke
WINEs ON LIST 53 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$13 by the glass)

A list which is obviously intended to accompany the cuisine and to provide simple, easy to drink wines at a reasonable price. Some gems littered throughout – Dönnhoff, Oakridge, Felton Road – ensure that it is lifted above the average. Tight, but there is more than enough on offer here to enhance the evening.

Gladioli

22 Sackville St, Port Fairy
(03) 5539 7523
gladiolirestaurant.com.au

Gladioli has recently closed.

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Matt Dempsey
WINEs ON LIST 131 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$13 by the glass)

A tight selection for ‘by the glass’ is Victorian focused. The Champagne list is very much a step into loftier realms, well priced and covering both traditional houses and growers. Victoria and Burgundy dominate the wines on offer, with plenty of gems littered throughout. A fine and thoughtful list with a focus on the home state and a nod to lovers of Burgundy.

Gold Mines Hotel

49-57 Marong Rd, Bendigo
(03) 5443 3004
goldmineshotel.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Tim Foster
WINEs ON LIST 329 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($22-$10 by the glass)

A wide-ranging list which begins with a fabulous array of beers, spirits and more. Impressive by the glass and well priced. The list has an understandable regional focus but ventures much further afield. The aim has been to assemble a very fine collection of wines with an emphasis on identifying the world’s best producers.

The Grand Richmond

333 Burnley St, Richmond
(03) 9429 2530
grandrichmond.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Kye O'Heare, Liam Cree and Callie Poole
WINEs ON LIST 284 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($19-$12 by the glass)

The list begins with a useful collection of wines offered by the glass, a pleasing blend of locals and Italians, in keeping with the theme of the establishment. While there are plenty of Italian options, white and red, the list also offers a fine array of locals plus quality French, not least some exciting Burgundies.

Grosvenor Hotel

10 Brighton Rd, St Kilda East
(03) 9531 1542
grosvenorhotel.com.au

CUISINE Modern
WINE LIST Loris Sain
WINEs ON LIST 225 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($41-$10 by the glass)

Names like By Farr, Bass Phillip, Torbreck, Grosset and many more are littered through this tight list. Of course, enjoying their wines assumes you can get past the amazing array of beers available. But one look at the Cellar Selection with classics like the 1990 Mouton and much more will thrill any winelover.

Happy Valley

85 Dundas Place, Albert Park
(03) 8644 4095
thealbertpark.com.au/happy-valley

CUISINE Modern Chinese
WINE LIST Brad Hammond and Peter Marr
WINEs ON LIST 250 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($19-$9 by the glass)

What appears to be an unassuming list soon creeps up on you and reveals its glories. Impressive ‘by the glass’ selection, with names like Mac Forbes, Freycinet and Ministry of Clouds. A finely crafted balance between locals and imported wines, with the highlight, surely, a small collection of J.J. Prum. Excellent value and a fabulous array of spirits.

Hogget Kitchen

6 Farrington Close, Warragul
(03) 5623 2211
hogget.com.au

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Jessica Martin
WINEs ON LIST 93 (11 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$10 by the glass)

A list which celebrates the products of Victoria at every level, and especially Gippsland. The large collection of William Downie wines alone is more than enough reason to visit. Moving from Gippsland, the focus is on lesser known offerings. Lots to thrill here.

Ides

92 Smith St, Collingwood
(03) 9939 9542
idesmelbourne.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Hayley McCarthy and Liam McCurry
WINEs ON LIST 207 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($48-$16 by the glass)

An innovative and exciting wine list that rolls deep on hard-to-find, rarities, intriguing alternative wine styles and lesser-sung regions with a legion of boutique and artisan winemakers on hand. It shows the full flex of avant garde Australian wines, high quality natural wines of Europe and keenly chosen spirits and beers. It's great to see so many whispered cult wine producers being given air time here, and the sommelier team is a reliably excellent resource. No wine seems to be idly placed in this list either, with choices fleshing out each section to ably cover just about all ground. It's a really wonderful collection with so much to explore and enjoy; an ideal accompaniment to the creative menu, copacetic setting and general vibe of Ides.

Ishizuka

Level B01/139 Bourke St, Melbourne
(03) 8594 0895
ishizuka.com.au

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Sarah and David Lawler
WINEs ON LIST 41 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($49-$10 by the glass)

Another strong list from last year's joint Best Small List (under 50) winner with 41 handpicked wines from Australia and Europe that play beautifully to the restaurant's theme of "lightness, finesse and purity." Aromatic and unwooded whites lead the way and in reds it's all about medium-bodied, cool-climate lighter styles dominated by the pinot noir grape. And, of course, sake is a real feature.

Kazuki’s

121 Lygon St, Carlton
(03) 9349 2223
kazukis.com.au

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Shane Harris and Bonnie Duyverman
WINEs ON LIST 302 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($24-$16 by the glass)

A near pitch-perfect medium-sized, modern Australian wine list, capturing everything from the suitability of wines, sakes, and other drinks to the Japanese cuisine of the menu, through to producers of zeitgeist while paying righteous homage to classic, stylish wineries of high pedigree, and, at times scarcity. The list leads with excellent inclusions of a broad range of sake and builds with an eclectic and excellent collection of Champagne. Following, there's edgy natural wines from obscure regions and makers followed closely by names like J.J. Prum, Trimbach, Ponson and Lamy as examples, that may feel more familiar and comfortable to some. It has the sense of a list chosen for utmost quality and consideration of wine in glass and how it fits into the scheme of the restaurant. It is a very accomplished, very good wine list.

Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club

489 Glenferrie Rd, Kooyong
(03) 9822 3333
kooyong.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Patrice Renaudin
WINEs ON LIST 172 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$5 by the glass)

A fine list that will appeal to the Club’s members, whether they simply want a well-priced and easy-to-drink glass of good wine or if they want to be a little bit more adventurous. In addition, many of their wines have received the benefit of some age. A most competent list.

La Luna

320 Rathdowne St, Carlton North
(03) 9349 4888
lalunabistro.com.au

CUISINE Modern Mediterranean
WINE LIST Warwick Edwards
WINEs ON LIST 178 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($58-$12 by the glass)

A wine list of good coverage and interest, spanning a huge width of global wine and marquee styles, with good by-the-glass options (including the use of a Coravin for fancier drops), and a strong showing of high-quality local producers. For want of a better expression, this is a ‘classic’ list, with safe options from Bordeaux, Burgundy and Piedmont, plus the major wine regions of Victoria and Australia. There’s some well-judged ageing on many wines, though a few are perhaps drunk with a little haste, with a few approaching the end of their drinking windows. All up, this is a list of quiet charm, looking to anchor into high quality and the well known.

Lake House

4 King St, Daylesford
(03) 5348 3329
lakehouse.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Robin Wilson
WINEs ON LIST 1198 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($35-$13 by the glass)

This list is a both superlative and comprehensive in its selection. With more than 1000 listings, the Lake House continues to invest heavily in the great wines of the world, without forgetting its local roots. Australian wine, in particular Victoria's regional gems, are well represented with excellent pedigree and vintage depth on show. Celebratory bottles are in abundance and all elements of a glittering beverage program are on offer. This list is an impressive compilation that packs a punch.

Laura

3649 Frankston-Flinders Rd, Merricks
(03) 5989 9011
ptleoestate.com.au/laura

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Andrew Murch
WINEs ON LIST 783 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES ?? ($56-$13 by the glass)

Laura’s wine list is immaculate in its presentation and layout, with the descriptors written in plain English. Here the guest is invited to enjoy the process of choosing wine without fear of pretension. And there is much to enjoy. The enticement begins with numerous aperitif concoctions, a super interesting all-Victorian beer list, and a number of Martini and Old Fashioned recipes. The Champagne cellar is very well stocked and an artful pairing menu thoughtfully considers non-drinkers and day trippers. The wine side is supportive of local producers including Pt Leo Estate (of course), and ventures across the country and worldwide, stretching to more than 750 bottles, many with the added luxury of bottle age. Every section on this list is carefully arranged and constructed –including the pricing, which is fairly tagged, considering the spectacular, fine-dining real estate.

Lee Ho Fook

11-15 Duckboard Place, Melbourne
(03) 9077 6261
leehofook.com.au

CUISINE Chinese
WINE LIST James Cranfield
WINEs ON LIST 93 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($34-$13 by the glass)

A cracking list that does justice to the phrase ‘something for everyone’, with a well-rounded offering that jumps from pint-sized natural wine producers through to totems of classic, fine wine. You’ll find hits from benchmark Andrew Thomas next to stately Champagne Egly-Ouriet alongside Western Australia hero La Violetta; local wines roll deep, from the regal Yeringberg through to super talent Billy Button. It’s a list that meshes really well with the food menu, offering bright, lighter wine styles as the mainstay. There’s a wealth of great drinking here and an eye on approachability, with the familiar found anchored among lesser-known. Around all this, the list looks great as a document, well laid out and using excellent elements of design. Nice one, Lee Ho Fook.

The Lincoln

91 Cardigan St, Carlton
(03) 9347 4666
hotellincoln.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary Australian/Pub
WINE LIST Iain Ling
WINEs ON LIST 169 (10 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($14-$11 by the glass)

This list is almost entirely unconventional and delicious in the best possible way. Leaning heavily in the natural wine direction, it is a list adorned with rare and cult wines that are often tucked away from the general public or the quarry of specialist wine bars. The Lincoln excels in offering a collection of outstanding and diverse wines that gift customers a pass into exciting drinking, from curious pet-nats through skin-fermented whites, orange wines, chilled reds, and onto a wealth of local and international emerging and benchmark avant garde wines. If that isn’t your quarry, then you’ll know the names Jasper Hill, Torbreck and Jacquesson to keep you company. Gin and whisky are epic, too. It’s such a delightful and exciting list.

Lobster Cave

16-18 North Concourse, Beaumaris
(03) 9589 6329
lobstercave.com.au

CUISINE Seafood
WINE LIST Jai Singh
WINEs ON LIST 280 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($249-$14 by the glass)

A deep and impressive wine list that shows off Australia’s best assets with well-judged inclusions of global icons. Champagne, of course, is a feature with big name producers; there’s Penfolds Grange by the glass (Coravin), an impressive matured wine section under the banner of ‘Ferg’s Old and Rare’, and star wines from Rockford to Tyrrell’s through to Torbreck and Henschke. The list covers just about all the benchmark wine regions of Australia, showcasing the iconic styles of each and it delivers resounding choice of everything along the way. In some respects, you could call this an old-fashioned list, but there’s a clique of well-chosen, contemporary wines in there, too. A highlight for many will be the thunderous listings of heavyweight reds, Penfolds Grange across multiple vintages, and some interesting, fuller flavoured other red varieties bolstering the collection. Old-school; good-school.

Longrain

44 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
(03) 9653 1600
longrainmelbourne.com

CUISINE Modern Thai
WINE LIST Guillaume Bonange
WINEs ON LIST 98 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($23-$13 by the glass)

Appropriate to the food menu, this list has plenty of aromatic whites, riesling, pinot noir and light reds, with a focus on great producers of Australia, boutique wines of New Zealand, and a succinct collection of imports from France, Italy and Germany. By the glass is all bright and fresh stuff, pitch perfect for entrees and light snacking, while bottles at the premium end are well priced and inviting for their prestige nature. Champagne, yep, that’s a tight but good collection, and the selection under ‘Interesting Others & Blends’, is compelling. A very well-chosen list that sits just under 100 entries, proving that bigger isn’t always better.

Lucy Liu

23 Oliver Lane, Melbourne
(03) 9639 5777
lucylius.com.au

CUISINE Pan Asian
WINE LIST Yan Qiu (Ollie) Wang
WINEs ON LIST 271 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$9 by the glass)

A good-times wine list that travels the globe, with the additional benefit of a great collection of sake, some snappy cocktails, interesting spirits and a solid selection by the glass. Highlights, particularly considering the pan-Asian cuisine of the food menu, come in the deep aromatic white wine department, a decent and diverse collection of rosé wines, lighter reds, and some great riesling and sparkling wines. Wines tend to younger and fresher, but diners paying close attention will notice a tidy selection of back-vintage gems, while Spanish and Italian wines run surprisingly deep on this list, too. It’s an engaging selection that does a good job of offering breadth and interest in the variety of global wines found in these pages.

Lûmé

226 Coventry St, South Melbourne
(03) 9690 0185
restaurantlume.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Az Azman
WINEs ON LIST 32 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($40-$15 by the glass)

An outstanding, engaging wine list that marries high-calibre drinking and finger-on-the-pulse zeitgeist wines in a collection that excels at diversity, interest and quality. An innovative look to the menu is a nice touch, quirky notes, sections defined originally, and the selection follows suit with support for smaller, boutique and avant garde wine producers in the main. Champagne and sparkling wine is sexy, ‘Lighter and Bright Reds’ is a compelling section keenly matched to the cuisine. It’s great to see sections mostly delineated by weight and style over variety, and the wines within are apt in their inclusions. Some big ticket wines of course are found in these pages, but it’s the left-of-centre that should draw you in. A very, very good selection.

Luxsmith

5 Gamon St, Seddon
(03) 9362 7333
luxsmith.com.au

CUISINE Mod Asian
WINE LIST Ben Knight and Tom Benn
WINEs ON LIST 90 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$9 by the glass)

A fun and frisky list that errs on the side of high-quality, boutique wines. It’s an attractive, easy-to-like collection that hits high points and covers a global perspective for this quarry. Therefore, you get great Mosel riesling, grigio from Friuli, pinot noir from Geelong and Yarra Valley, grüner veltliner from Kamptal in Austria, and chardonnay from Margaret River. All these things add up super well, and you get a diverse and interesting selection at fair prices. It’s the kind of list that has you oscillating between choices, in the best possible way. By the glass is strong, there’s well chosen Champagne, and you’ll be pleased with the depth of spirits and beers. All up, very nice drinking.

Maha

21 Bond St, Melbourne
(03) 9629 5900
maharestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Middle Eastern
WINE LIST Rhys Baker
WINEs ON LIST 344 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($31-$16 by the glass)

A superb wine list of distinguished and premium wines that spans the globe with aplomb. There’s a distinct and clever loyalty to Victorian wine producers, but the collection goes extremely deep on the marquee wine regions of the world, with, of course, a focus on those of notoriety. Expect great Champagne, Burgundy (very impressive), Barolo and Bordeaux, along with a raft of interesting white blends, lighter reds, and a sharp collection of skin ferment/orange wines and rosé. The wine pairings are a distinct feature and well chosen, too. The physical design of the menu itself is excellent, with readability and presentation to the fore. A seriously good document to pore over.

Many Little

2-5, 159 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South
(03) 5989 2831⁠
manylittle.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Douglas Duvoisin
WINEs ON LIST 69 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$10 by the glass)

A wine list of consideration and originality that boldly supports local winemakers of all ilks and sizes. It feels well judged, balancing contemporary, edgy wines and producers as much as the classics and ‘best of’ wines from halo varieties and respective regions. While the focus is on the home brands of Polperro and Even Keel, there’s a great sense of sharing and diversity in the selection. That being said, there's a winemaker’s bent in the dense list of gins, whisky, tequila and amaros, an insider’s eye for the things that the industry and peripheral community love tucking into the most, and kudos for that! All up, a really good collection that brings together everyone from Mac Forbes to Sorrenberg and back to Bannockburn and By Farr. Clever, cool and good drinking.

Marion

Corner Deadman’s Lane & Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
(03) 9419 6262
marionwine.com.au

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Liam O'Brien
WINEs ON LIST 185 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($36-$11 by the glass)

A mosaic of quality-driven, artisan producers, with multi-faceted textures, styles and varieties. This is an exciting array that conveys a sense of ease and knowledgeable professionalism throughout. The list is well priced and presented, and accessible to guests: it conveys a sense of effortless fun rather than lofty exclusivity or pretension. The selection simply invites audience participation across its colourful categories. From beginning to end, it instills a sense of confidence in its artistic and skillful composition. A great Melbournian list that has a dynamic energy all of its own.

Masani

313 Drummond St, Carlton
(03) 9347 5610
masani.com.au

CUISINE Regional Italian
WINE LIST Kara Maisano
WINEs ON LIST 590 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($22-$14 by the glass)

The winelist at Masani Dining (established in 1983) is written by Kara Maisano who has worked in her family restaurant since she was a little tacker. She is well qualified, having studied hard, and this is reflected in her knowledgeable compilation. This is a mature list that has been shaped over time, with impressive vintage depth and a good half-bottle collection. Cocktails are classic, and the range of aperitifs and spirits is broad. Points for clear layout and presentation, with a small but smart by-the-glass list that you want to drink – think Paris Syrah, Yangarra Grenache, Silkman Chardonnay. This is an A-list that carries the considered taste and experience of its author, befitting an established family run eatery.

Masons of Bendigo

25 Queen St, Bendigo
(03) 5443 3877
masonsofbendigo.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Simon Parker
WINEs ON LIST 141 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$12 by the glass)

This Bendigo-based establishment is strongly focused on local products: all beers made within 100km and all the cocktails contain at least one local Aussie spirit. The wines are all regional Victorian, which provides great scope for some cracking selections. Names like Luke Lambert, Tahbilk, Jasper Hill, Wild Duck, Bindi, Curly Flat and many more abound. An excellent regional list.

Massi

445 Little Collins St, Melbourne
(03) 9670 5347
massi.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Jade Ryan
WINEs ON LIST 220 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($33-$12 by the glass)

A list with a strong Italian accent, though backed up with plenty of quality locals. and a fair share of those delicious Italian–Aussie crossbreeds. As impressive as the local offerings might be, the excitement is found with the Italians, and winelovers will have a lot of fun exploring them.

The Meat & Wine Co

3 Freshwater Place, Queensbridge Square, Southbank
(03) 9696 5333
themeatandwineco.com

CUISINE Modern Australian Steak House
WINE LIST Ben Preston and Joel Davis
WINEs ON LIST 135 (37 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($48-$10 by the glass)

We begin with a thoughtful collection of wines by the glass, offering diners the opportunity to compare and contrast varieties, styles and regions. The use of a Coravin provides further opportunity to enjoy stellar wines by the glass. Solid array of Aussie wines with some interesting Argentinian and South African offerings and a few Penfolds classics.

RACV Member’s Dining Room

501 Bourke St, Melbourne
(03) 9944 8000
racv.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST Christian Maier
WINEs ON LIST 611 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($45-$7 by the glass)

A tremendous list of immense shape and size, touting a superb collection of Australian and some of the world’s most sought-after wines. It’s terrific to see commitment to producers and some of their best wines, with multiple vintages of the likes of Dalwhinne Shiraz, Penfolds Grange and Bindi’s famed pinot noirs. Aside from the great Australiana, there’s exceptional Champagne, a bounty of fine Burgundy, treats from Italy, and a strong selection of international riesling and chardonnay. It’s a stellar tome to leaf through and the commitment to cellaring is to be applauded. This is a voluminous and impressive collection, and a strong drawcard for visiting this vaunted venue.

Merne at Lighthouse

650 Andersons Rd, Drysdale
(03) 5251 5541
merne.com.au

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Caleb Fleet
WINEs ON LIST 120 (10 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$12 by the glass)

We kick off things with a fine collection by the glass, exhibiting some local treasures and top wines from further afield. Lovers of fine beers might not get past the array on offer but those looking for more will find plenty to enjoy. Local stars shine: names like Craiglee, Bindi, Luke Lambert and more. A tight list but it offers more than enough for a serious winelover.

Merrijig Kitchen

1 Campbell St, Port Fairy
(03) 5568 2324
merrijiginn.com/eat

CUISINE Regional
WINE LIST Tanya Connellan and Hannah Williams
WINEs ON LIST 191 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($20-$9 by the glass)

The Merrijig Kitchen conveys a sense of homestead; comfort cooking, veggie patches and old-fashioned hospitality. Fittingly, the drinks list is underpinned by a love of lo-fi, sustainable, artisinal choices that are presented in a fun, relaxed way, with headings titled ‘Beauj-alicious’ and ‘I Can't Believe It’s Not Pinot’' The list celebrates #drinklocal, and features the best of the soutwest and neighbouring regions Hamilton, Tarrington, Condah and Drumborg. The selection then reaches further afield, countrywide and beyond our shores for those who want to travel. Vintage depth is well considered, accompanied by fabulous prices. An excellent country wine list that is definitely worth the road trip.

Mister Bianco

285 High St, Kew
(03) 9853 6929
misterbianco.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Joseph Vargetto
WINEs ON LIST 181 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($32-$12 by the glass)

This is a list that celebrates the best wines, regions and styles of Italy, with a fantastic, carefully chosen selection that breathes inherent personality into the collection. There’s great sparkling wines of Franciacorta, depth in Piedmont, a suite of beautiful aromatic white wines and excitement from naturalistas like Cos and Occhipinti. Amongst the distinct celebration of all things Italian, there are also considered offerings from France, particularly Champagne, though Australian wines seem to hold most of the other selections. By the glass represents a good balance of the wine lists and does a great job of being interesting and familiar at once. Great, thematic wine selections.

Mitchell Harris Wines

38 Doveton St Nth, Ballarat Central
(03) 5331 8931
mitchellharris.com.au

CUISINE Modern, multi-regional
WINE LIST John Harris (Wine) and Lynden Barnes (Beers, Spirits & Cocktails)
WINEs ON LIST 283 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($24-$8 by the glass)

This is a fun, innovative list that feels as though its authors know how to have a good time. Things get off to a great start with several aged gems from the cellar offered under Coravin, and a number of sparklings by the glass on offer. Naturally the list is peppered with Mitchell Harris Wines but with over 280 labels to choose from, the guest is spoilt for choice. There is a fabulous selection of gin and the cocktails are carefully curated. Australian wine, in particular Victorian, is also a strongly represented. Twenty years of wine collecting makes for a deep cellar, often with the luxury of bottle age. With prices to die for, this is a ripper wine program that presses the reader to put Ballarat on the bucket list.

Naughtons Hotel

43 Royal Parade, Parkville
(03) 9347 2255
naughtonshotel.com.au

CUISINE Pub fare
WINE LIST Ryan Moses
WINEs ON LIST 80 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13-$8 by the glass)

Here’s a cool list. It delves strongly into the world of organic, minimal intervention wines, but navigates that theme with high-quality producers like Koerner, Bindi, Quealy and Sorrenberg. It’s a considered approach that aims to lay down foundation stones for those navigating the list. It’s great to see such a strong focus on Australian producers though there’s a scattering of wine from Alsace, Burgundy and Piedmont, too. It’s a very good shorter list that travels a span of wine and wine styles well. Very enjoyable drinking ensues.

Navi

83B Gamon St, Yarraville
(03) 9939 9774
restaurantnavi.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Jarryd Menezes
WINEs ON LIST 96 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($25-$15 by the glass)

While there are some superb wines from respected producers as Grosset, Mt Mary, Cullen, Trimbach, By Farr and many more, much of the list explores the obscure and less familiar. Fear not. Among the selections are numerous gems. Kicks off with an intriguing array for the wines by the glass, and finishes with an impressive collection of spirits and their ilk.

Neighbourhood Wine

1 Reid St, Fitzroy North
(03) 9486 8306
neighbourhoodwine.com

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Simon Denman
WINEs ON LIST 400 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($33-$9 by the glass)

Neighbourhood Wine has a list that you wish you had written yourself. It is an up-to-the-minute cultural document that speaks of the contemporary agricultural and winemaking philosophies and techniques celebrated in everything organic, natural and minimal. For those on that particular bent, this collection makes for a great read and a wild ride. I love the presentation and layout; relaxed, knowledgeable and comprehensive in its approach. From the cocktails, glass selection and prices, the simply delicious to the escoteric, this list is bursting with personality and style.

Noble Rot

51 Point Lonsdale Rd, Point Lonsdale
(03) 5258 5115
noblerotwine.com.au

CUISINE Wine Bar
WINE LIST Jordan Berry
WINEs ON LIST 324 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($35-$12 by the glass)

Since 2014, Noble Rot Wine Bar, located on the Bellarine Peninsula, has compiled a commendable list that spans all corners of the globe.  With preferences for the likes of Gramenon, Foillard and Raveneau, Jordan Berry hasn’t forgotten his roots, showing a strong interest in all things Victorian and the local producers of Geelong, Otways and Surfcoast in particular. Overall, the more artisanal producers underpin this passion project, while the prices feel more retail than restaurant, which makes it worth a wine and dine road trip.

Nobu Melbourne

8 Whiteman St, Southbank
(03) 9292 5777
crownmelbourne.com.au/restaurants

CUISINE New Style Japanese
WINE LIST Matthew Brooke
WINEs ON LIST 310 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($60-$13 by the glass)

As you would expect, this list is underpinned by an impressive selection of the finest sake, making its Japanese culinary setting the perfect place to explore the exquisite, intricacies of this subtle brew. In fact, Nobu’s guests are spoilt for choice on all fronts, with the cellar taking diners on a grand tour through the wines of the world, which include the prestige labels and commanding prices. There is also plenty of luxury in the Champagne department, which is not only the perfect foil for Nobu’s food but ensures there is no shortage of fun to start, with the refinement of Japanese whisky to end.

Old Palm Liquor

133b Lygon St, Brunswick East
(03) 9380 2132
oldpalmliquor.com

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Simon Denman
WINEs ON LIST 400 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($33-$9 by the glass)

A list squarely focused on natural wines with a remarkable collection that speaks of an in-depth understanding of the exceptional; rare and very rare wines are the focus. The list itself is wonderfully designed, with offerings under the banner of ‘Everyday Wine’ easy access point for those seeking affordable, straighter styles. Diving into the depths of the menu sees drinkers exploring by country rather than variety or genre of wine. It’s a roll call of natural wine greats, including vaunted cuvées under the designation of “Brutal!!!” right through to a jaw-dropping collection of Jura’s finest and scarcest. This is a carefully considered and well-balanced list that captures the thrill of the natural wine world and delivers a world class offering. Wow.

Osteria Ilaria

367 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
(03) 9642 2287
osteriailaria.com

CUISINE Modern Italian
WINE LIST Raul Moreno Yague and Melissa Falabella
WINEs ON LIST 500 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($25-$10 by the glass)

An outstanding list that shows innovation and creativity, offering drinkers an opportunity to mainline Italian culture through the lens of the wine and cuisine, or explore further through the incredible collection of artisan producers that adorn this excellent program. While the edgy, natural wine producers are strong in this realm, there’s still exceptional wines from cult producers like Raveneau, Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey, and great additions from the UK, Georgia and South Africa. Staff favourites at the front of the list are pure wine porn, while by the glass is somewhat more sedate, offering something for everyone. Eclectic and considered, the range of wines here is stupendous, decidedly modern and finger on pulse. Unreal drinking.

Paringa Estate

44 Paringa Rd, Red Hill South
(03) 5989 2669
paringaestate.com.au

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Sarah Page
WINEs ON LIST 130 (40 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($30-$11 by the glass)

One of Australia’s best vineyard restaurants has the list it deserves. Paringa Estate’s own wines hold pride of place but there is so much more. An extensive array ‘by the glass’ will tempt many. A rare thing: a wine list with humour. With Paringa at the forefront of chardonnay, pinot noir and shiraz, these varieties take centre stage and the once noble cabernet is now relegated to an ‘alternative variety’. A superbly compiled list (unless you are a cabernet).

Piccolo Grand

333 Burnley St, Richmond
(03) 9429 2530
grandrichmond.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Kye O’Heare
WINEs ON LIST 39 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($17-$11 by the glass)

A fun and snappy wine list that punches well above its weight, combining a strong focus on Italian wines, grape varieties and styles with a good sense of avant garde and younger generation producers. Great to see stars like LAS Vino and Unico Zelo getting a run on this pub list, and likewise excellent to note that there’s plenty of boutique and big name wines alongside – including Crawford River, GD Vajra, Graillot and Voyager Estate. It’s a clever list that lets drinkers choose widely and with interest, but never straying far from the menu, there's nothing overbearing or massive in this collection, which suits the food so well. Smart, short list. Kudos.

Pier Farm

34 The Strand, Williamstown
(03) 9397 7799
pierfarm.com.au

CUISINE Mediterranean
WINE LIST George Haralambopolous
WINEs ON LIST 160 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($20-$13 by the glass)

A list that seems to cover a lot of bases, from a strong representation of local, Victoria wine, through blockbuster reds of South Australia, to a collection of neatly chosen Italian wines that hit the high notes of major wine regions. Champagne does a good job of looking fancy, there’s boutique producers galore and a raft of serious New Zealand gear that should turn on lovers of pinot noir. While there’s quite a lot of well-chosen old school producers, the list veers strongly in the direction of newer boutique winemakers, hence William Downie, Savaterre and Levantine Hill get equal billing with Rockford, Wolf Blass and Penfolds. All up, it’s a smart collection and as enticing for its younger wines as it is for those gathering a little cellar dust for a few years before release.

Pt. Leo Estate

3649 Frankston-Flinders Rd, Merricks
(03) 5989 9011
ptleoestate.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Andrew Murch
WINEs ON LIST 180 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($27-$13 by the glass)

Excellent selection of wines from their own estate and the entire Mornington Peninsula region, well supplemented with options from the rest of Victoria. The list really comes to life with the magnificent array of spirits, of all kinds, but most especially whiskies.

Polperro Winery

150 Red Hill Rd, Red Hill
(03) 5989 2471
polperrowines.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Stephen Collins and Sam Coverdale
WINEs ON LIST 97 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($25-$12 by the glass)

There is lots to celebrate about drinking the great wines of Polperro and Even Keel winery at this restaurant – back vintages, by the glass and general releases look very appealing. But the breadth and personality of this list is bolstered with the carefully and cleverly selected interlopers from sources as broad as UK sparkling wine, South African boutique chardonnay and Austrian zweigelt. There’s also classics from Burgundy, edgy wines from smaller Australian producers, and a small selection of very old wines for those seeking a big ticket drink alongside the excellent food menu. It’s such a wonderful thing to see wineries broadening horizons and offering a complete hospitality experience.

Porters Williamstown

49 Nelson Pl, Williamstown
(03) 9397 1251
porterswilliamstown.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Raúl Moreno Yagüe
WINEs ON LIST 66 (42 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($65-$10 by the glass)

A very appealing list that manages to make a lot happen in less than 70 wines. There’s a breadth in coverage that spans everything from Portugal to Croatia and back to Spain before grabbing significant wines from major regions in Australia. There’s a distinct focus on boutique producers, emerging styles and easy drinking cuvées, but visitors can also indulge in classics from Pewsey Vale, Bowen Estate and Rockford. There’s also a great little collection of premium wines with Cullen, Moss Wood and Penfolds featured. Vintage wines are a little light on the ground, but what’s here is enticing and from good years. All up, a clever offering and plenty to choose from across the board.

Portsea Hotel

3746 Point Nepean Rd, Portsea
(03) 5984 2213
portseahotel.com.au

CUISINE Gastro Pub & Rustic Italian
WINE LIST Mathew Veenhof
WINEs ON LIST 131 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$9 by the glass)

A formidable array of local Mornington Peninsula wines to go with an appealing collection from around the globe. Lots of options by the glass. A list that offers real value. As befits the region, chardonnay and pinot noir are the focus but there are some intriguing Italians.

Pretty Boy Italian Steakhouse

399 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
(03) 9929 8888
prettyboy.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Atsuko Asano
WINEs ON LIST 51 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$11 by the glass)

A great deal of thought has obviously gone into the extensive selection of ‘by the glass’ offerings. A fine mix of local wines, some big names and other emerging, with a sprinkling of useful Italians, as one would expect.

Red Emperor

Southgate Restaurant & Shopping Precinct
3 Southgate Ave, Southbank

(03) 9699 4170
redemperor.com.au

CUISINE Chinese
WINE LIST Yandy Sham
WINEs ON LIST 245 (42 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($27-$7 by the glass)

The Red Emperor wine list opens with an interesting array of Asian spirits, with descriptors for insight. Non-alcoholic options follow, with mocktails catering to the opposite end of the spectrum. On graduating to wine, the list celebrates the well-established Australian labels of reputation, with some welcome bottle age. The likes of Leo Buring, Pewsey Vale and Petaluma indicate the cellar staples. While international drops are on offer, including first-growth greats, the selection remains primarily Australian based. This cellar takes a deep dive into the benchmark wines: Rockford, Ringland, Moss Wood and Cullen set the scene. This is a solid list that is proudly designed to impress the business minded and banqueting set.

Rockpool Bar & Grill

Crown Casino, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank
(03) 8648 1900
rockpoolbarandgrill.com.au/melbourne/home

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Amy Oliver, Tim Sacklin, Hannah Day, Jaimee Pollock and Pierrick Gorrichon
WINEs ON LIST 1631 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($130-$14 by the glass)

This is a huge wine list, collected over significant time, wisely laid out to deliver diversity of drinking opportunities, from brilliant by-the-glass selection, right through to outstanding grand cru Burgundy, first growth Bordeaux, the upper echelon of Champagne, and then a cavalcade of unique, obscure, boutique and unusual that fits between all the very fancy wines. It’s a list that delivers near everything, serviced by some of the finest sommeliers in the country. An immense, outstanding collection with all the trimmings.

Rosetta Ristorante

Crown Casino, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank
(03) 8648 1999
crownmelbourne.com.au/restaurants

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Manuele Pignotti
WINEs ON LIST 850 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($60-$12 by the glass)

All Italian aperitif list sets a tone of sophistication for the start of the meal, as do Rosetta’s classic cocktails, Negroni list and their Woodford cocktail challenge. The glass selection travels between Italian varieties from Italy and Australia. The Champagne selection is all glitz and housemade sodas and soft drinks cater for those abstaining. The wine journey explores all of Italy’s key regions through grape variety, featuring verticals of established pedigree. This is a substantial wine selection that guarantees the goods.

Sardine Eatery + Bar

3/65 Esplanade, Paynesville
No phone.
sardineeaterybar.com

CUISINE Local Produce
WINE LIST Victoria Briggs
WINEs ON LIST 100 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($43-$8 by the glass)

A short, sharp, cleverly selected wine list with a good deal of personality and a clear eye on drinkability, interesting varieties and styles, and general appropriateness to the food menu. Good to see assyrtiko, falanghina, tempranillo and malbec making so much landfall here, and the tight, little descriptors beneath each wine are a very good key to their general vibe. It’s a list that feels keenly wedded to the food offering and deliberately chosen to be interesting, with wines of ease of access the norm. It feels like all the best wines you could take to an upmarket BBQ have landed on these pages, fairly priced, drinking right now, and constantly interesting to explore.

Saxe

211 Queen St, Melbourne
(03) 9089 6699
saxe.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Jack Nolan
WINEs ON LIST 124 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($52-$11 by the glass)

A wonderful list that traverses big, small, short and tall, winemakers of all idioms and ilks, from old school-good school through to cutting edge, with younger, fresher wines a strong feature, and some judicious cellared treats in the mix. Diversity is the strongest suit of this collection, that you can be drinking rare Champagne from Jerome Prevost with one hand, and in the other find well-chosen shiraz from Barossa stalwarts Bethany is testimony to the breadth that this selection spans. Pinot noir is richly featured, Piedmont another highlight, and sparkling wines are appropriately deep.

Sezar

6 Melbourne Place, Melbourne
(03) 9663 9882
sezar.com.au

CUISINE Middle Eastern
WINE LIST Stuart Quinn
WINEs ON LIST 85 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($25-$12 by the glass)

Sezar Restaurant takes its guests on a unique journey through Armenian food and wine. The drinks list is populated with exotic spirits and liquors from neighbouring regions, charting curios from Georgia, Croatia and Lebanon. Cocktails are embellished with rose water, sumac, tarragon and pomegranate. The listings of lesser-known indigenous varieties complements the dining experience by facilitating exploration and education. This is the perfect list for those who readily embrace new culinary flavours and textures. And for those who don’t want the full immersion, there is a sound selection of Australian wines for those less adventurous.

Shadowboxer

302 Toorak Rd, South Yarra
(03) 9041 7707
shadowboxer.bar

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Michael Thom
WINEs ON LIST 110 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($20-$11 by the glass)

An appealing list that swings between premium, big name wineries and those of the avant garde. By the glass is neat and tidy, fun wines that feel fancy and drink a charm. Around this, lots of spirits and cocktails with a wealth of amazing distillates make for excitement. The gin and whisky collections are jaw-dropping! The list of wines leans heavily on local, Victorian producers of high quality and boutique feel, and is nicely done in that way, though you’ll find wines from all corners of Australia. It’s great to see a few cellared wines making their way into this list. too.

Shoya

25 Market Lane, Melbourne
(03) 9650 0848
shoya.com.au

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Shinji Chaen
WINEs ON LIST 160 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($27-$9 by the glass)

Matching wine with Japanese cuisine can either make or break the event. The list here should ensure success. Local heroes and well-priced wines from offshore offer promise of ideal matches. And some intriguing selections by the glass – a Bass Phillip Chardonnay, anyone? Or go Japanese with their exceptional array of sake. A first-class list.

Source Dining

72 Piper St, Kyneton
(03) 5422 2039
sourcedining.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST Tim Foster and Steven Gerdes
WINEs ON LIST 381 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($24-$12 by the glass)

If you stumbled upon this list on a visit to Kyneton, country Victoria, you’d be more than impressed. This is an author who is devoted to the the task of compiling an outstanding list, detailing more than 380 wines with descriptors, going over and above to inform guests should the sommelier not be at hand. All the key elements are satisfied: category, bottle age and pricing. Happily, local drops from neighbouring small producers are also well supported. This is a fun, informative list that works hard to please its audience.

Steak Ministry Bar & Grill

Ikon Centre, 39-51 Kings Way, Glen Waverley
(03) 9560 1818
steakministry.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian Steakhouse
WINE LIST Hamish Small
WINEs ON LIST 181 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($38-$10 by the glass)

A house of worship for all things red and meaty deserves a list like this, laden with rich reds and full-flavoured whites. Steak Ministry channels the best of New York steakhouses – don’t miss the extensive Rockford collection and notable US selection.

Steer Dining Room

15 Claremont St, South Yarra
(03) 9827 1891
steerdiningroom.com.au

CUISINE Steakhouse
WINE LIST Irina Arhipova
WINEs ON LIST 151 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($30-$14 by the glass)

Mt Mary, Rockford, Huber, Craggy Range – a few of the gems one encounters in the ‘by the glass’ section here – a harbinger of the joys to follow. The 375ml offerings by the carafe will appeal. This is a list that is very much designed to match the menu, with a plethora of quality reds at all levels. Some superb mature reds complete a very fine list.

Stokehouse St Kilda

30 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda
(03) 9525 5555
stokehouse.com.au/melbourne

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Gavin Cremming and Wil Martin
WINEs ON LIST 650 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($55-$13 by the glass)

This is a splendid list with all the bells and whistles. From a blockbuster Champagne collection to sophisticated cocktails, craft beers to delicate sake, it’s all carefully considered. An extensive selection of wines span the world, but the list doesn’t forget its Australian and Victorian roots. The traditional to natural are all available, with vintage depth on form. This is a compelling selection of drinks entirely in keeping with its culinary sophistication and first class setting.

Straight Six

448 Epsom Rd, Flemington
1300 727 575
flemington.com.au/dining-and-hospitality/straight-six

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Hamish Small
WINEs ON LIST 64 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($20-$11 by the glass)

Straight Six indeed does play it pretty straight with this wine list, offering guests big name classics like T’Gallant, Seppelt, Heggies and Wynns as staples in a selection that focuses on well-known wine styles and regions. Therefore, you get lots of Coonawarra cabernet, Heathcote and Great Western shiraz alongside Barossa Valley examples, Champagne from big company producers like Mumm and Dom Perignon, with some curve balls from Yabby Lake, Curly Flat and Escarpment lending gravitas from the boutique side of the list. There’s no misses here, it’s all hits and recognisable wines, comfort and safety in the selection.

The Strand

1 The Strand, Williamstown
(03) 9397 7474
thestrandrestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Seafood - Modern Australian
WINE LIST Julian Habarrot
WINEs ON LIST 67 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($18-$10 by the glass)

This is such a clever list with no wasted space, all hits and no misses, everything seemingly chosen to make a statement about the pinpoints of excellent wine around the globe. While there’s Marlborough sauvignon blanc, you’ll also find obscure, Georgian orange wine here, and in reds a mix of familiar big name, bolder styles mingling with COS Frappato and Etna nerello mascalese. It’s a really unusual mix of wines but as a sum of its parts, it’s compelling, with every wine righteously finding a place to hit a chord with guests of The Strand. A wonderful place to explore the breadth of wine.

Strangeloves

577 Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds
(03) 9078 3574
www.facebook.com/strangeloves

CUISINE Cheese and share plates
WINE LIST Christopher Exell
WINEs ON LIST 500+ (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($22-$10 by the glass)

A wine list that proudly supports Australian wine producers, loudly declaring its focus on traditional, premium wines. Therefore, we’re treated to cellared collections of By Farr, Rockford, Grosset and Cullen, amongst others, with touchstones from just about every significant region. Those with a keen eye will single out the best vintages on offer, with many wines matured on site to add potential depth to clients’ experiences at Strangeloves. By the glass does a decent job of traversing a breadth of vinous expressions, but for avid spirits drinkers, the collection of whisky, bourbon and gin, let alone other distillates, is really quite astonishing.

Sunda Dining

18 Punch Lane. Melbourne
(03) 9654 8190
sunda.com.au

CUISINE Modern Asian using regional ingredients and native Australian produce
WINE LIST Kyle Ronnfeldt
WINEs ON LIST 1800 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($18-$11 by the glass)

A contemporary and ultra appealing wine list that delivers a lot of emerging and boutique wine with zero compromise in quality. Better yet, the wines seem to be very simpatico to the food menu, with lighter, fresher whites and red the mainstays of this excellent collection. It’s great to see so many younger generation winemakers finding a home in this list, while the stalwarts are chosen for their long pedigree, hence we get Beechworth’s Pennyweight, Jura’s Bourdy and Margaret River’s Cullen. A very good wine list, modern and progressive.

Supernormal

180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
(03) 9650 8688
supernormal.net.au

CUISINE Modern Asian
WINE LIST Daniel Barca
WINEs ON LIST 243 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($26-$10 by the glass)

‘What We’re Drinking’ and ‘Wines Of Salinty’ are just two of the many attention-grabbing categories in this outstanding, contemporary wine list. That the team at Supernormal set aside special wines to entice drinkers is fun, but the collection under these banners are so wonderfully apt for the dining experience, too. Then, of course, there’s stacks of Champagne, brilliant aromatic white wines (lots of riesling), judiciously chosen local pinot noir, great Burgundy, a scattering of excellent orange and textural whites, and a neat selection of maturing and high-end premium wines. Sake isn’t missed either, indeed, it’s a strong feature, so too tea, excellent non-alcoholic options and a great listing of whisky from Japan. The selection feels full of personality, travels broadly around the globe, marries classic and zeitgeist supremely. Brilliant drinking ensues.

Syracuse

23 Bank Place, Melbourne
(03) 9670 1777
syracuserestaurant.com.au

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Simon Moreno
WINEs ON LIST 831 (50 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($57-$12 by the glass)

A substantial wine list that flexes its muscles with back vintage, rare wineries, outstanding Italian offerings and a scattering of avant garde wines. The over-arching feel is of a very prestigious collection that spans the globe of fine wines. Super Tuscans, big name Australian producers, judiciously chosen French wines, excellent Champagne and domestic sparkling wines, are all highlights in a list that wows from page one. This is a seriously good collection, covering bases for not only connoisseurs but those seeking a bit of adventure. Alongside great bottles, by the glass is excellent too, with very well chosen Coravin prestige wines, and an interesting array of things generally poured. A big wine night out awaits those spending time at Syracuse.

Ten Minutes By Tractor

1333 Mornington Flinders Rd, Main Ridge
(03) 5989 6455
tenminutesbytractor.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australia
WINE LIST Xavier Vigier
WINEs ON LIST 623 (86 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($140-$14 by the glass)

The wines offered ‘by the glass’ at this treasured Mornington Peninsula gem are truly extraordinary – most establishments would be over the moon for a full list like this. The rest of the selections are a roll call of the wine world’s great and exciting. Classics and emerging stars. Or you can simply go with the pre-arranged pairings. A wonderful list.

Tender Trap

266 Blackburn Rd, East Doncaster
(03) 9842 3466
tendertrap.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Chris Moraitis
WINEs ON LIST 269 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$12 by the glass)

Excellent collection of aperitifs, beers and cocktails, and Aussie stars by the glass. Digestifs, fortifieds and spirits bookend a fine list. Aussies dominate what is a tight array – more expansive when we look to the shiraz – but there are numerous offshore options. Lots to like.

The Terrace

205 All Saints Road, Wahgunyah
1800 021 621
allsaintswine.com.au/terrace-restaurant

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Nick Brown
WINEs ON LIST 75 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$10 by the glass)

A list with a small range but a clever one. Allows a focus on top local wines, including the brilliant fortifieds, but also a smattering of choices from around the world of wine. Some older wines as well. Inevitably, the great fortifieds are the highlight.

The Terrace VRC

448 Epsom Rd, Flemington
1300 727 575
flemington.com.au/dining-and-hospitality/terrace-restaurant

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Hamish Small and Daniel Schwarze
WINEs ON LIST 171 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($17-$11 by the glass)

Making a case as one of the best value wine lists in the country, the emphasis here is on traditional favourites, sprinkled with a few modern highlights. Don’t miss the mature shiraz and cabernet choices for highlights here.

Thousand Pound

82 Main St, Rutherglen
(02) 6032 8179
thousandpound.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Nick Brown
WINEs ON LIST 102 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$12 by the glass)

A fun list offering excellent value and taking full advantage of their link with local producer, All Saints. Options venture far further the region and are backed by an enticing list of whiskies, other spirits and Rutherglen fortifieds. There is real value to be found here. Just the sort of list we all wish was available at our own locals.

Two Buoys

209 Point Nepean Rd, Dromana
(03) 5981 8488
twobuoys.com.au

CUISINE Tapas and European
WINE LIST Jarrod Henham
WINEs ON LIST 368 (44 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($25-$9 by the glass)

So many choices by the glass, and at such great pricing, that one might never venture past them. If so, they’d miss some gems. Not often one sees Salon under a grand at a restaurant these days, let alone for $666 (the ‘97). More modestly, the 2004 Pol Sir Winston for under $300! These prices extend across all the wines, and there are a great many of them, big names, emerging stars. A cracking list. If only it were my local!

Vaporetto

681 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn
(03) 9078 5492
vaporetto.com.au

CUISINE Venetian
WINE LIST David Wickwar
WINEs ON LIST 85 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($60-$10 by the glass)

Vapretto is a Venetian bar and restaurant that specializes in the food and wine of the region. Drinks start with aperitifs and cocktails aplenty, all concocted with nod to Italy. There is an extensive beer list and wines on tap, from the affordable to more pricey, with half0glasses to carafes on pour. While the wine focus remains on Italy, particularly the Veneto, there is a well-chosen collection of Australian drops made from Italian grapes, but for those who can’t compromise on their Barossa shiraz or Margaret River chardonnay, don’t despair, they’re also on hand. A swathe of amari, single malts and liqueurs are also offered to savour the flavours and help digest a decandent meal.

Winespeake Cellar + Deli

4/26 Vincent St, Daylesford
0480 286 838
winespeake.com.au

CUISINE Charcuterie & Cheese
WINE LIST Jenny Latta, Jeremy Shiell and Bronwyn Simmonds
WINEs ON LIST 500 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$10 by the glass)

A list very much designed to celebrate the wines from the local region, with a special focus on the organic, biodynamic and orange styles. Grower champagnes are well represented, as are some wonderfully obscure varieties. A great place to go to explore new and emerging varieties and producers.

Wolfe & Molone

282 Centre Rd, Bentleigh
(03) 9557 3477
wolfeandmolone.com.au

CUISINE International
WINE LIST Tanya Hanouch
WINEs ON LIST 110 (35 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($21-$12 by the glass)

The much touted wines from Croatia, made by Master of Wine, Jo Ahearne, are just one of the many good indications that this list is far from ordinary. It does seem to dart here, there and everywhere, often landing on some special gem or obscure wonder. A place to expect, and enjoy, the unexpected. The somm has added wines from her personal cellar, providing some mature classics.