Cuisine International Share Plates
WINE LIST David Collins
WINEs ON LIST 457 (73 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$22 by the glass)
Genuine enthusiasm is all too rare, but David Collins has it in spades – well, bottles more to the point. Charred’s list of over 400 wines seamlessly melds local wines with international benchmarks, all at reasonable prices. Eclectic newbies rub shoulders with serious verticals – think Giaconda Chardonnay, Penfolds St Henri and Yarra Yering No 1. But wait there’s more, with mini-verticals of NSW heroes Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, Lowe Zinfandel and Lake’s Folly. Local Orange wines are highlighted, many featured on Collins’ 60-plus by-the-glass list that are, thanks to Coravin, poured in immaculate condition.
Winning the coveted Reader’s Choice Award is a real feather in Collins’ cap, hinging on his easy-going nature. His infectious fervour for wine is only eclipsed by his love of (real) beer. Charred won the Best Beer List Award in 2017 and Collins’ has added more special brews since. All of this from a standing start in 2016 when a local eyesore was reinvented as a quirky, fun-filled venue. Charred’s chef is Liam O’Brien (ex-Bentley, Universal, Sailors Thai) who (naturally) presides over a fabulous charcoal pit. Charred is on a roll, drop in for a chat and a glass with David Collins soon. Peter Bourne
CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Paul Eldon / Daniel Sanderson
WINEs ON LIST 123 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($17-$10 by the glass)
It's great to see wine lists dedicating their pages entirely to Australian wine, and a vindication that Australian wine is perhaps in its best era yet is written large in these pages. This isn't a dodgy theme park ride that some all-Australian lists can run the risks of appearing like, but an homage to great Australian producers that are tried and tested, set alongside those emerging from the avant garde. Therefore, you can get Leconfield, Best's or Seven Hill if you want more traditional Australian wines and styles, but if a younger generation of expressive wines is more your style, then dial in BK Wines Petillant Naturel or Alpha Box & Dice's Golden Mullet Fury white blend. There's loads of emerging varieties in the mix too - try assyrtiko, ugni blanc, verduzzo, gruner veltliner on for size, and all from high quality producers. It's an exciting list, speaking loudly of originality and thoughtful curation. And don't miss the high quality, all-Australian artisan spirit pages too.
CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LISTChris Walker
WINEs ON LIST 1330 (111 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($210-$9 by the glass)
For a wine lover, visiting Cru Bar + Cellar is like walking into a fantasy. Over 1,300 wines are presented, with over 100 by the glass, thanks to the help of Coravin. The list is seemingly endless, and with each variety, Australian's best is presented alongside global examples. There are pages of pinot noir with Burgundy a highlight, plus a solid selection of nebbiolo and grenache. Shiraz is, as expected, well-featured, as is cabernet and blends including Bordeaux. There is admirable complexity in the white offering, with riesling and chardonnay the stars. Though make the most of this list by trying one of the many quirky varietals and origins, like nerello mascalese from Sicily, to make the experience unique.