New South Wales Winner



69 Bynya Rd, Whale Beach 
(02) 9974 5599

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LISTNiels Sluiman/Riccardo Molfetta/Christian Baeppler
WINEs ON LIST 1,650 (82 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($12-$92 by the glass)

In a word: PHWOAR.  Jonah's boasts a powerfully constructed, extensive and detailed wine list that resets the accepted size parameters of a wine list – this is a tome. The Champagne selection is nothing short of jaw-dropping and it is very exciting to see verticals of many of the wines listed – it shows a passion and knowledge of the houses featured and allows us (price permitting) to explore a broad range of styles and varietals across many different vintages. This is a very impressive, world-class list, and worthy of every praise.



Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks
(02) 9251 5600

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Amanda Yallop
WINEs ON LIST 520 (49 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($12-$82 by the glass)

Amanda Yallop’s superlative wine list at Quay is everything you expect in an iconic Sydney Harbour dining experience. She traverses the length and breadth of the international wine world, embracing classic superstars and cutting edge trends with effortless poise. Think Cullen, Foillard, Gravner, Rippon and Sami-Odi.

Black Bar & Grill

The Star, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
(02) 9657 9109

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINEs ON LIST 1,000 (55 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($8-$50 by the glass)

Black by Ezard at The Star is now re-booted at Black Bar & Grill. The food, including the  famous porterhouse and wagyu steaks, shows a similar focus to before, as does the international wine list, which has now increased to 1,000 wines. We are particularly excited to see the new wine feature employing the Coravin wine preservation system to show some cracker super premium wines by the glass such as Suduiraut and Coutet. The adventurous may like to explore the "Naturale and Low Intervention Wines," or dive into the Grower Champagnes. There's a lot of enjoy here…for a price.

CHAIRMAN'S COMMENTS: This has certainly been a great year for NSW. There’s a vibrance in so many lists. Quay and Black lead the way for sheer professionalism and demonstrating what is possible. Merivale has a superlative range of exemplary lists, adding Fred’s and The Paddington to the mix. Not to mention old favourites: Hubert (well oldish), Ormeggio at The Spit, and Pendelino.


117 Dining

117 Macquarie St, Sydney
(02) 9240 1396

CUISINE Modern Australian plus Asian influences
WINE LIST Robert Knight
WINEs ON LIST 134 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$38 by the glass)

A classy wine list that oscillates between emerging producers, some experimental wines and a baseline of very serious, well-established wine producers. Great to see nihonshu (sake) getting top billing in this collection, and the list doesn't stop with its surprises. Champagne, in a mix of grower and big company offerings, is very well-versed here, indeed the collection is quite the focus here. Outside of wines with bubbles there's cracking drops from cult stars Ashton Hills, Luke Lambert and Cullen. Alongside these superstars, mature Grange comes from a variety of vintages, all the way back to 1987 through to 1995. From here, classics form the backbone of this wine list, from Chablis to Barossa and back to Margaret River. Appealing wines shine from this menu.

360 Bar & Dining

Level 4, 100 Market St, Sydney
(02) 8223 3883

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Andrés Aragón
WINEs ON LIST 450 (40 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($14-$149 by the glass)

The view? Well, the name says it all. It's one of the best in Sydney but as such expect your wining and dining to cost more accordingly. Under sommelier Andrés Aragón the number of wines listed and wines by the glass have grown in depth and breadth (premium wines by the glass is especially delicious, including Penfolds Grange) in just three years. It's a
strong, all rounder list, safe rather than adventurous, with a classy line up of wine talent.

A Tavola Darlinghurst

348 Victoria St, Darlinghurst
(02) 9331 7871

WINE LIST Manuel Conti
WINEs ON LIST 58 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$ ($12-$17 by the glass)

Want an informed introduction to the range of Italian indigenous varieties? The list by the glass here is a great place to start. Although quite a small list, it does give good coverage of the range of possibilities offered by Italy. Relax with some delicious Greco di Tufo from Campania or splash out on a Barolo from Piemonte.


176 Cumberland St, The Rocks
(02) 9250 6123

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST John MacKinnon
WINEs ON LIST460 (34 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($10-$49 by the glass)

Part of the Shangri-La hotel group, Altitude exudes absolute confidence with a thoroughly modern Australian wine listing, pitting our best and most expressive against the rest of the world. Organic and biodynamic wine practices are embraced, new style pet nat and the odd English sparkling along with killer German rieslings and food friendly gamays make up some of the wine territory generally less travelled by most wine lists alongside some pretty smart Aussie chardonnays, pinots, cabernets and Italian reds. Wines by the glass served using Coravin will well and truly tempt.


5/23 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo
(02) 9188 1581

WINE LIST Enis Guner
WINEs ON LIST 37 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($10-$16 by the glass)

With the growth in wine production in Turkey (long may it prosper), it wasn't going to be long before an Australian restaurant filled its list with Turkish wines to match its cuisine. Anason is taking a brave step. This is a small list and it's dominated by Turkish wines with not a tasting note or map in sight. Be brave and jump in. Prices encourage a little exploration and when in doubt, ask your sommelier. Many grapes will be familiar even if the tastes may not.

Apollo (The)

44 Macleay St, Potts Point
(02)  8354 0888

CUISINE Modern Greek
WINE LIST Sam Christie
WINEs ON LIST 98 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12.50-$23 by the glass)

This is the place to go to discover what all the fuss about new wave Greek wines is all about. It's an exciting time for indigenous Greek grapes such as assyrtiko, moschifilero and xinomavro, so don't be afraid to venture deep into their territory. They share wine list space with a strong Australian contingent, and this year in keeping with current trends, there is a new "Natural & Orange" category and an extended selection of lighter style reds.

Aqua Dining

Northcliff & Paul Sts, Milsons Point
(02) 9964 9998

CUISINE Modern Italian
WINE LIST Benjamin Cummings
WINEs ON LIST 286 (43 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($13-$260 by the glass)

Racking up its 17th year as one of Sydney's best Italian wine lists, Aqua Dining continues to showcase classic styles alongside the flash modernists presented by region. The food and wine matching suggestions are brilliant, and we can only applaud the use of Coravin to give drinkers something rare and special by the glass such as Grange or Hill of Grace. Italy may dominate but the Australian wine selection is very good. Aged wines from both countries are a specialty.

Aria Sydney

1 Macquarie St, Sydney
(02) 8277 8555

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Alex Kirkwood
WINEs ON LIST 1,400 (80 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($15-$230 by the glass)

New head sommelier, Alex Kirkwood, has made some big changes to the Aria listing. The biggest, most impressive, are categories devoted to Vintage Australian Wines and The Changing Face of Australian Wines. Good to see a top notch restaurant promoting local wines, check them out. By any standard, this is a great international wine listing, sympathetic to both the food and the wine drinker's new to explore and
discover. A real gem, new and improved.

Ash Street Cellar

1 Ash St, Sydney
(02) 9240 3000

CUISINE Modern European style Bistro
WINE LISTStuart Halliday / Franck Moreau
WINEs ON LIST211 (35 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$26 by the glass)

There is a strong chance you won't know too many wines on this quintessential global wine list. To the curious wine drinker that is an exciting prospect. The chance to try a Hungarian furmint, a cabernet franc from the Loire, or a Blaufränkisch from Austria - all at fair prices -is an adventure waiting to happen, made all the better for the tapas foods that accompany them. The odd Australian offers some familiarity. We recommend the flight of three sherries with canapés.


5 Kensington St, Chippendale
(02) 8277 8555

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST Tim Watkins
WINEs ON LIST 150 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($17-$22 by the glass)

Don't be concerned if you don't recognise many of the wines on this daring list. Sommelier Tim Watkins has sourced some of the most obscure and esoteric wines in the country. The focus is on biodynamic, organic and natural wines, a large proportion being European in origin, and the more rare, the better. The varietal breadth is vast, including little-known varieties such as abillo, aligoté and bouboulenc. You won't find many of these wines easily in the marketplace so tap into Watkins knowledge to help find the best wine for you. Enjoy the sense of discovery, it really is quite thrilling, and no doubt you will leave having learnt, and tasted, something new.

Balcon By Tapavino

17 Bligh St, Sydney
(02) 9223 6176

WINE LIST Amandine Fournier
WINEs ON LISt 400 (69 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($9-$38 by the glass)

The wines of Spain has a new champion in Sydney's CBD. It's an extensive list with more than 60 wines by the glass offering an introduction to Spanish cava, sherry, vermouth, and a wonderful range of indigenous varietals. There's the opportunity to dip into the Spanish regions and enjoy modest local wines as well as some of the country's superstars. Not to be missed.


80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
(02) 9657 9129

CUISINE Modern Italian
WINE LIST Piero Fonseca
WINEs ON LIST 717 (39 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$($12-$33 by the glass)

Okay, we admit we did drool a little over this list. So many excellent Italian wines, including some on-trend Sicilians like nero d'avola and nerello mascalese can be found here, as well as orange and "natural" wines where Italian makers are taking the lead. Take your time with this list, with 31 pages you don't want to miss a thing and you'll want to pause over the nebbiolo and sangiovese. The Aussie contingent has grown in recent years so Italy doesn't have it all its own way. All round excellent list full of choice.


185 Elizabeth St, Sydney
(02) 9283 7098

CUISINE Modern European
WINEs ON LIST 265 (33 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($26-$12 by the glass)

Since 1997 Bambini Trust has been there for wine drinkers offering a compact look into the world of European and Australian wines. Some lists might be bigger, flashier but we like the way the essence of modern European wines is distilled into a few gems here such as Huber Grüner Veltliner, Guigal Brune et Blonde Côte-Rôtie and Vietti Nebbiolo. The
Australians offered are a mix of classic and modern names. Wines are listed by variety (so easy) and prices are fair.

Banksii Vermouth Bar & Bistro

33 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo
(02) 8072 7037

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LISTRebecca Lines
WINEs ON LIST 120 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$33 by the glass)

First gin, now vermouth is the red hot botanical a la mode. Opened in 2016, Banksii unashamedly capitalises on our curiosity but, while vermouth is the star in all forms - dry, white, rose, red, served straight or mixed, aperitif or digestif - we are equally taken by this wine list's edgy feel. Organic and biodynamic masters from Australia and Europe abound, and sub-headings such as "Left of Centre Styles" and "Skin Contact Whites" set the scene for some exciting vinous adventures. There is also a selection of more classic offerings. The choice is there.

Barrel Bar and Dining

362 Military Rd, Cremorne
(02) 9904 5687

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Alex Searle / Tony Binning
WINEs ON LIST 341 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($8-$16 by the glass)

This is one super groovy new establishment embracing organic, biodynamic and so-called "natural" wines. It will undoubtedly have its followers and its wine style fits in nicely with the mod Oz menu, but it isn't all one way. Those preferring something a little more mainstream will be delighted with the other offerings on this extensive global wine list with many quality, small family winemakers represented such as Neudorf, Eldridge Estate, Salomon and Bouchard. Dive in.

Bathers Pavilion (The)

4 The Esplanade, Balmoral
(02) 9969 5050

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST Sean Boyle
WINEs ON LIST 256 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($9-$30 by the glass)

A beach view and glass of palo cortado set the scene at this mod-Oz restaurant although the list focuses largely and appropriately on aromatic wines. A neat offering of rieslings, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio and more with chardonnay, shiraz and pinot noir highlights.  

Beach Restaurant

Lot 9, Lawson St, Byron Bay
1300 583 766

CUISINE Mediterranean
WINEs ON LIST 168 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$30 by the glass)

New to Byron Bay, The Beach Restaurant offers a sophisticated wine list that explores the many different grape varieties of the Mediterranean's wine producing countries, including Lebanon and Serbia. Here is the chance to explore – often by the glass – Picpoul, Garganega, Carignan or Aglianico. Better still, Australian examples of these varieties can be tasted and compared. Rosé is given due reverence, as it should in the tropics, and local brewing star, Stone & Wood has some smart ales on tap and in bottle.

Bells at Killcare

107 The Scenic Rd, Killcare Heights
(02) 4349 7000

WINE LIST Alessio Rubini / Brian Barry
WINEs ON LIST 300 (35 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($13-$28 by the glass)

Before the great Italian wine trend in Australia had us in its grip, Bells at Killcare was hitting it out of the park with quality Italian wines in a comprehensive listing. And so it continues. The Italians take the lead on the list – as is fitting considering the Italian influenced menu – followed by the rest of the world, including Australia. Organic and biodynamic producers are well represented, and it's a rare treat to see so many top wines aged properly and listed at the top of their game.


Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
(02) 9240 8000

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Russ Mills
WINEs ON LIST 284 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($14-$45 by the glass)

Bennelong, with its Sydney Opera House address, works hard to deliver a quality wine list with an enticing selection of Australian wines, many of them industry icons, while also appealing to the enthusiastic Francophile. Prices tend to match the expensive location, but we are relieved to see a number of aged beauties that have retained their prices from last year. Future Champions offers an interesting selection of alternative grape varieties, and there will be plenty of interest in the chardonnays and pinot noirs.


27 O'Connell St, Sydney
(02) 8214 0505

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Nick Hildebrandt
WINEs ON LIST 1,500 (50 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($8-$50 by the glass)

Already one of the most comprehensive wine lists in the country, Bentley is now bigger than ever and offering more wines by the glass, including a new category by the glass, 'Fine and Rare.' The accent here is strongly French with an Australian twist. Many drinkers will head straight to the brilliant chardonnay and pinot noir sections but, for those who care to, a stroll through this list will uncover some true gems such as the luscious grouping of gamays, roses and shiraz/syrahs. Specialist producer profiles are worth a read and a look.

Bibo Wine Bar

7 Bay St, Double Bay
(02) 9362 4680

CUISINE Mediterranean/Portuguese
WINE LIST Louella Mathews
WINEs ON LIST 290 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$21 by the glass)

Bibo is a new restaurant with a taste of the Mediterranean focusing on the under-appreciated wines of Portugal. This is a list full of energy and adventure and, what's more, a visit here won't break the bank. Even prices on the Museum Releases – including some lovely Aussie oldies – are well within many people's budgets. On trend orange wines and pet nat sparklings share list space with quiet achievers such as Provencal viognier, an Alsatian field blend and Mt. Etna Nerello Mascalese. Lots to discover here.

Bill's Fishhouse and Bar

2/18-20 Clarence St, Port Macquarie
(02) 6584 7228

CUISINE Modern Australian Seafood
WINE LIST Peter Marchant
WINEs ON LIST 34 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($8-$21 by the glass)

New to Port Macquarie, Bill's Fish House and Bar offers a modest, relatively small wine selection of just 34 wines sourced almost exclusively from New South Wales. Start with Port Macquarie's own Moore Beer on draught and then peruse a list that highlights regional strengths such as Orange rielsing, Hunter verdelho, chardonnay and Hilltops cabernet. The emphasis is on fresh, young wines, medium in body and not too oak-fuelled. In other word, they are perfectly suited to their job of matching seafood.

Biota Dining

18 Kangaloon Rd, Bowral
(02) 4862 2005

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Ben Shephard
WINEs ON LIST 163 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$35 by the glass)

As the Southern Highlands wine region has matured in recent times, so has the marvellous country restaurant of James Viles. While the by the glass list offers a wonderful way into the local wines, there's much more here. The Australian list is carefully and imaginatively chosen; from the tempting botanicals to start, to a diverse and exciting selection from around the country. Surprise and delight await the intrepid diner.

Bishop Sessa

527 Crown St, Surry Hills
(02) 8065 7223

CUISINE Modern European
WINE LIST Erez Gordon / Sarah Birch
WINEs ON LIST 203 (43 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$49 by the glass)

Bishop Sessa is a solid, modern Australian wine list. Arranged by grape variety, it visits all the major wine regions of the world and, interestingly, offers direct comparisons of grapes grown in Australia versus their homelands. Thus, drinkers have the opportunity to try, say, an Australian vermentino, garganega or tempranillo and immediately taste the original. Drinkers will enjoy the extensive chardonnay and pinot noir selections, and Coravin is employed for aged, super premium wines by the glass.

Bistro Rex

Shop 1, 50-52 Macleay St, Potts Point
(02) 9332 2100

WINE LIST Josh Dunne
WINEs ON LIST 202 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$24 by the glass)

Established in 2017, Bistro Rex has French written all over it from the chicken liver parfait to the ratatouille and pissaladiere. We could not hope for a snappier wine list  to match, one devoted largely to French wines with support from Australia and beyond. There's a liveliness to the selections, nicely expressed with style headings such as Not Jur Again and Ma Vie en Rosé. A bit of fun and a tight group of small producer wines. Drinkers will linger, quite rightly, over the wines by the glass listing which including 500ml carafes. Nice.

Bistrode CBD

Level 1, King and York Sts, Sydney
(02) 9240 3000

CUISINE Modern Bistro
WINE LIST Franck Moreau
WINEs ON LIST 117 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$28 by the glass)

Born in 1995 and still going strong, Bistrode has the modern bistro wine formula down pat. They need to be young, fresh, lively with a balance of mainstream classic names and exciting newcomers of interest. Hence, you will find names like Best's, Albert Mann and Château Guiraud playing alongside names such as Nick O'Leary and Savaterre on this list.  It's eclectic and a little challenging, but good drinking lives here. The Merivale house wines offer particularly good value below $50 a bottle.

Bivianos Dural

628 Old Northern Rd, Dural
(02) 9651 2022

CUISINE Italian and Seafood
WINE LIST Hannah Webb
WINEs ON LIST 140 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($9-$15 by the glass)

There's something distinctly deja vu about Bivianos Dural with its deep fried camembert, oysters Kilpatrick and chicken supreme. In comparison, the wine list pulses with a 21st Century heart. Many wines are comforting and well-known, prices are more than fair – most wines are priced under $100 a bottle – and the selection covers a wide territory from Australia and New Zealand to Europe. The Italians offer some particularly smart drinking.

Black Bar & Grill

80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
(02) 9777 9109

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINEs ON LIST 1,000 (55 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($8-$50 by the glass)

Black by Ezard at The Star Casino is now re-booted at Black Bar & Grill. The food, including the  famous porterhouse and wagyu steaks, shows a similar focus to before, as does the international wine list which has now increased to 1000 wines. We are particularly excited to see the new wine feature employing the Coravin wine preservation system to show some cracker super premium wines by the glass such as Suduiraut and Coutet. The adventurous may like to explore the "Naturale and Low Intervention Wines," or dive into the Grower Champagnes. There's a lot of enjoy here…for a price.


416 King St, Newtown
(02) 9557 7699

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Amanda Cleal
WINEs ON LIST 48 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$19 by the glass)

Thoroughly modern, thoroughly iconoclastic, Bloodwood is a daring small wine list of just 48 wines (and an excellent beer selection to boot). Its chock full of edgy, alt-left world wines made by the new generation of enthusiastic natural and biodynamic winemakers seeking a change. That might be skin contact for white wines or zero sulphur protection during winemaking. Dive in and be guided by the fact that there are some tasty, well-priced wines to be had here.

Boathouse On Blackwattle Bay

123 Ferry Rd, Glebe
(02) 9518 9011

CUISINEAustralian & Seafood
WINE LIST Joe Turnaturi
WINEs ON LIST 238 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$30 by the glass)

Here's a nicely crafted wine list, built with thought and attention to detail, a mix of international and Australian wines well-suited to the Boathouse's seafood-led menu. Whites are a mix of the youthful and the vibrant, as well as the aged and textural. Reds tend towards the medium bodied and juicy. Diners will enjoy the opportunity to buy by the glass or the carafe, and fair prices will have many lingering over the Burgundy section.

Botanic Wine Garden

Shop 3, Garrison Building, 26 Clarence St, Port Macquarie
(02) 6584 3685

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Tristan Tomlinson
WINEs ON LIST 48 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$30 by the glass)

Botanic Wine Garden fills its small, 48-wine list to brimming with exciting Aussie producers making some of the smartest wines going, producers like Domaine Simha, Farr Rising, Unico Zelo and Mayfield. At its heart lies a range of organic and biodynamic wines, small batch winemaking made with attention to detail and some classic aged lovelies such as Kilikanoon 2001 shiraz and Yarra Yarra 2005 cabernets. Modest mark up brings great value.

Bridge Bar

Sydney International Airport, Mascot
(02) 8023 7600

CUISINE Modern Australian Tapas
WINE LIST Andres Aragon
WINEs ON LIST 35 (35 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($8-$35 by the glass)

With all 35 wines on the list available by the glass, the selection at this bar at Mascot Airport is admirable. More so, as it almost exclusively features New South Wales wines. It focuses on up and coming producers or winemakers or lesser known gems from established labels. Prices are modest. About a third of the list is labelled 'Premium' and is offered by the taste / half glass / glass pour using their enomatic system which preserves quality once the bottle is opened. A list worth exploring while you wait for the plane to be called.

Bridge Room

44 Bridge St, Sydney
(02) 9247 7000

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Matthieu Rabiet
WINEs ON LIST 170 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$40 by the glass)

A tightly composed wine list that places Australian wine firmly in the global wine world.  It's as if each wine has fought for its place whether it's a pinot noir from Geelong or a classic Margaret River chardonnay. Competition from the French, the Italians and Germans is strong, and the ensuing tussle makes for a bright, energetic wine list that demands your attention. And that's what a good list does.

Buon Ricordo

108 Boundary St, Paddington
(02) 9360 6729

WINE LIST Daniel Marcella
WINEs ON LIST250 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($10-$15 by the glass)

This year Buon Ricardo chalks up 30 years on the Sydney restaurant scene, delivering racy, Italian-style brio to the harbour city. It's an astonishing milestone but not completely surprising given the passion behind the scenes. The wine list is an ode to the joys of Italian wines, sometimes with introductory notes for those not sure about their Cortese, Arneis or Barbera grapes. Sicily, one of the hottest properties in wine these days, is well represented alongside Italian old masters such as Antinori, Gaja and Cascina Luisin. A select group of Aussies adds their support.

Café Sydney

Customs House, 5th Floor, 31 Alfred St, Circular Quay
(02) 9251 8683

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Simon Curkovic
WINEs ON LIST 234 (63 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($8-$24 by the glass)

Cafe Sydney has earned itself a strong reputation as a supporter of Australian wine makers aiming for the highest quality. It's a strong list of producers you know, or wish you could get to know better. Here's your chance. And, better still, is the opportunity for some multiple tastings off the 63-glass strong wines by the list. Great choice with anything from a Coal River Valley riesling and a Geelong pinot gris to an exciting group of Mediterranean red wine styles with a New World focus.


1 Sunderland Ave (Lyne Park), Rose Bay
(02) 9371 0555

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LISTAndrew de Vries
WINEs ON LIST 650 (33 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($13-$40 by the glass)

There are so many perfect food and wine matches from Catalina's seafood-driven menu and smart wine list: barramundi with Tapanappa Tiers chardonnay; poached marron tail with Domaine Bandol rose. But, it should also be pointed out, that while this list is superbly appointed to suit seafood, it also offers some fine reds of the medium bodied and robust kind, too, for the menu's suckling pig or duck breast. This is a versatile wine partnership of sorts between Australia and France with Italy and New Zealand playing a support role.

Cellar (The)

2090 Broke Rd, Pokolbin
(02) 4998 7584

CUISINE Mediterranean
WINE LIST Janet Wright
WINEs ON LIST 95 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$14 by the glass)

The Cellar offers, amongst other things, a whole suckling pig roast and, fortunately, it has just the wines to do it justice. A plethora of Hunter shiraz as well as interloper red grapes such as tempranillo, barbera, sangiovese and pinot noir will do the job well as this Hunter favourite. This is unashamedly a Hunter-led listing of wines, a small selection but with depth exploring some of the pioneering names such as Tulloch, Tyrrell's and McWilliam's as well as modern stalwarts Thomas, Tinklers and Margan. Start with semillon and go forth.


Shop 88, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
(02) 9566 2328

CUISINE Cantonese
WINE LIST Billy Wong
WINEs ON LIST 502 (33 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($8-$26 by the glass)

The Century wins award after award for a wine list that sizzles with some of the wine world's biggest names: Lafite, Latour, Petrus, Penfolds. The emphasis is on Australian and French wines of note, red wines dominating, but Century also offers its own well-priced private label wines from makers like Henschke and Lafite. A scintillating Australian Vintage Collection highlighting the excellent 1998 vintage is worth a serious look, and we like the freshness and diversity of wine styles offered by the glass.

Charred Kitchen & Bar

1-5 New St, Orange
(02) 6363 1580

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LISTDavid Collins
WINEs ON LIST 100 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$15 by the glass)

New to Orange, Charred offers a sophisticated small wine list that focuses on the excellent wines of Orange and nearby Mudgee. But, not exclusively! We like the way the odd Spanish, Argentinian or French wine is sprinkled temptingly amongst the Aussies. The food and wine matching tips are spot on, as is the selection of wines by the glass. Keep an eye out for Orange specialities riesling, chardonnay and cabernet. Start with a beer on tap. "We take our beer just as seriously as our wine," reads the menu, and they do.

China Doll

4/6 Cowper Wharf Rd, Woolloomooloo
(02) 9380 6744

CUISINE Modern Asian
WINE LIST Clint Hillery
WINEs ON LIST 134 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($11-$28 by the glass)

China Doll has a winning wine recipe, one that comes to the rescue of every diner searching for suitable wines to match with Asian foods. It's so simple, it just adds a separate wine category to the wine list: 'Food (Asian) Perfect Wines.' A host of excellent possibilities await from riesling, cortese, fruner veltliner in whites  to pinot noir, gamay and tempranillo. China Doll offers a smart, modern international wine list with a hard-to-beat offering of wines by the glass. Prices reflect the Wooloomooloo wharf address.

China Lane

2 Angel Pl, Sydney
(02) 9231 3939

CUISINE Modern Asian
WINE LIST Clint Hillery
WINE ON LIST 95 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$26 by the glass)

The China Lane wine list, like that of its sister China Doll, is all class from the quality of wines by the glass to the Asian food friendly wines especially marked out for your consideration. It's an international wine list sprinkled with little gems like Quealy pinot grigio, Pommier Chablis, Craggy Range pinot noir. The list shares similarities to the China Doll list, but you won't find a section there boasting big, rich reds described as 'Food Unfriendly but 100% Delicious.' Will you be tempted?

Chiswick At The Gallery

1 Art Gallery Rd, Sydney
(02) 9225 1819

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST Matt Dunne
WINE ON LIST 64 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($11-$25 by the glass)

There's plenty to love at Chiswick at the Gallery...From the home-made soda (you can spike these with a spirit of your choice), to the sensitive and exciting wine selection that focusses predominantly on Australia, but is peppered with international options: many available to drink by the glass, carafe or bottle.  Should you wish to indulge in something a bit older or a bit harder to find, Chiswick has access to a private cellar from which you can drink back vintages of the iconic Brokenwood Graveyard Shiraz, Torbreck 'The Pict' Mataro, or if aged shiraz is more your thing: a 1998 Elderton Command from the Barossa.  As if the wines weren't enough to titillate, the food menu by Matt Moran features a kitchen garden, planted seasonally and picked fresh for your meal.  The menu even hints at what is being planted next season - a detail sure to interest even the most casual of gourmands.  Brilliantly executed and wonderfully concise - a necessary part of your next trip to the gallery.


65 Ocean St, Woollahra
(02) 8388 8688

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST Matt Dunne
WINEs ON LIST 88 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$39 by the glass)

A former Best Small List (100) winner and doesn't it show? It has all the hallmarks of excellence. The list changes by the seasons (and sometimes in between), its mix brings together cutting edge natural and biodynamic wines as well as some great old standards and, we like that even though it's a small list, it goes out of its way to offer a choice of aged wines. The just-picked-from-the-garden food menu is matched with a range of international bright whites and clean reds. Chiswick also imports some wines exclusively, something to check out.

Cho Cho San

73 Macleay St, Potts Point
(02) 9331 6601

CUISINE Japanese Izakaya
WINE LIST Sam Christie
WINEs ON LIST 77 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($12.50-$22 by the glass) 

Tucked away behind a discreet yet slick street frontage is Cho Cho San - reminiscent of a Japanese Izakaya for all the right reasons. This minimalistic, warm and bright restaurant hosts a concise winelist which explores many different varieties and styles of wines.  We love the full page of Japanese sake at the beginning of the list, complete with write-ups on each to help guide you through your selections.  For the adventurous wine drinker, there is a section of natural, orange and interesting; if conventional is more your style, there are plenty of options for you too.  The banquet options with matched sake are unmisseable - Cho Cho San captures the heart of Japan and brings it to Potts Point.  Gochisou sama!


10/23 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo
(02) 9220 0111

WINE LIST Nick Hildebrandt
WINEs ON LIST600 (40 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($8-$50 by the glass)

Sirrus, in the site formerly occupied by Noma, sets the bar high food and wine-wise and, with experienced sommelier Nick Hildebrandt behind the latter, diners are in safe hands. Hildebrandt has his name written all over this 600-strong international-flavoured wine list, with quite a number of wines of the biodynamic and 'natural' persuasion. That said, he is a superb judge of wines, the kind that diners will be happy to explore and drink. We applaud a Premium Wines by the Glass category (by the taste or glass) to enhance the standard glass offerings.

Corner House

281 Bondi Rd, Bondi
(02) 8020 6698

CUISINE Italian/Australian
WINE LIST Dan Simmons
WINEs ON LIST 128 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$19.50 by the glass) 

A wine list for those drinkers who like a challenge, The Corner House goes for broke with an international listing heavy on some of today's more contentious winemaking styles from pet-nat, to natural wines to biodynamic and orange-hued skin-contact whites. Fortunately, modest mark-ups mean drinkers can explore many of the different styles on offer at fair prices and there's always wines by the glass such as The Natural Wine Co. sauvignon blanc or Lunar Eclipse rose, again, at friendly prices. Are you ready for an adventure?

The Cowrie

109 Scenic Hwy, Terrigal
(02) 4384 3016

CUISINE Modern Seafood
WINE LISTBrett Dengate
WINEs ON LIST 99 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($11-$16 by the glass)

Cowrie presents a considered selection of wines that are aged as far back as the middle nineties.  With everything from Bordeaux to Champagne, Sake Rose, new-world organic, old-school aged riesling and Napa Valley cabernets to iconic Australian wines, Cowrie shows what you can pack into a concise list.  Well matched to the seafood fare on offer, this list has surely, something for everyone.

Cut Bar And Grill

16 Argyle St, The Rocks
(02) 9259 5695

CUISINE New York Steak House
WINE LIST Gustavo Kroneis
WINEs ON LIST 370 (36 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($9-$30 by the glass)

This is an excellent list.  Balanced and edgy.  Fresh. Often when a list displays a bit of everything, it can lack focus, or authenticity. Not so for The Cut; the list constantly surprises, and brings a smile to the face.  Whether it is an aged semillon by the glass, a classy Mornington pinot, or a fino to get you started, there seems to be something for every mood. 
The Champagne list offers cult grower Larmandier-Bernier alongside powerhouses of prestige such as Krug, Dom and Ruinart.  As we delve further into the list, we see-saw back and forth between emerging Australian producers, to classic French, back to iconic Australian, then over to organic Alsatian, skin contact whites, regional gems and international benchmark wines (which no list is complete without).  Bravo - this is a masterful execution, well-selected, engagingly constructed and with a decent range of prices to boot.

Deck Sydney

1 Olympic Dr, Milsons Point
(02) 9033 7670

CUISINE Mediterranean
WINE LIST Mark Dibblin
WINEs ON LIST 146 (31 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($8.50-$20 by the glass)

Next time you visit Sydney Harbour, have this venue on your radar.  To sit and watch the world of the Sydney Harbour sail by with a glass of taste pinot in hand, the iconic bridge just above and the Opera house in the distance, what more could you ask for from a view? The Deck offers everything from an a la carte meal to a private degustation with matching wines in your very own ferris wheel compartment – Luna Park is just next door. If you're feeling like you can't decide what to drink, The Deck has included tasting notes on every wine on the last.   Yep. All 146 of them. They are well written, useful, and in their own section of the winelist to enable you to read through the main section unimpeded.  A clever touch, and an uncommon one.  Well priced and unbelievably well situated.

Devine Food And Wine

32 Market St, Sydney
(02) 9262 6906

CUISINE Italian & European
WINE LIST Julian Izzillo
WINEs ON LIST 500 (40 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($11-$25 by the glass)

The wines of the Mediterranean – Italy, Spain and France, in particular – all come out to play on this delightful wine list. Sure, there might be grapes you've not heard of before like grenache blanc and monastrell but that's the joy of this list. It's not made up of the usual suspects and there are plenty of discoveries to be made. With 40 wines by the glass you could easily take a trip around the world, and what a pleasure it is to see vermouth and sherry elevated in status and given prominence.

Dining Room

7 Hickson Rd, The Rocks
(02) 9256 1661

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Walter Henao
WINEs ON LIST 280 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($14-$38 by the glass)

The aperitif list at the Dining Room cannot easily be ignored with sherry, signature and classic cocktails and a fancy group of whiskies and gins and such. Nice start, and it gets better when you get to the wine section featuring a mixed bunch of Australasians and internationals with some big names like Cuilleron, Margaux, Massolino and Henschke most prominent.  Shiraz is the stand-out with a great selection, including multiple vintages of Grange and Hill of Grace.


412 Crown Street Surry Hills
(02) 9331 4800

CUISINE Italo-Australian
WINE LIST James Hird
WINEs ON LIST 335 (309 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($9-$330 by the glass)

This daring, lively wine list has every wine available by the glass, and that's around 300 wines. That's a lot of choice right there! It's a list largely devoted to new age natural, skin contact and biodynamic wines from around the world but, diners unaccustomed to these styles, are eased into tasting thanks to the fun, educational introductions. And there are enough conventional wines listed so as not to be too intimidating. The list also breaks new ground listing table wines made by growers in France, New England, Austria and Sicily. It's a nice touch.


79 Elliott St, Balmain
(02) 9810 5466

WINE LIST Enis Guner
WINEs ON LIST 85 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($10-$16 by the glass)

Efendy capitalises on the growing interest and availability of Turkish wines in Australia, showcasing some of the new producers making strong inroads with modern, clean wine styles, especially in reds. Indigenous grapes and classic French grapes such as chardonnay, cabernet and merlot are available and, for those unsure, many can be bought by the glass. This is a small list but, nevertheless, a nice grouping of international wines is also available. And don't forget to check out the impressive list of raki, the national drink of Turkey.

The Eight

Level 3, 9-13 Hay St, Haymarket
(02) 9282 9988

CUISINE Cantonese
WINE LIST Angela Tang
WINEs ON LIST 207 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($11-$13 by the glass)

The Eight, now in its sixth year, continues to highlight the good work of some of Australia's top winemakers such as Cape Mentelle, Penfolds, Brokenwood and Petaluma. The restaurant, which specialises in Cantonese cooking, works hard to find suitable wine matches looking to a range of local and international roses, fragrant white grapes such as riesling and textural whites like viognier and pinot gris. The collection of reds steps up to include multiple vintages of Penfolds Grange and Bin 389 and some expensive Bordeaux 1st and 2nd Growths.

Elizans Wine & Mezze Bar

39 Burrill St, Ulladulla
(02) 4455 1796

CUISINE Tapas & Mezze
WINE LIST Andrew Nowosad
WINEs ON LIST 95 (11 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($6-$12 by the glass)

This tapas-led restaurant in one of NSW's premier tourist spots knows its clientele well. Mark-ups on wines, for the most part, are modest, offering great value, and the styles presented are popular all-rounders. There's the odd gem to be found, too, like the excellent Oakridge chardonnay and Josef Chromy Pepik pinot noir. Great prices on classic Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy will have Francophiles in a spin. The restaurant also supports local wineries such as Coolangatta Estate and Cambewarra Estate.

Esca At Bimbadgen

790 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin
(02) 4998 4600

CUISINE Australian/Italian
WINE LIST Bruno Verhaegen
WINEs ON LIST 99 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($7-$24 by the glass)

Nestled in the heart of the Hunter Valley is Esca, at the Bimbadgen winery. Excitingly, Esca has a varied liquor license, meaning they can serve a selection of wines, beers and spirits in the restaurant, alongside their own wines. This allows them to offer you everything from champagne, Henschke Hill of Grace, aged Hunter Valley semillon, Barolo, Chateau Latour from Bordeaux and a host of other exciting wines.  We love that the wine list leads with the Bimbadgen wines – an opportunity to confirm you've tried them all!


24 Old Hume Hwy, Berrima
(02) 4877 1977

CUISINE Contemporary Modern Australian
WINE LIST Richard Kemp
WINEs ON LIST 250 (33 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($8-$20 by the glass)

Eschalot has worked hard in recent years on its wine list, broadening its depth and breadth of Australian and international wines. Wines produced locally from the growing number of producers in the Southern Highlands are highlighted, and definitely deserve a second look, as do some of the alternative varieties and styles such as garganega, sagrantino, rondinella and an interesting skin fermented vermentino. This is a serious list for some serious contemporary Australian cooking.


Level 1, Establishment, 252 George St, Sydney
(02) 9240 3000

CUISINE Contemporary Modern Australian
WINE LIST Emmanual Cadieu/Franck Moreau
WINEs ON LIST 1,322 (61 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($11-$160 by the glass)

Comprehensive? Yes. A tad confounding? Yes again, but this world-class wine list of 1322 wines sets high standard and is deserving of the wine lover's full attention. Check out the Champagne section (including Grower Champagnes) and don't miss the drool-worthy group of wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux. Multiple vintages of top Aussie wines offers a rare look at aged wines. Many prices have increased from 2016 and some drinkers will no doubt draw the line at ordering a $23 mixed drink/cocktail.


2 Ash St, Sydney
(02) 9240 3000

WINE LIST Tim Perlstone/Franck Moreau
wines ON LIST 1,193 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($12-$35 by the glass)

Francophiles rejoice! Felix continues to outshine and outperform in the French brasseries wine department. Few come near it for the complete immersion into the world of French wines, spirits and brandies. Start with a vermouth and pastis and consider the many, many options, from the stunning grouping of Champagnes through to big hitters from the Jura, Burgundy and Bordeaux. Australia, as is only right, is the strong supporting act here. Wines by the glass (with tasting notes as a guide) are also available by the carafe. Enjoy!


22 Orlando St, Coffs Harbour
(02) 6651 2006

CUISINE Northern Italian
WINE LIST Alessandro Lindiri
WINEs ON LIST 96 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($8-$13 by the glass)

Much has been made of the wonderful wine education that awaits diners at Fiasco. It's a rare find, both wine-wise and the length to which the sommelier provides information and tasting notes on wines, particularly those hailing from Italy. The Northern Italian cuisine here is matched perfectly with a collection of stunners from Piemonte Friuli, Veneto and Lombardia amongst others. The Nebbiolo grouping, with a strong Gaja representation, is mouth-watering. And the best part? Prices here won't break the bank.


5/6 Bells Blvd, Salt Village, South Kingscliff
(02) 6674 4833

WINE LIST Folorent Elineau/Morgan Snow
Wines ON LIST 173 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$24 by the glass)

Fins wears its organic and biodynamic heart on its sleeve, so you could say its wine list philosophy is clear from the start. The restaurant even quizzes producers about their sustainability practices. But co-sommelier, Morgan Snow, whose artwork also graces the list, is not all that one-eyed, as his primary focus remains on presenting some pretty smart wines from around the world in unison with the restaurant's great seafood. This includes looking at the vastly underrated touriga-led reds from Portugal and a host of smart pinot noirs.


23-33 Mary St, Surry Hills
(02) 8204 0800

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Ned Goodwin/Miki Bisceglia
Wines ON LIST 114 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$25 by the glass)

Firedoor, that place where the food menu is entirely powered by wood, often grapevines, does things a little differently. So does its wine list, constructed with the assistance of Master of Wine, Ned Goodwin. The list has a minimalist feel that belies the depth - and adventure - that awaits the keen wine drinker. It walks a path between the known and, for
many, the unknown that lurks in natural and biodynamic winemaking. But, that isn't the full story. The list is a glimpse of international and Aussie makers making a difference whether it's Cullen or Dujac or Francois Crochet.

Fish Shop

22 Challis Ave, Potts Point
(02) 9240 3000

WINE LIST Franck Moreau 
WINEs ON LIST 71 (11 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$24 by the glass)

The Fish Shop isn't like too many fish shops of childhood, boasting spiced gazpacho, cuttlefish and crumbed barramundi burger on the menu, so expect a similarly adventurous approach to the wines. Whites tend to dominate, sparklings and Champagne definitely have a role to play – rosé Champagne is one of the friendliest seafood wines of them all – and the reds are medium bodied, plummy and soft. In just 71 wines there's a lot of wine territory covered from German riesling to Italian grigio and Tasmanian pinot noir.

Flooded Gums

North Bonville Rd, Bonville
(02) 6653 4544

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Niels Sluiman
WINEs ON LIST 260 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($6.50-$14 by the glass)

Called Flooded Gums for a reason, the view down the course cascades into a treeline of gums set against a backdrop of tree covered mountains.  An ideal place for a glass of wine.  The extensive wine list showcases wines from across Australia and internationally, and strays across a wide variety of styles, varietals and price ranges.  Look out for the verticals of Penfolds Grange, Henschke Hill of Grace and Rockford Basket Press; all of which feature vintages from as far back as the 80's.

Flying Fish

Lower Deck, Jones Bay Wharf, 21 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont
(02) 9518 6677

WINE LISTPaolo Saccone
WINEs ON LIST 410 (47 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($11-$27 by the glass)

Situated in one of Sydney's prime waterfront locations, Flying Fish sets the food and wine bar high. The comprehensive 410-wine listing pays close attention to the restaurant's strong seafood focus, occasionally shaking things up with the odd savoury sake, Argentinian malbec or Romanian sauvignon blanc/Fateasca Alba blend. A world listing strong on Champagne, riesling, pinot noir and shiraz, it takes rose and alternative varieties just as seriously as it does Bordeaux. A good sign. Some smart aged wines are a highlight.


380 Oxford St, Paddington
(02) 9240 3000

CUISINE Seasonal
WINE LISTCaitlyn Rees/Franck Moreau
WINEs ON LIST 188 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($12-$95 by the glass)

New to Paddington, Freds opened in 2016 with a seasonal food menu and a wine list that embraces the avant-garde natural wine-biodynamic movement. It's daring, inviting the drinker to taste outside the square with producers such as Lucy Margaux, Radikon and Pheasant's Tears. The list also balances these styles with wines from small makers of note from around the world pursuing excellence outside natural winemaking. Alternative grape varieties and wines found in the section "Interesting Grapes of the Moment" are definitely worthy of attention.


Level 2, 488 George St, Sydney
(02) 9265 6068

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Mauro Bortolato/Chris Rose
WINEs ON LIST 1,200 (41 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($9-$200 by the glass)

This list is not for the faint hearted.  Gargantuan in size (1200 wines), and extensive beyond belief - it is clearly a labour of love by Glass.  It has it all - we love the clusters of wines focussing on single producers, vineyards, styles and wines, it speaks of passion and thoroughness that is such a highlight of this list. If you get lost (while travelling between regions via the wines on these pages) there are maps and explanations to re-orientate you.  Glass must be seen to be believed, to begin to list the wines in this short write-up would be an exercise in futility.  If the producer is great, and world class, then they are undoubtedly somewhere within these pages.  A triumph.

Glasshouse at Goonoo Goonoo Station

13304 New England Hwy, Timbumburi
0429 384 297

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Peter Bourne/Simon Haggarty
WINEs ON LIST70 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($9-$25 by the glass)

This vibrant restaurant has a wine list to match: happy to share some of the best of the local wines, some gems from around the country and a smattering of favourites from overseas. There are also some house wines to swell the 'by the glass' range. Prices are modest with the exception of the Reserve collection which will please wine lovers in a celebratory mood.

Golden Century

393-399 Sussex St, Sydney
(02) 9212 3901

CUISINE Cantonese
WINEs ON LIST735 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($5-$28 by the glass)

If you thought you were 'just popping out for some Chinese', then Golden Century has something far greater in store for you.The winelist is formidable – and that is an understatement.  Where else is Australia could you find 44 vintages of Penfolds Grange?! They have a Chinese spirits list – this may seem obvious but is an essential part of the Chinese dining experience.  They have a collection of old Henri Jayer wines (cult Burgundian producer) including a 1959 Richebourg.  This is no ordinary Chinese restaurant.  The list is like a tardis – it goes on and on, and just when you think it's done, you stumble upon a bottle of 1982 Petrus, nestled beneath a collection of 19 vintages of Domaine de La Romanee Conti, culminating in a bottle of 1999 Romanee Conti. We're somewhat lost for words.  If you aren't a millionaire, perhaps you'd be happy to settle for a glass of moscato d"asti while we decide what to eat for dinner?  I'm free Friday if you are…

Goldfish Bar & Kitchen

Cnr Broke & McDonalds Rds, Hunter Valley
(02) 4998 7688

CUISINE Mediterranean share style food
WINE LIST Nicola Bowers/Ronnie Stricke
WINEs ON LIST 179 (33 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($9-$25 by the glass)

Goldfish bar & Kitchen has a great selection of Hunter Valley wines, and isn't that what one looks for when one is holding in the Hunter Valley?  There is a wonderful selection of current vintage semillons - the jewel in the crown of Hunter - but it doesn't stop there. Goldfish also showcases a "Cellar Collection" that has verticals of Lovedale, Tyrrell's Vat 1, and the iconic Mount Pleasant Maurice O'Shea Shiraz.  Let us not forget the Lake's Folly cabernets from Hunter.  They have a large selection of all things alcoholic and not wine: beer, spirits, cocktails, aperitifs and mocktails. Going to Pokolbin?  Stop in at Goldfish – do yourself (and your palate) a favour.

GPO Cheese & Wine Room

Lower Ground Floor, 1 Martin Pl, Sydney
(02) 9229 7701

CUISINE Specialty antipasti
WINE LIST Maxime Pellegrino
WINEs ON LIST 204 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($11.50-$16.5 by the glass)

Cheese and wine have been described as 'ageless companions', so thank goodness for a restaurant dedicated to just this.  The wine list at the GPO Cheese and Wine Room is varied and wide ranging, offering a variety of national and international wines sure to please everyone. The most exciting part about what they're doing is the Cheese and Wine flight option - suggested cheeses with a matched wine.  Perfect. This really stretches the legs on the list, suggesting whiskey and cheese, champagne and cheese, fortifieds and cheese, pinot and cheese... we could go on. Needless to say, these guys know their cheeses and their wines.


18 - 22 Old Pacific Hwy, Newrybar
(02) 6687 2644

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Russ Berry/Sam Curtis
WINEs ON LIST 50 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$30 by the glass)

This list is en pointe. If you want a rundown on all the cool wineries and styles that are happening at the moment – consider this list your bible. Harvest in Newrybar lists Australia's first Assyrtiko by Jim Barry, they have Denmark superstar La Violetta, natural warriors Si Vintners from Margs, WA wine royalty in Nic Peterkin's LAS Vino, cult Yarra producer Timo Mayer and Beechworth's answer to Beaujolais: the Sorrenberg gamay. Not missing out on Australia's best:  there is the riesling king himself Geoffrey Grosset and both his Springvale and Polish Hills, the cabernet queens Vanya Cullen's Diana Madeline, and Sarah Crowe (winemaker of the year last year) and the Yarra Bering Dry red no 2.  Winery of the minute Commune of Buttons is here too.  There is teraldego, dolcetto, nebbiolo, nero d'avola, marsanne, durif and a host of other varieties. Love their ethos on water (bottomless sparkling). The best bit: this list is concise and it's tight.  It's well priced to boot.

Hotel Centennial

88 Oxford St, Woollahra
(02) 9362 3838

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Elaine Houston Faloona/Mark Dietz
WINEs ON LIST148 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13-$22 by the glass)

Hotel Centennial in Woollahra is something I am sure the locals would love to keep a secret. On the corner of a residential street, this restaurant has a wonderful selection of national and international wines, across an array of different styles and varietals.  Open for dinner from 5:30pm weeknights, the food menu is just like the wine: concise, hits the mark, and provides fresh local produce to match to the wines on the list.  Start your evening with a glass of Sancerre paired with local rock oysters, then move onto nebbiolo and steak tartare while you plan the main course.  It's a tough gig, but someone has to do it.


15 Bligh St, Sydney

WINE LIST Andy Tyson
WINEs ON LIST600 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($12-$28 by the glass)

Savagnin, grenache blanc, grolleau, pinot d'Aunis are just some of the grapes waiting to be discovered on the thoroughly French wine list at Hubert. Wines from the South-West of France, the Jura and Savoie and Provence are given the star treatment, placed on equal terms to Burgundy and Bordeaux making for some exciting wine choices not normally offered. Drinkers will linger over the informative tasting notes offered on wines by the glass, and no doubt take up the challenge offered by the selection of orange wines. Support from Germany, Italy and Australia completes this most comprehensive list.


1 Notts Ave, Bondi Beach
(02) 9365 9000

CUISINE Modern Italian
WINE LIST James Hird
WINEs ON LIST 353 (28 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($8-$28 by the glass)

What a list!  Well, it has to be, to contend with the views on offer. Icebergs, at the southern end of Bondi beach, has one of the most iconic coastal views in Australia.  Perched on the rocks above the baths, diners have the privilege of being able to look in to shore towards Campbell Parade and Bondi's main beach strip, or out to sea and watch the waves rolling in.  A hard choice.  The wines on offer are exceptional, and display a sensitivity towards stylistic nuance, a sense of adventure (think the orange wine, the natural wines, and all things funky, of which there is a selection), and a respect for the national and international benchmark producers. Truly a wonderful selection. The vintages available venture back to the 1960's so should you wish to drink a more mature wine, that option is open to you as well.  The tasting menu with matched wines is a treat, and we love the suggestion of a liquid dessert - sorbet blended with prosecco and vodka anyone?

Il Lago

Unit G01/8 Century Circuit, Baulkham Hills
(02) 9634 2487

WINE LIST Gianbattista Plebani
WINEs ON LIST 168 (11 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($7-$10 by the glass)

Il Lago, surely, has got to be able to boast the greatest price range available on one wine list: from $22 a bottle, through to $1600.  If this doesn't spell 'something for everyone' then we don't know what does.  Located on the boardwalk in the Baulkham Hills business district, Il Lago manages to present a list that is at once, reasonably concise and broad ranging in its journey across continents, styles and varieties.  Some super premiums were spotted on the list - a magnum of Sassicaia, some older Tignanello, The iconic Penfolds Grange, Henschke's Hill of Grace, cult producer Wendouree and too many more to list.


Ground Floor, 1 Martin Pl, Sydney
(02) 9229 7788

WINE LIST Matthieu Mouraire
WINEs ON LIST 235 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($23-$12.5 by the glass)

You don't have to travel to Rome to sit on a terrace with a white tablecloth, eat great Italian food and drink delicious Italian wine. Intermezzo has all of that, and an extensive Italian wine selection to boot. Gavi, Moscato, Prosecco, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Pinot Grigio, Nebbiolo, Barolo, Friulino... they're all here.  The food menu carries through with this consistency, offering freshly made pasta and an authentic Italian menu.  Brava!


69 Bynya Rd, Whale Beach
(02) 9974 5599

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Niels Sluiman
WINEs ON LIST 1,650 (82 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($92-$12 by the glass)

In a word: PHWOAR. Jonah's boasts a powerfully constructed, extensive and detailed wine list that resets the accepted size parameters of a wine list - this is a tome. The Champagne selection is nothing short of jaw-dropping, and it is very exciting to see verticals of many of the wines listed - it shows a passion and knowledge about the houses featured and allows us (price permitting) to explore a broad range of styles and varietals across many different vintages. This is a very impressive, world class list, and worthy of every praise.

Kellys Bar and Grill

500 Oxford St (Westfield), Bondi Junction
(02) 9389 8288

CUISINE Steak & Ribs
WINE LIST Darren Holt
WINEs ON LIST 81 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($10-$13 by the glass)

This lively bar at Bondi Junction offers a great range of cocktails and spirits as well as a modestly priced range of wines by the glass from Australia and abroad. There's something for everyone, starting with a compact, well-chosen collection of half bottles and a Fine & Rare section that may well tempt.

Kiplings Garage Bar

2 Eastern Rd, Turramurra
(02) 9440 4088

CUISINE Tapas and Modern Australian
WINE LIST Thiago Menezes / Helen Thompson
WINEs ON LIST166 (55 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($8-$28 by the glass)

Set in an old 1920s garage, Kiplings Garage Bar isn't just a tapas and wine bar, they also host wine dinners and private functions - an important add on for any restaurant.  The winelist is tight, well priced and has a great range of predominantly Australian wines, but a few European wines peppered in there as well.  There are plenty of international varietals that are well matched to the tapas style menu, Kiplings is a relaxed and intimate dining experience on Sydney's Upper North Shore.

La Rosa

Shop 133, Level 2, The Strand Arcade, 193 Pitt St, Sydney
(02) 9223 1674

WINE LIST Cristian Casarin
WINEs ON LIST 64 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($10-$29 by the glass)

La Rosa, the sister restaurant to Pendolino, totally immerses you in Italy. The wine list is absolutely devoted to all things Italian, and in fact, only lists a small handful of wines that do not originate there.  For this reason, the wines are perfectly matched to the food menu which, among other things, states that the pizza dough has been aged for up to 48hrs prior to baking in the stone ovens, and the pasta is handmade in the dedicated pasta kitchen. It is difficult not to get excited by this attention to detail.  La Rosa also includes a generous cocktail and beer selection, and should you wish to end your meal with a glass of Limoncello or Grappa, of course they have this too. A wonderful experience at The Strand, La Rosa is for lovers of all things Italian.

La Tratt

14 Anzac Ave, Fairfield
(02) 9727 5000

WINE LIST Anthony Sobb
WINEs ON LIST 141 (10 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($9-$22 by the glass)

La Tratt presents a well balanced list perfectly suited to its Italian cuisine, and once one delves into the heart of this list, the passion of the sommelier begins to shine through.  Back vintage verticals of Henschke, Grange, aged Hunter Valley Semillon, and even some Japanese wine sets this list apart.  A wonderful execution.  We love the philosophy behind the bottomless glass of sparkling water (should this not happen everywhere?) and the Japanese charcoal water purification sticks... lovely attention to detail.

Legends Grill

Vintage Dr, Rothbury
(02) 4998 2632

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINEs ON LIST 317 (36 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($7.50-$14.50 by the glass)

Legends Grill calls out from the outset that it is "Distinctively Hunter" - and so it is.  If you're looking for a comprehensive catalogue of Hunter Valley wines - look no further.  Nestled in amongst these local heroes are
some exciting little surprises, back vintages of McWilliams Maurice O'Shea, Brokenwood and Tyrrell's.

The Lodge Bar 

3/415 Darling St, Balmain
(02) 8084 2502

CUISINE Mediterranean & Modern Australian
WINE LIST Thomas Hoff
WINEs ON LIST 215 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$25 by the glass)

This Balmain bar has a clear idea of what it wants to offer its customers and this list reflects that. It is a substantial international list with many of Australasia's and Europe's best wines alongside some modest everyday wines. All are catered for.

Lolli Redini

48 Sale St, Orange
(02) 6361 7748

CUISINE Italian & French influences
WINE LIST Leah Morphett
WINEs ON LIST 138 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$15 by the glass)

Not surprisingly, this delightful country restaurant has an exemplary list. It displays some of the finest of the  local wines by the glass and throughout, balancing them with great choices from all corners of the globe. Impressive bubbly. Beware, surprises abound! And there's the 'Big Men in Tights' Rose, too.

Longrain Sydney

85 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills
(02) 9280 2888

CUISINE Modern Thai
WINE LIST Sam Christie
WINEs ON LIST 75 (11 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$23 by the glass)

Longrain still has one of best examples in the country of a list that is in tune with its kitchen. While it's compact in size, it is so carefully chosen both in terms of quality and appropriateness with its Thai influenced food that it punches above its weight. Excellent beer selection and heaps of spirits as well.

The Lookout

33 Echo Point Rd, Katoomba
(02) 4782 3653

CUISINE Modern Australian/Heritage Cuisine
WINE LIST Andres Aragon
WINEs ON LIST 80 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($7-$30 by the glass)

Bar NSW at The Lookout gives an entertainingly comprehensive list of wines from across NSW. With everything from verdelho to durif to tannat, merlot to mourvédre, cabernet to corvina, there are wines on this list that will surprise even the most knowledgable wine buff. A clever touch is the consistency of NSW products through the beer and spirits list. Every state in Australia needs a wine list as patriotic to its produce as The Lookout is to NSW.

LOT.1 Sydney

18-20 York St, Sydney
(02) 9279 3555

CUISINE Modern Italian
WINE LIST Steven Cipriani
WINEs ON LIST 204 (33 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($11.50-$25 by the glass)

A welcome addition to the Sydney dining scene with a strong Italian focused list that is neatly balanced by an eclectic array of wines from Australia around the globe. Impressive by the glass and with its spirits collection, yet at its best in its exploration of Italy. Piedmont is a high point.

Lotus At The Galleries

Level 1, 500 George St, Sydney
(02) 9267 3699

WINE LISTAnnette Lacey
WINEs ON LIST 80 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$20 by the glass)

This is a beautifully-presented small list that has been carefully curated. It is an international collection that showcases established Australian classics and the cutting-edge with similarly well-chosen wines from abroad. Modestly priced wines of quality alongside more expensive choices. A surprise packet.

Lotus Barangaroo

Shop 8-9, Wiligul Walk, Barangaroo
(02) 8318 3688

WINE LIST Chris Entwistle
WINEs ON LIST 140 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($13-$25 by the glass)

This is a carefully-chosen international list that has impressive breadth in its scope. There's a sizeable range of varieties from both Australia and abroad. As well as this, there's an emphasis on small, up and coming producers of quality along with an adequate range of top class established wineries.

Lotus Dumpling Bar

3/16 Hickson Rd, Dawes Point
(02) 9251 8328

WINE LISTAnnette Lacey
WINEs ON LIST 29 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($11-$16 by the glass)

This is a tiny list with plenty of choice by the glass. What sets it apart from most is the careful choices that are made about each wine on the list. There's a balance between local and overseas wines; modest pricing for the most part with the occasional offering that is more expensive. Impressive design, too.

Love, Tilly Devine

91 Crown Lne, Darlinghurst
(02) 9326 9297

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Gabrielle Webster
WINEs ON LIST 150 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($10-$22 by the glass)

Gabrielle Webster runs the quintessential wine bar. The list is made in her image shouting her preferences and enthusiasms. It reflects the times and the cutting edge vitality of the world of wine. Throw yourself into the adventure of visiting and be swept along with this exciting modern international list.


56 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont
(02) 9571 1999

CUISINE Italian & Japanese fusion
WINE LIST Michela Boncagni
WINEs ON LIST 320 (41 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$35 by the glass)

Lumi combines a rather intriguing blend of Italian and Japanese into their cuisine and then manage to complement this beautifully with their wine list. This well planned and set out wine list showcases Italian wines.  Prosecco, Franciacorta, Grillo, Nebbiolo and Sangiovese are just some of the wines on offer by the glass.  Then there is a range of Sake options – all before one even starts on the main list. The wine list reminds one of the enormous diversity of wine style available from Italy, providing many possible choices to match the chosen food. It’s not all Italian though and good representations from France, Australian and New Zealand are available too.


6 Cowper Wharf Rd, Woolloomooloo
(02) 9332 3822

CUISINE Seafood & Grill
WINE LIST Samuele Sampirisi
WINEs ON LIST 345 (34 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($14-$210 by the glass)

The wine list at Manta is extensive and lengthy and I really loved this wine list for its diversity and interest. There are plenty of the well-known quality producers and regions one would expect to find in a list of this size and detail and in addition there plenty of examples of emerging and innovative wine styles and producers available. And, one doesn’t have to make a big investment to try these as the wine by the glass list provides an opportunity to try wines from both ends of the spectrum. The wine list provides options of wine varieties from many corners of the globe as well as a strong contingent from Australia. It ensures that all tastes will be catered for and a perfect match to the seafood and grill themed cuisine will be found.


129/85 Reynolds St, Balmain
(02) 9810 9125

CUISINEAuthentic Italian
WINE LIST Marco & Paolo & Giancarlo
WINEs ON LIST 366 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$42 by the glass)

Thoroughly Italian, both the cuisine and the wine list. And as you’d expect from such a diverse wine producing country as Italy, the wine choice is huge and full of interest, with wines to perfectly suit any of the chosen menu options. Though diverse, the list is very well set out so it will be relatively easy for diners to find exactly what they are after. From refreshing, crisp or textural whites to marvellous textural reds, organic, biodynamic or an aged Brunello di Montalcino, it is all here and beautifully complemented by a great list of grappa and other spirits.


4 Ash St, Sydney
(02) 9221 6444

CUISINE Spanish / Moorish
WINE LIST Nate Hatwell
WINEs ON LIST 220 (34 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$21 by the glass)

The Mercado wine list offers an eclectic selection of wines, although it is underpinned by an Iberian focus, in tune with the Spanish/Moorish cuisine found here. There are many unique wine styles on offer plus some of the traditional favourites such as some Sherry and Madiran by the glass, styles which are gradually being revived and finding new interest.  There is quite a large selection of organic, biodynamic, “funky” and “orange” wines further highlighting the focus on small producers and unique wine styles.

Momofuku Seiōbo

80 Pyrmont St Sydney
(02) 9657 9169

CUISINE Asian & European
WINE LISTAmbrose Chiang
WINEs ON LIST 11 by the glass
WINE PRICES $ ($16-$30 by the glass)

Momofuku opens the wine list with a rather comprehensive list of sparkling wines, which is great to see as it demonstrates that there are terrific examples of sparkling wine produced around the world, in addition to Champagne. In the same theme of a point of difference, this wine list is arranged in terms of wine style which many clients will enjoy, rather than the usual “by country and variety” presentation. Texture and flavour is clearly important here with many skin contact and amber wines on offer, providing a diverse and interesting list. There is also a good range of beers, ciders and sake available to complete the experience.


71A Macleay St, Potts Point
(02) 9360 4410

CUISINE Modern European
WINE LISTNick Hildebrandt
WINEs ON LIST 600 (40 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($8-$30 by the glass)

Monopole offers an extensive and affordable wine by the glass or carafe (375ml) list, complete with useful wine descriptions to help your selection. This is an outstanding wine list where the Champagne and sparkling list is a highlight with many non-mainstream producers and a separate grower Champagne selection. There is a genuine range of prices available and in addition to mainstream varieties and styles there is quite a solid list of “orange and cloudy” innovative styles to broaden the offer. Adding depth to the list is the focus given to particular selected producers – e.g. Trimbach, (Alsace), Allain Graillot (Northern Rhône) and a range of vintages are available, showcasing the provenance of these wines.


14 Anzac Ave, Fairfield
(02) 97275 000

WINE LISTAnthony Sobb
WINEs ON LIST 26 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($9-$16 by the glass)

Immerse yourself in the total French experience with French cuisine and a totally French wine list. Though a small list, the wines are all available as wine by the glass and it offers plenty of choice of wine style. Importantly, the wines are well chosen to offer both quality and interest at really affordable prices. This list ensures the diner will have a really enjoyable night out.


65B Macpherson St, Bronte
(02) 8937 0886

WINEs ON LIST 70 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($12-$18 by the glass)

This is a great example that shows one can have an interesting and diverse wine list that showcases some of the less well known wines and regions, that are nonetheless producing some really great wines. Though not an exhaustive, lengthy wine list, one feels that someone has gone to a lot of thought and effort to select an excellent, diverse and interesting range of wines to suit every taste and at very affordable prices. Many wine producing countries and wine styles are presented here from a high-quality Tasmanian sparkling to a rich Sonoma County Chardonnay or a full flavoured Chile Carmenère to name just a few. A highlight for the drinks list too is a terrific selection of beer, perfect too for the climate and daily changing fresh seafood cuisine.

Mr. Wong

3 Bridge St, Sydney
(02) 9240 3000

CUISINE Modern Cantonese
WINE LIST Alexis Rojat / Franck Moreau
WINEs ON LIST 953 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$26 by the glass)

This extremely comprehensive wine list can’t help but impress with an extensive range and a “who’s who” of wines from around the globe.  For a Riesling fanatic, there is an impressive, mouthwatering number available and this level of detail extends throughout the wine list. One would be happy just to immerse themselves in the wine by the glass list but if a celebration is in order, a magnum of Dom Pérignon is also to be found. This list covers all the bases, including providing a range of price points and affordability.

Ms. G's

155 Victoria St, Sydney
(02) 9240 3000

CUISINE Modern Asian
WINE LIST Franck Moreau
WINEs ON LIST 68 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$ ($9-$18 by the glass)

A tight handpicked selection of wine by the glass is available here, where varietals have been chosen from their classic region of origin. In addition to wines by the glass many wines can be purchased by the carafe which provides a welcome option. Wines from some world class producers are available and at affordable prices.  Whether new to wine or an expert, there is plenty here to tempt.

Nagisa Japanese Restaurant

N2/1 Honeysuckle Dr, Newcastle
(02) 4929 4122

CUISINE Modern Japanese
WINE LIST Yohei Namba
WINEs ON LIST 102 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($8-$26 by the glass)

The compact list sits easily at this Japanese restaurant in Newcastle comfortably straddling the local wine region and its Japanese home: excellent Japanese cocktails, beers, sake, whiskeys (with tasting flights). There's more an eclectic mix of international wines to interest, challenge and delight as well as modestly priced wines by the glass. Admirably curated.

Newcastle Club

40 Newcomen St, Newcastle
(02) 4929 1224

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Matt Underwood
WINEs ON LIST541 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($10-$26 by the glass)

Established in 1885 The Newcastle Club certainly has not been resting on its laurels, with an up to date wine list that offers both the classics and the eclectic. The list is impressive and wide ranging and what was so great to see was the emphasis, quite rightly, put on Australian wines and New South Wales wines in particular. These wines, including about forty Semillon options, five vintages of Tyrrell’s Vat 1 and twelve vintages of Grange sit comfortably among other acclaimed global producers ensuring a wide range of options and choice for the diner. The list is very well set out, easy to navigate and really enjoyable to peruse.

Nomad Sydney

16 Foster St, Surry Hills
(02) 9280 3395

CUISINE Contemporary Middle Eastern
WINE LIST Samantha Payne
WINEs ON LIST 73 (54 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($9-$22 by the glass)

Real personality exudes from this wine list with its clearly stated aim of presenting wines from the length and breadth of Australia and from less well known producers, regions and varieties. A sense of adventure is excited from the outset. The wines by the glass list is extensive, fifty four in total and all but the sparkling of these are also available by the carafe. As promised the list is interesting, diverse and different and there is absolutely no doubt as to the quality. A great way to try some of these harder to find wine gems, priced reasonably and a perfect accompaniment to the cuisine here.

North Bondi Fish

120 Ramsgate Ave, North Bondi
(02) 9130 2155

WINE LIST Matt Dunne
WINEs ON LIST 50 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($11-$24 by the glass)

A concise wine list well in tune with it seafood cuisine and beach setting. 24 wines are on offer in a well-chosen wine by the glass list that includes a choice of four Rosé, a perfect match for the cuisine and the view. Many wines can also be purchased by the carafe and though concise, the list offers good options from Australia and around the globe.

Olio Kensington Street

Level 2, The Old Rum Store 2-10 Kensington St, Chippendale
(02) 9281 1500

CUISINE Sicilian Seafood
WINE LIST Paolo Orso
WINEs ON LIST 84 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($10-$26 by the glass)

This recently opened restaurant showcases Sicily in its cuisine and matching this, a wine list with a very strong contingent of Sicilian wines available. So expect to see the Sicilian specialties nero d’avola, inzolia, grillo and carricante proudly alongside better known Italian varietals pinot grigio and sangiovese. The focus is clearly Sicily and wider Italy but to broaden the offer a smattering of interesting non Italian wines are also available.

One Ford Street

1 Ford St, Balmain
(02) 9818 4232

WINE LIST Fabio Dore / Paolo Arena
WINEs ON LIST 226 (40 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$140 by the glass)

The Italian cuisine here is complemented by a largely Italian wine list which pays tribute to the diversity of Italy and Italian wines. The wine lists stated aim is to showcase this diversity and in addition to the better known Italian varieties there are many of the less mainstream Italian varieties. The list provides an opportunity to contrast Italian varieties grown in their homeland and also in other countries. The focus is on boutique and sustainable producers but you will also find some of the very well-known producers as well. A monthly winery in focus section provides added interest and the wine by the glass list is expanded by the inclusion of a reasonably diverse array of Barolo, Barbaresco and Brunello di Montalcino, on pour using Coravin.

Opera Bar

Lower Concourse Opera House Sydney
(02) 9247 1666

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Matt Dunne
WINEs ON LIST 62 (39 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$22 by the glass)

A lot of wine options are available in this very concise list that offers 39 of its wines as wine by the glass.  The wines are accessible and affordable and reflect todays wine trends and an increasing interest in minimum intervention winemaking and preservative free, You’ll find moscato, prosecco, vermentino, garganega and rosé by the glass just to name a few and of course the favourites chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz and more. All suited to the modern Australian cuisine and at an iconic Australian venue, the Opera House.

Oremeggio At The Spit

d'Albora Marinas, Spit Rd, Mosman
(02) 9969 4088

CUISINE Contemporary Italian
WINE LIST Luke Collard
WINEs ON LIST 300 (47 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$99 by the glass)

One can’t help but love this thoroughly Italian themed restaurant and wine list. The list showcases the diversity of Italian wine styles, but also has a significant choice of natural organic and biodynamic wines on offer as well. What excites is the depth of the list where not just one or two but several Franciacorta’s for example are offered and an extensive range of Italian wine regions represented.  This list is thoroughly informative, a veritable wine exploration tour of Italy and will ensure a return visit.

Oscillate Wildly

275 Australia St, Newtown
(02) 9517 4700

CUISINE Modern French
WINE LIST William Godsall-Smith
WINEs ON LIST 383 (9 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$22 by the glass)

A very strong wine list where the major varieties and wine styles are well represented, but there is also a very good number of the less mainstream wines which provide some really good wine options, particularly for the more curious client. There is a strong sparking list with both the major houses and highly regarded grower champagnes represented. It is really pleasing to see boutique wine producers alongside the more well-known producers, ensuring there are really interesting wine choices available.


8/6 Cowper Wharf Rd, Woolloomooloo
(02) 9368 7488

CUISINE Modern Italian
WINE LIST Nathan Lawler
WINEs ON LIST 314 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($14-$43 by the glass)

It might seem an obvious choice to have an Italian focussed wine list with an Italian cuisine themed restaurant but only when it is done as well as it is done here at Otto’s. The very strong and diverse list that showcases the best of what Italy can offer is nicely contrasted with the “Italianate” wines that use traditional Italian varietals in non-Italian regions. The wine list also notes clearly which are the organic or biodynamic wines and there is in addition a good selection of minimal intervention wines if this is your bent. To round it out, there are some great aged releases that could nicely complement a special night out.

Owl House

97 Crown St, Darlinghurst
(02)9357 5060

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Amir Halpert
WINEs ON LIST 50 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($32-$9 by the glass)

A great deal of thought and effort has gone into this this very tight wine list where an overall selection of only 50 wines covers five continents including representation from South Africa, Argentina, Lebanon, Israel and of course the more expected Australia, France, Italy and Spain. This is proof that one can provide genuine choice in a small list. With a choice of varieties and styles from Melon de Bourgogne to Nebbiolo, all from carefully selected producers and regions, there is much to excite the wine enthusiast here. In addition, diners can choose a degustation menu paired with either a fabulous array of cocktails or wine and there is no shortage of other beverages to entice you too. Wonderful.

The Paddington

384 Oxford St, Paddington
(02) 9240 3000

CUISINE Rotisserie
WINE LIST Norbert Beaujean
WINEs ON LIST 112 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($24-$10 by the glass)

This small list offers plenty of choice from Australia and our New Zealand neighbours. Journey Wines, Tyrrells and Natural Born lead the charge, while smart internationals like Keller and Bernard Defaix lend kudos from further afield. The strong showing of pinot noir, gamay and interesting varietals is a highlight.

Paddington Inn

338 Oxford St, Paddington
(02) 9380 5913

CUISINEModern Australian
WINE LIST Matt Dunne
WINEs ON LIST 50 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$40 by the glass)

This is a first-rate small wine list and strong example of curated vision from leading sommelier Matt Dunne. Begin with an aperitivo spritz or select from a sizeable collection of sake and artisan local gin followed by natural whites, frolicking rosé and reds that swing both ways. Pure joy.

Papa Bo Min

Shop 3/225 George St, The Rocks
(02) 8318 3622

WINE LIST Annette Lacey
WINEs ON LIST 33 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$ ($10-$17 by the glass)

The tidy little collection of wine at this casual Asian eatery has been well thought out. Fragrant, medium bodied and textural styles like gris, aligote, pinot noir, cabernet franc and valpollicella are perfectly pitched to pair with dumpling, suimai, crispy skin and spiced specialties. Most wines also available by glass. 

Paper Daisy

21 Cypress Cres, Cabarita Beach
(02) 6676 1444

WINE LIST Hiroyuki Okubo
WINEs ON LIST 180 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$80 by the glass)

The sophisticated wine list at Halcyon House provides excellent range across the world’s major regions. Heavy hitters at this country retreat might splash out on Henschke, Torbreck, Moss Wood, Gaja or Blain Gagnard. A host of alternative varietals and natural wine feature provides abundant pickings for the more adventurous.

Papi Chulo

22-23 East Esplanade, Manly Wharf, Manly
(02) 9240 3000

CUISINE American BBQ & Grill
WINE LIST Franck Moreau
75 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($9.50-$20 by the glass)

Australian and New Zealand wines are well represented on the compact list at Papi Chulo. Among them are Latta Vino, Jamsheed, Tyrrells, Voyager Estate, Escarpment, Charteris and Massena. A dusting of French provides top-flight options, while Spain, Italy and Argentina offer accessible alternatives.


Shop 100, Level 2, Strand Arcade, 412-414 George St, Sydney
(02) 9231 6117

WINE LIST Cristian Casarin
WINEs ON LIST218 (40 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($8-$398 by the glass)

Pendolino presents a core list of Italianate varietals from fiano and falanghina to sangiovese, schiava and nero d'avola. Artisanal producers sit comfortably with icons including Sassicaia, Giaconda, and Cherubino. Take advantage of the large glass selection under cora-vin to traverse the terroirs of Sicilia, Toscana, Puglia and Liguria. 

Pilu At Freshwater

Moore Rd, Freshwater
(02) 9938 3331

CUISINE Sardinian
WINE LIST Wainer Pordetti
WINEs ON LIST 0 (34 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($14-$55 by the glass)

The comprehensive collection of Sardinian wines on this list is entirely appropriate for Pilu’s adventurous fare. A strong leaning towards organic, biodynamic and natural styles shines a light on native varietal heroes with food-worthy texture. Think Vermentino, Vernaccia di Oristano, Argiolas Turriga, and Monica.


50 McLachlan Ave, Rushcutters Bay
(02) 9361 6641

CUISINE Southern Italian
WINE LISTFlavio Carnevale
WINEs ON LIST 206 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$23 by the glass)

Popolo takes diners on a Southern Italian adventure, quite rightly featuring wines from below the latitude of the 41st parallel North. Think Sicily, Sardinia, Calabria and Basilicata. Open with a bellini, aperol spritz or Negroni cocktail and discover a wealth of diverse local grape varieties like pallagrello, aglianico, fiano, bombino, gaglioppo and perricone.


Lower Ground Floor, 1 Martin Pl, Sydney
(02) 9229 7744

WINE LISTFabio Trentin
WINEs ON LIST 100 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$ ($8-$11.50 by the glass)

The varietals of Spain are highlighted at this inner city restaurant and tapas bar. A host of accessibly priced heroes span the regions of Priorat, Rioja, Rias Baixas, Penedes and more. Top examples include Condes de Albarei albarino, Muga Rosado, Telmo Rodriguez mencia and Vina Extremina tempranillo.


Lower Ground Floor, 1 Martin Pl, Sydney
(02) 9229 7777

WINE LIST Franck Goze
WINEs ON LIST 400 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($12-$65 by the glass)

Rich and characterful wines from across Australia and France feature at this upmarket grill room. Highlights hail from Margaret River, the Barossa and Rhone Valleys. Icon shiraz and cabernet from Torbreck, Henschke, Moss Wood and Mount Mary pair perfectly with yearling, black angus and wagyu beef specialties. 


2/40 King St, Sydney

CUISINE Bar Snacks
WINE LISTMichael Chiem
WINEs ON LIST33 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$ ($11-$15 by the glass)

This tiny and original list shines a light on progressive styles from cool cat producers. Think Luke Lambert, Delinquente, CRFT, Domaine Bobinet, Fanny Sabre and La Violetta. We also love creative cocktails and house made sodas featuring native ingredients like wattle cola, blackstrap ginger and bush tonic. 

Public Dining Room

2A The Esplanade, Mosman
(02) 9968 4880

CUISINE Contemporary
WINEs ON LIST 407 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($14-$34 by the glass)

This classy restaurant at Balmoral Beach has a list worthy of the view, the seafood oriented menu and the hard work and clear thinking of the sommelier, Ben Howes. It is an international collection of many of the world's finest wines, balancing long time favourites with newcomers keen to forge a reputation. Drink well at modest prices or lash out on some unforgettable tipples.


Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks
(02) 9251 5600

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Amanda Yallop
WINEs ON LIST 520 (49 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($12-$82 by the glass)

Amanda Yallop’s superlative wine list at Quay is everything you expect in an iconic Sydney Harbour dining experience. She traverses the length and breadth of the international wine world, embracing classic superstars and cutting edge trends with effortless poise. Think Cullen, Foillard, Gravner, Rippon and Sami-Odi. 

Queen Chow

Level 1, 167 Enmore Rd, Enmore
(02) 9240 3000

CUISINE Neighbourhood Chinese
WINE LIST Franck Moreau
WINEs ON LIST 98 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($8-$14 by the glass)

Aromatic whites, gamay and supple, friendly reds like trousseau are on fleek at this Hong Kong style street kitchen. Jim Barry Assyrtiko, Charteris pinot noir, Foillard Morgon and Michel Gahier Arbois are enticing partners with steaming dim sum and roasted meats.

Queens Club

137 Elizabeth St, Sydney
(02) 9264 1171

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Michael Solomons
WINEs ON LIST 420 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($7.50-$25 by the glass)

Members of Sydney’s exclusive Queens Club benefit from an excellent wine cellar. Michael Solomons’ collection is at once smart, classic and progressive. International icons like JJ Prum, Wendouree and Rockford place alongside amphora wines from Georgia and new-wave guns like Domaine Simha and Arfion, all with very accessible pricing.


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

CUISINE Australian Contemporary/ Bistro
WINE LIST Charles Leong / Luke Marosszeky
WINEs ON LIST 102 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9-$42 by the glass)

Regatta presents a good cross section of wine from around Australia. Enjoy the likes of Ocean Eight, Journey Wines, Mitolo and Majella on the waterfront at Rose Bay. High-end French options include Phillipe Pacalet, Clape and Pichon-Longueville Lalande from Burgundy, the Rhone and Bordeaux.

Reserve Wine Bar

102 Hunter St, Newcastle
(02) 4929 3393

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Patrick Haddock / Patrick Hester
WINEs ON LIST 250 (48 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($8-$50 by the glass)

While this is a strong collection of international wine, the celebration of vignerons and styles across regional New South Wales is pure delight. Think Freeman, Tyrrells, Mount Pleasant and Brokenwood. Be sure to take advantage of the large reserve range by glass under cora vin, featuring museum vintages of Lake’s Folly cabernet. 

Restaurant Botanica

555 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin
(02) 6574 7229

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST Clare Bremerkamp
WINEs ON LIST 204 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$17 by the glass)

The regional heroes of Hunter Valley take pride of place at Restaurant Botanica. Choose a magnificent semillon from Tyrrells, Mount Pleasant or Brokenwood over luncheon in the heart of Spicers Vineyards retreat. Medium bodied and earthy red selections hail from Usher Tinkler, Margan and Andrew Thomas.

The Rice Den

30-32 Chandos St, St Leonards
(02) 9438 3612

CUISINE Modern Cantonese
WINEs ON LIST 59 (11 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$ ($10-$30 by the glass)

There’s something for everyone on this compact list. A reliable collection of time-honoured Australian names such as Stefano Lubiana, Vasse Felix, Bass Phillip and John Duval are peppered with international styles from France, Italy, Germany and New Zealand.

Ripples At Chowder Bay

Building 7, Deck C, Chowder Bay Rd, Mosman
(02) 9960 3000

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Anastasia Drakopoulos
WINEs ON LIST 100 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$ ($11-$22 by the glass)

The flavours of Australia and New Zealand come first at this North Shore waterfront locale. Quality driven producers like Curly Flat, Cullen, Felton Road and Catalina Sounds provide excellent drinking choice. Lesser known varietals from Puglia, Sicily and Crete add layers of interest.

Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney

66 Hunter St, Sydney
(02) 8078 1900

CUISINE Steakhouse
WINE LIST Richard Healy
WINEs ON LIST 2732 (60 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($10-$350 by the glass)

An exemplary list. There's depth through with mini-verticals littering all sections of the list. Breadth is provided by the amazing array of varietals from all corners of the globe. Champagne is particularly strong, as is the by the glass listing. The independence of each of the Rockpool restaurants means that there is a refreshing focus on Western Australian wines.

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron

33 Peel St, Kirribilli
(02) 9955 7171

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Jamie Dickinson
WINEs ON LIST 1113 (28 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($6-$20 by the glass)

The vast treasures of the Fort Denison cellar have been amassed with patience and care. The regions of France and Australia are particularly well travelled, with members spoiled for choice among the superstars of Barossa and Burgundy. A sprinkling of Spanish and Italian gems and large glass selection make for excellent drinking.

Sails On Lavender Bay

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

CUISINE Contemporary French
WINEs ON LIST 178 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($14-$26 by the glass)

The broad range of varieties and styles on the wine list at Lavender Bay merits appeal. Stonier, Nepenthe, Neudorf and Pierro are among the Australian and New Zealand backbone. Burgundy, Bordeaux and Rhone Valley provide ample hunting ground for those looking to splash out.

Saint Peter

362 Oxford St, Paddington
(02) 8937 2530

WINE LIST Alice Massaria
WINE ON LIST 30 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13-$18 by the glass)

This dynamic small list highlights cutting edge styles from bright young things across the country. Think Sigurd, Sud de Frank, Domaine Simha, Tripe Iscariot and Jared Dixon. Aromatic whites and energetic reds like chenin blanc, manseng, fiano, gamay and pinot noir are perfectly paired with the flavours of seafood.

Sake The Rocks

12 Argyle St, The Rocks
(02) 9259 5656

CUISINE Contemporary Japanese
WINE LIST Gustavo Kroneis
WINE ON LIST 191 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($9-$27 by the glass)

Sake skillfully presents a range of Australian and international wines to complement their signature dishes. Elegant styles hail from the likes of Dormilona, Clonakilla, Prager, Domaine de la Motte and Graillot. Additional highpoints naturally arise from Japanese craft brews and regionally distinct, artisan sake.


52-54 Albion St, Surry Hills

CUISINE Modern Asian
WINE LIST Paolo Saccone
WINEs ON LIST 25 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($10-$23 by the glass)

The small list at this cool Asian hideaway has all your bases covered. Think fresh, spicy riesling and gewürztraminer, interesting whites like picpoul, gruner veltliner and barrel ferment sauvignon blanc along with juicy malbec, pinot noir and GSM. A good range of sake, umeshu and yuzushu also feature. 

Season Drink Dine

Bells Boulevard, Kingscliff
(02) 6674 7766

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Dirk de Beer
WINEs ON LIST 183 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($8.50-$21 by the glass)

The classically styled wine list at this Northern Rivers getaway has a lot to offer. Well known Australian and New Zealand producers include Freycinet Vineyards, Petaluma, William Downie, Leeuwin Estate, Kooyong, Felton Road, Greywacke and Escarpment. Icon shiraz from Henschke and Penfolds will satisfy those seeking rich rewards. 


201 Sussex St, Sydney
(02) 9283 1990

CUISINE Japanese Inspired
WINE LIST Rodney Setter
WINEs ON LIST 1500 (80 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($12-$65 by the glass)

Sepia’s list circumnavigates the world’s wine regions cherry picking along the way. The end result is a thrilling compilation that’s comprehensive, classy and full of surprises. Prized producers from Anne Gros, Giuseppe Quintarelli to Wendouree and Best’s Great Western grace the pages alongside rare varieties such as caberlot and osteiner. And its by the glass selection featuring a range of sherry, madeira and sake remains one of the very best.


80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
(02) 9657 9161

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Fabio Nistrio
WINEs ON LIST 750 (39 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($58-$25,000 by the glass)

If you are looking for wines to impress then you will love the list at Sokyo. Plenty of big, dependable names to give you confidence in your choices. In line with the cuisine, there is an impressive collection of sake and over thirty Japanese whiskies. The by-the-glass list is comprehensive and includes some aged wines served by Coravin.  If you are after Australian classics such as Grosset and Penfolds, you will be delighted.  Overall, the list is very diverse, with an excellent contemporary selection alongside the classics. European wines are well represented, with top wines from the prestigious regions.

Sotto Sopra

316 Barrenjoey Rd, Newport
(02) 9997 7009

WINE LIST Luke Collard
WINEs ON LIST 95 (33 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($9-$37 by the glass)

When the savvy team behind Ormeggio At The Spit open a wood-fired trattoria, it’s not only the food that tantalises, so does its all-Italian wine list with an exception for its bespoke range made by Pizzini in the King Valley. Don’t know your Carricante from your Grechetto? Headings such as ‘crisp, light & dry’ or ‘complex & interesting’ make choosing easy. Or, kick back with something delicious off the superb by the glass selection.

Spice Temple Sydney

10 Bligh St, Sydney
(02) 8078 1888

CUISINE Regional Chinese
WINE LISTJoshua Donnelly
WINEs ON LIST 100 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13-$29 by the glass)

Ensuring wines match perfectly to Neil Perry’s superb Chinese food means a tailor-made list of the highest calibre. The rub is only 100 wines are chosen so there’s an emphasis on aromatic and textural styles. Expect excellent riesling, Grüner Veltliner, pinot gris and chardonnay plus fragrant reds especially pinot noir.

St Claudes

10 Oxford St, Woollahra
(02) 9331 3222

CUISINE French Bistro
WINE LIST Jessica Parsons
WINEs ON LIST 86 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$24 by the glass)

Since St Claude’s is a classy, small French bistro with an emphasis on quality, its list of 86 wines follows suit. Not surprisingly French varieties and wines dominate perhaps start dinner with champagne or a glass of Margaret River chardonnay, while a Rhone red would be just right with fillet mignon. Most are well under $100 except the thoughtful reserve list.

St Isidore

89 Croobyar Rd, Milton
(02) 4455 7261

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Sasha Siljanovic
WINEs ON LIST 69 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($10-$15 by the glass)

A choice selection of regional favourites feature from Clonakilla, Collector to Ravensworth, Helm and more but this small list is not parochial with wines from Australia and Europe in the mix. Eschewing a varietal listing, this takes its cue from palate weight starting with ‘lighter bodied’ right through to ‘bigger still’.

Steeds Club

116-118 James Ruse Dr, Parramatta
(02) 8863 7600

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LISTEllen McCallum
WINEs ON LIST 159 (50 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($10-$28 by the glass)

When there’s a diverse choice of 50 wines by the glass, everyone’s whim can be satisfied. What’s on offer includes Alsace pinot gris, Italian pinot grigio, South African chenin blanc, New Zealand pinot noir, Spanish tempranillo and Australian renditions too. A sharp spirit range, too.

Stunned Mullet

24 William St, Port Macquarie
(02) ) 6484 7757

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINEs ON LIST 286 (64 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($11-$62 by the glass)

Thanks to Coravin, diners have never had it so good with the choice of a glass of wine especially those with age, consider a 2006 Rockford Basket Press shiraz or ’08 Wendouree cabernet sauvignon. It gives an edge to this thoughtful list comprising key varieties sourced from Europe, New Zealand and across Australia.

Sushi E

252 George St, Sydney
(02) 9240 3000

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST David Wood / Franck Moreau
WINEs ON LIST 207 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($10-$38 by the glass)

Aromatic varieties from riesling, pinot gris to chardonnay, pinot noir and sake dominate this terrific list. But the star of the show is the range of champagne from non-vintage to vintage, small producers, growers to the big guns, including a mini-vertical of Dom Perignon.

Sydney Cove Oyster Bar

No. 1, East Circular Quay, Sydney
(02) 9247 2937

CUISINE European & Asian Seafood
WINE LIST Barney Fallows
WINEs ON LIST 1 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($9-$29 by the glass)

Picpoul de Pinet, Chablis, Sancerre, champagne and riesling are perfect matches to oysters. They’re all here on this terrific list but as the menu offers a range of seafood, you can order Australian, New Zealand or French chardonnay while pinot noir leads the reds. And  the by- the-glass selection is seriously good.


529 Kent St, Sydney
(02) 9267 2900

CUISINE French & Japanese
WINE LIST Fabio Danzi
WINEs ON LIST 872 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($18-$80 by the glass)

Tetsuya’s list is as exceptional as it is exciting kick-starting with a superb by the glass selection followed by very fine champagnes. However, what makes it standout is its focus on producers hence the verticals of JJPrum, Mount Mary, Felton Road and more, off-set by wines from newer players such as L.A.S. Vino or Graci. A list that dazzles but doesn’t blind.

The Rooster

48 Merriwa St, Katoomba
(02) 4782 1206

WINE LIST Jeff Salet
WINEs ON LIST 48 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$ ($10-$16 by the glass)

There is an old world charm about The Rooster which is rarely seen these days. Eat superb French food matched with well-priced French and Australian wines.  Enjoy white Bordeaux and Pouilly Fumé, or perhaps a Beaujolais or Southern Rhone red.  There are some cellared Leeuwin Estate chardonnays and Mosswood cabernets if looking for something with age.  An affordable selection by-the-glass plus a small but lovely suite of aperitifs and digestifs.

This Must Be The Place

239 Oxford St, Darlinghurst
(02) 9331 8063

CUISINE Bar Snacks
WINE LIST Kylie Javier Ashton
WINEs ON LIST 23 (10 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($11-$18 by the glass)

Just 23 bottles make this list, almost half offered by the glass, with its focus on “a new generation of wine, winemakers and wine drinkers”. So pét nat and skin contact complement new players say Delinquente from the Riverland to established producers such as COS from Sicily. It’s a small, cool bar with a pitch-perfect drinks list.


Level 4, ivy, 320 George St, Sydney
(02) 9240 3000

WINE LIST Filippo L'Episcopo / Franck Moreau
WINEs ON LIST 457 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($11-$38 by the glass)

Any top Italian-focussed list worth its weight in white truffles will have a wow selection of barolo/barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti Classico. Uccello doesn’t disappoint on that front but it really engages with the less famous varieties think carricante, pelaverga or schiava. Choice Australian, New Zealand and French wines feature including mini-verticals on the ‘Australian Iconic Shiraz’ page.

Union University and School Club

25 Bent St, Sydney
(02) 9232 8266

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Elliot Gray
WINEs ON LIST 378 (34 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($7-$30 by the glass)

Who wouldn’t want to be a member of this club, the third oldest in Australia, for the drinks list alone? While the design needs refreshing, there’s nothing fuddy-duddy about the 378 wines featured with traditional producers such as Penfolds and Henschke keenly priced and offset by younger players such as Ministry of Clouds and Bird on a Wire.

Upstairs At The Lord

19 Kent St, The Rocks
(02) 9251 4044

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Blair Hayden / Kristian Savio
WINEs ON LIST 280 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($9.50-$15 by the glass)

Brewing its own beers is one of the drawcards at Lord Nelson, the other is its compact wine list. It’s especially strong with reds starting with a vertical of Rockford’s sparkling shiraz, selections of older vintages perhaps Roda 1 reserva 2004 to current releases from Bass Phillip and Cirillo.

Vernons Bar

2 Moonbie St, Summer Hill
(02) 9797 8118

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST David Murphy
WINEs ON LIST 63 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($8-$22 by the glass)

The old Summer Hill post office is a one-stop gastronomic outpost comprising One Penny Red restaurant with Vernon’s Bar upstairs. Start with a cocktail off the Fancy Drinks’ selection or a gin & tonic or share a bottle from the sharp and stylish wine list of mostly Aussie choices. Just 63 wines on offer but all delicious.

Vinery Foods

125 Johnston St, Annandale
(02)9566 4266

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Joseph Moussa
WINEs ON LIST 362 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($11-$20 by the glass)

A neighbourhood restaurant with a fabulous selection of wine and other drinks especially gin and whisky. Australian and Euro wines featuring the most popular varieties dominate but that’s offset by a nifty list labelled “interesting” think loureiro, blaufrankisch or aglianico.


1/332 Darling St, Balmain
(02) 8068 8762

CUISINE ModernEuropean
WINE LIST Mikey Hamilton
WINEs ON LIST 50 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$ ($10-$18 by the glass)

All hail Wilhelmina’s small list that manages to celebrate diversity with all 50 wines on offer. Expect staples such as riesling and pinot noir from the right regions and while mostly Australian in outlook, a couple of Euro offerings add another layer such as Austrian gruner veltliner or Argentine malbec.

Wine Library

18 Oxford st Woollahra
(02) 9360 5686

CUISINE Charcuterie & share plates
WINE LIST John Giuffre
WINEs ON LIST382 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($10-$21 by the glass)

A cracking by the glass selection spear-heads this diverse list of delicious wines. While there’s a strong Italian theme, there’s no shortage of Australian and French wines including an excellent Jura range or a mini-vertical/horizontal of Guigal’s La La wines for the well-heeled.

Workshop Kitchen

248 Armidale Rd, Tamworth
(02) 6766 7000

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LISTDaine Cooper
WINEs ON LIST 184 (42 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($8-$18 by the glass)

Apart from country music, Tamworth has never had it so good with this wine list celebrating the regional, Australian and beyond. A diverse, plentiful by the glass selection sets the tone while Topper’s Mountain flies the local flag. Seek out the ‘interesting selections’ or ‘quirky varietals’ featuring Greek moshofilero or a red from Lebanon’s Chateau Musar.

Woy Woy Fishermen's Wharf

The Boulevarde, Woy Woy
(02) 4341 1171

WINE LIST Michaela Clayon
WINEs ON LIST 35 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($5-$15 by the glass)

This lauded seafood restaurant has a stunning, well-matched list of 35 wines with every white offered by the glass. Brilliant. Match chablis or Hunter Valley semillon with oysters and sashimi, Aussie fiano or vouvray with chilli salt and pepper squid and die-hard red fans have 7 delicious options from dolcetto to pinot noir.

Yang & Co

79 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag
(02) 9967 5913

CUISINE Modern Asian
WINE LIST Ben Mitchell
WINEs ON LIST 48 (10 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($10-$15 by the glass)

When a small list eschews varieties and leads with headings such as aromatic white or full-bodied red, it’s certain to partner well with this mod-Asian menu. While some fine-tuning of what appears under those headings will help, the quality of wine is without question. It’s a fun list.


57 Macleay St, Potts Point
(02) 9332 2344

CUISINE Vegetarian
WINE LIST Nick Hildebrandt
WINEs ON LIST 400 (28 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($8-$28 by the glass)

It’s hardly surprising this thoughtful, worldly list is full of delight and excellent choices because it’s crafted by one of the finest sommeliers – Nick Hildebrandt. From the artisanal to the classy, they’re all here, starting with a stunning range by the glass and each subsequent section based on palate weight such as 'white wine light + fresh + lean'. How refreshing.