Upstairs, Lord Nelson
WINE LIST Blair Hayden & Kristian Savio
WINEs ON LIST 250 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($12-$8 by the glass)
Upstairs is in Sydney’s oldest continually licensed hotel, The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel at the Rocks. With a microbrewery onsite, the beer list features six in-house brews on tap, and bottled options gently suggest getting out of the comfort zone. The wine selection is equally engaging, offering everything from vintage and non-vintage Champagne to boutique producers. There’s organic riesling, Slovakian riesling, Vouvray (chenin blanc) from 1986, magnums, half bottles, Grange and aged Barolo. It’s a country mile ahead of the standard pub wine list.
This must be Australia’s only restaurant/bar featuring a Rockford Sparkling Shiraz spotlight. It’s so Aussie that it’s edgy. Some wines that are extremely limited are featured including the highly recommended Walsh & Sons Semillon Chardonnay from Margaret River: less than one pallet is made and each vintage sells out almost immediately. This is an interesting, alternative list with everything from white Rhône blends to natural wines and plenty of great international and domestic wines dotted throughout. Upstairs is challenging our notion of a simple drink at the pub.