The Tony Hitchin Award – Best New List

Dear Sainte Éloise

Dear Sainte Éloise

5/29 Orwell St, Potts Point, NSW
(02) 9326 9745

cuisine European
WINE LIST Matthew Swieboda/Nathanial Hatwell/Jasmin Natterer
Wines on list 470 (25 by the glass)
Wine prices $$

Dear Sainte Éloise has been humming since she re-opened her doors. Her owners’ experience and aptitude for running small bars shows in the detail. It feels like a proper wine bar with a terrific list run by people who know what they are selling.

The cellar is wall-to-wall, each bottle carefully categorised in an elegantly presented list. Friendly notes coax readers through 400 (well-priced) bottles, with a strong emphasis on ‘experimental winemakers of the present – those who will help define wine’s future’.

That said, it’s not just ‘orange’ savoury whites from the Jura, or ‘natural’ reds from the wilds of Georgia. Celebrated Australians, such as Cullen and Grosset, are well represented. There’s also a succinct range of aperitifs and quality spirits for those with stronger tastes.  

What is most enjoyable about this colourful list is that the authors’ enthusiasm for wine is palpable. As a reader you really want to try everything. This is a rare quality in a wine list, but exactly the reaction an excellent and diverse wine library should elicit.  

Dear Sainte Éloise makes writing a wine list look easy, but so does any well researched and time consuming piece of work.  
sophie otton



2 Kalinya St, Newport, NSW
(02) 9114 7350

CUISINE Seafood Brasserie
WINE LIST Andres Aragon Perez / Franck Moreau
WINEs ON LIST 720 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($95-$11 by the glass)

Another instalment from the tireless Merivale Group, which sees the Newport pub revamped into a stylish brasserie and bar simply called Bert's. It would be easy to have a list that plays safe but its 700-strong bottle collection offers excellence on every page. It kick starts with a spot-on by the glass selection, a raft of champagnes and mini-verticals add another depth such as Jim Barry The Florita riesling, Brokenwood ILR reserve semillon, Clonakilla shiraz-viognier and in the iconic shiraz section, Penfolds Grange starting at 1969.

Kwan Ho

410 Sandy Bay Rd, Sandy Bay, Tas
(03) 6225 7888

WINE LIST Damien Byrne / Louis Liu
WINEs ON LIST 250 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$11 by the glass)

Diners to Kwan Ho are in for a most pleasant surprise. As the newly-launched sister restaurant to Me Wah, it enjoys access to the award-winning, Me Wah wine list. With it comes a collection of DRC, top Bordeaux houses, Penfolds Grange back to 1983 and other vinous heavyweights. The essence of the list, however, is Tasmanian with a delightful mix of pioneers, the cutting edge and emerging stars listed. Sparklings, chardonnays and pinot noirs, diverse in style, show the depth of the state's wine industry.