Best Pub Restaurant List

The Crafers Hotel

The Crafers Hotel

8 Main St, Crafers, SA
(08) 8339 2050

crafershotel.com.au

CUISINEGastro Pub
WINE LIST Liinaa Jaumdally (Berry)
WINEs ON LIST 1,900 (46 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$

The Crafers Hotel in the Adelaide Hills hosts a mind-bogglingly good wine list. It is gargantuan in size, 1,900 wines in total, but that is not its defining feature. The Big Wine Book, as the list is called, offers wines from all across the globe, often in vintage verticals, or clusters of producers. This makes it an extraordinary list to read through. Matched to the French-influenced food, the list focuses on Australia and France predominantly, and is something of a who’s-who in terms of great wineries and wines. On offer is a top-notch selection of Burgundy, an eye-watering list of 1st Growth Bordeaux, Champagne, riesling, nebbiolo and shiraz from all the greatest producers. Let us not forget the extensive collection of Wendouree, the centennial vertical of Seppeltsfield Para Tawny, or the vast range of South Australian wines.

For all of those who came to wine country to learn something, or if you don’t want to make decisions for yourself, there is a ‘Session with the Sommelier’ – a guided tasting ranging from value to premium. The Crafers Hotel is more than a country pub, it is a unique gastropub with an exceptional list, one that must be seen to be believed. Erin larkin

Finalists

Upstairs at the Lord Nelson

19 Kent St, The Rocks, NSW
(02) 9251 4044

lordnelsonbrewery.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LISTBlair Hayden / Kristian Savio
WINEs ON LIST 346 (36 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($35-$8 by the glass)

Every now and again, you step into a restaurant or bar that is more like a tardis than a venue, full to bursting with everything you could think to want.  Upstairs at the Lord is one of those places.  An historic pub and brewery, with a wine list so good it hums.  They have a vertical of Rockford Black Shiraz, back vintage and rare selections of wines in almost every varietal, 1986 Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, a hefty selection of super premium Barossa Shiraz including Grange, Hill of Grace, Rockford Basket Press and more.  There's a great selection of the A.P. Birks Wendouree wines (hard to find and thrilling in old age), and the selection of spirits digestifs, sherrys, ports, fortifieds and Cognacs is something to behold.  If you're looking for a drink other than wine, the choice of ales brewed on site might give you something to consider, and there is also a little lineup of Sake and premium cider.  The menu is simple but precise and a cut above the usual pub fare.

Garden State Hotel

101 Flinders Ln, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 8396 5777

gardenstatehotel.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian/Gastro Pub
WINE LIST Anthony-Sabastian Tran
WINEs ON LIST 244 (43 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($24-$9 by the glass)

This wine list feels hip from the get go. By the glass has you reaching for every glass, a cavalcade of cool wines from younger gen producers and boutique wineries, styles that are straight from the avant garde play book, sections titled 'shades of pink, rose & orange', what's not to like? Amongst the edgy nature of the list is a core of seriously good quality wine with back vintage support, hence Grosset sees multiple selections, as does the like of Toolangi or the cult Cambrien wines of Heathcote. It's a very accessible list that nurtures pro drinkers as it does novices, providing a really broad overview of the current state of Australian wine culture while segueing neatly into some more adventurous realms. Imported wines are really strong too, with dedicated listings of fine Burgundy, various Italian wine regions' impressive wares and excellent bits and pieces from Argentina, Spain and USA. The bent to unusual or lesser-heard of grape varieties is great too. Clever stuff.