Best Wine Bar List

Bar Liberty

Bar Liberty

234 Johnston St, Fitzroy, Vic

Cuisine Modern Australian
WINE LIST Banjo Harris Plane
WINEs ON LIS 450 (20 by the glass)

What’s the key to success for a top wine bar list? According to Bar Liberty, it’s ‘a selection of fermented beverages’ served with a decent dose of pizzazz. Expect cocktails that tease and please, real cider and artisanal beers with select digestives and spirits that could make one linger.

It’s a diverse list, not mainstream but not so challenging. Co-owner/sommelier Banjo Harris Plane just wants people to get excited about good booze, which is why he pitches the classics with the rebels, leading with headings such as Energetic White Wines or Macerated Whites. Expect to discover Jura chardonnay Buronfosse Varron followed by Cullen Kevin John or in the Lighter Red section, pinot noir from Ochota Barrels or Best’s Old Vine pinot meunier. Wow producers include Giacomo Conterno, Massolino, Gravner, Graillot and Wendouree, and new takes on ‘Aussie Red Wines’ feature a selection from Barossa-based Tom Shobbrook and Tom Belford in the Yarra Valley.

It’s an egalitarian compilation – not too big, not too small, and each page rips with surprise and personality: there’s even a page dedicated to one of the regulars. Ultimately, the list shines because it offers delicious drinking. JANE FAULKNER


Apothecary 1878

118 Hindley St, Adelaide, SA
(08) 8212 9099

WINE LIST Paola Coro
WINEs ON LIST 400+ (32 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($22-$8 by the glass)

Long-time Apothecary wine list curator, Paola Coro, works hard year to year delivering one of the most assured and complete wine lists in Australia. From the wines by the glass and the innovative "taste" section employing Coravin, to the seamless blend of European and Australian wines - with a healthy emphasis on her own home state - Paola maintains the highest quality. The pinot noir and shiraz collections are particularly dazzling and how refreshing to see alternative grapes and rose taken so seriously.

The Heritage Wine Bar

131 St Georges Tce, Perth, WA
(08) 9226 5596

WINE LIST Chris Sell
WINEs ON LIST 118 (108 by the glass)
WINE PRICEs$$$ ($445-$11 by the glass)

The sommelier's best friend, the Coravin system, gets a real workout at Heritage Wine Bar allowing the choice of 108 wines served by the glass and 357ml carafe as well as by the bottle. Prices range from the young approachable - maybe a Great Southern chardonnay - through to the stratospheric - 1998 Chateau Margaux at $445/glass - and everything in between. It's a stunning accomplishment, but it's good to see that the wine bar's heart remains steadfastly in the West with many an alternative or classic wine style covered.