Victoria Winner

Bar Liberty

Bar Liberty

234 Johnston St, Fitzroy, Vic


barliberty.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LISTBanjo Harris Plane
WINEs ON LIST 450 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$

Although still in the first flush of youth, Fitzroy’s Bar Liberty has just won awards as the nation’s Best Wine Bar and the Best Victoria Wine List. The sommelier behind the list is Banjo Harris Plane who made waves at Melbourne’s Attica and continues to draw attention now that he is in his own bar. It is a sizeable list of more than 400 wines and offers a range of focuses to lure its customers. While not Victoria-centric, there are a substantial number of wines from most parts of the state. It pays attention to the new and the different, to wines made using minimal intervention, to styles that are in vogue, such as the wines of the Jura, Burgundy and Piedmont. There are always surprises: aged wines; rosés; a selection from a regular; a focus on the Barossa’s Tom Shobbrook, the Yarra’s Tom Belford and Crozes-Hermitage’s Alain Graillot. The international offerings are obvious from the list by the glass, yet there’s space for old favourites: Bass Phillip, Pennyweight and Seppelt.

There’s more than wine, too. There are noteworthy collections of beers, ciders, spirits and cocktails. And, if you’re bored, you can always ask about the Champagne sabring lessons. Peter Forrestal

Finalists

Cutler & Co.

55-57 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Vic
(03) 9419 4888

cutlerandco.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Liam O'Brien
WINEs ON LIST 632 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($45-$14 by the glass)

A mesmerising list for its complexity, detail, abundance and incredible spread of global wine touchstones, drinking at Culter & Co is rated 'e' for 'epic'. From rarities of Jura through to heights of Burgundy's best producers and back to stalwarts of Australian wine set amongst the rising coterie of the local, Victorian avant garde, this is a list that excels in its surprising, delightful, thrilling and vast collection. By the glass is a whistle-stop tour of trendy styles, more serious releases and some back vintage gems, and segues well into the cornucopia of sparkling wine styles (trendy and more serious!), including a detailed overview of big name and grower Champagne. Bonneau du Martray finds footing alongside the sought-after wines of Josko Gravner, while a brace of wines from Domaine de la Romanee Conti are amongst a host of peers of Burgundy, Australian (and New Zealand) pinots likewise find a spotlight. It's a list that has matured year on year to the very upper echelon.

The Botanical

169 Domain Rd, South Yarra, Vic
(03) 9820 7888

thebotanical.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LISt Peter Baker
WINEs ON LIST 864 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($24-$7 by the glass)

A sophisticated and extensive list that is confident and comprehensive. Not only knowledgeable in wine,  all the spirit, cocktail and beer accoutrements are considered. Since I can remember, The Botanical has always made a statement when it comes to taking its drinks list seriously. Very Melbourne, very sophisticated, very stylish. No end of luxury and possibilities to splash out on, no end of modest prices and easy drinkability, it works hard catering for all patrons.

Glass-Rated

Altair

152 Yarra St, Warrandyte, Vic
(03) 9844 5548


altairrestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Michelle / Kelvin Shaw
WINEs ON LIST 386 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15.5-$10 by the glass)

A stand alone wine list rarely piques enough interest from the reader to visit the restaurant it is housed in, but Altair does. The  thought that has gone into this selection is to be commended.  Not only the wines, but the cocktails, beer and spirit selection are all there for a reason, everything in its place, inspiring excitement and the desire to explore it all.  To top this off, the prices are sensational. A terrific list, reflecting the passion and attention to detail of its author. Congratulations.

Amaru

1121 High St, Armadale, Vic
(03) 9822 0144

amarumelbourne.com.au

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Duncan Peppiatt/Masa Nishimoto
WINEs ON LIST 260 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($66-$11 by the glass)

A discerning, carefully chosen list that is precise and confident. Each genre is well appointed and balanced without allowing the guest to become exhausted for choice. Bigger is not better. A luxurious selection of wine by the glass, ensuring every drop can compete with the finesse and detail of the food.  Strict parameters here, which shows refreshing conviction to the quality, not the quantity. If you are going to dine well, drink well.

Arbory Bar

1 Flinders Walk, Melbourne,Vic
(03) 8648 7644


arbory.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Raúl Moreno Yagüe
WINEs ON LIST 50 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($13-$9 by the glass)

This is a compact selection that more than adequately caters for its variety of boardwalk patrons. Prices are modest with good support for local Victorian producers, which stands to reason given the passing tourist trade. The list is populated with both classic and alternative choices, providing the selection with pep and interest, especially when it is accompanied by prices that represent excellent value for money.

Arlechin

Mornane Pl, Melbourne, Vic

arlechin.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LISTKabir Antoniak
WINEs ON LIST 100 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($20-$12 by the glass)

A jaunty selection that advocates minimal intervention and natural wine choices. An easy going, playful line-up that is energetic and approachable, taking the pain out of wine and its 'serious' accoutrements. This list encourages the guest to relax and enjoy wine for what it is. Sustained by a simple bar food offering, there is not much a guest could be left wanting for, needing only good company and conversation.

Attica

74 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea, Vic
(03) 9530 0111

attica.com.au

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Jane Lopes
WINEs ON LIST 500 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($82-$12 by the glass)

A well-rounded, sophisticated 500-bottle selection, from the established benchmarks to new emerging talent. A Coravin program allows an interesting exploration by the glass, as do the suggested parings. The extensive use of local spirits is to be commended, as is the emphasis on native ingredients in the house cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages, which is becoming an increasingly important category on any drinks list.

Avoca Hotel

115 High St, Avoca, Vic
(03) 5465 3018


theavocahotel.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Ian Urquhart
WINEs ON LIST 187 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($14-$6 by the glass)

It's great to see such strong regional support for the local wines and the care taken to champion a single area. This is admirable and especially relevant in today’s discussions around distance and lessening footprints, supporting local and agricultural. That said, it’s not parochial either, offering everything from sake to European favourites. The sort of wine list that makes you want to snuggle in on a cold afternoon and enjoy country food, wine and hospitality.

Bar Liberty

234 Johnston St, Fitzroy, Vic

barliberty.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Banjo Harris Plane
WINEs ON LIST 450 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($28-$9 by the glass)

More than a list of wines, this is a jaunty drinks list that not only makes for a good read but encourages and tempts the guest to explore everything on offer, which is an art in itself. A terrific selection of unusual and intriguing beverages with the right amount of accompanying text and interesting observations to keep the you coming back for more. A very tidy beer selection is another highlight, and the range of prices is in keeping with a lively local wine bar that encourages exploration and learning. A refreshing and lively selection.

Bellota Wine Bar

181 Bank St, South Melbourne, Vic

(03) 9078 8381
bellota.com.au

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Cory Morris
WINEs ON LIST 50 (32 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($60-$10 by the glass)

The staff here live wine, with the bar being a natural extension of the Prince Wine Store, an established and respected Melbourne retailer and importer. A tight, focused list of 50 bottles moves effortlessly between established favourites to pushing the wine boundaries. Bottle age is considered and prices are more than reasonable, especially bubbles. By the glass is Eurocentric, with 50ml tastes available for those who want to sample an array of wine, cheese and charcuterie before taking a favourite bottle back home.

Bistro Gitan

52 Toorak Rd, West South Yarra, Vic


(03) 9867 5853
bistrogitan.com.au

CUISINE French
WINE LIST Edouard Reymond
WINEs ON LIST 203 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($19-$12 by the glass)

An excellent balance between the well known and the lesser known labels.  A careful consideration and selection of what sells itself and what needs to be hand sold. A versatile and sound offering of wines on pour, we appreciate the larger glass (200ml pichot) and carafe 500ml (vs 375ml) going against the norm. Considerable investment has been made in a checkerboard of wine styles, celebrating countries from near and far. A colourful list representing the benchmark, interesting and quality driven.

Bistro Guillaume Melbourne

8 Whiteman St, Southbank, Vic
(03) 9292 8888


crownmelbourne.com.au

CUISINE French
WINE LISTEnri Cesarato
WINE ON LIST 260 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($140-$14 by the glass)

A careful selection of old world and new world talent caters for business and pleasure. The simplicity and elegance of Guillaume's menu (not to mention the setting) begs for a special bottle to celebrate. A list with no shortage of benchmarks and classics, not to mention the appropriate aperitifs to whet the appetite or alluring digestifs to complete a meal, as only the French know how, this is a terrific selection that doesn’t exhaust the reader for choice.

Black Caviar

Gate 22, Station St, Caulfield East, Vic
(03) 9257 7200


mrc.racing.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Chris Young
WINEs ON LIST 89 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$ ($8.50-$22 by the glass)

A wine list that does well to offer a mix of premium and well-known, more affordable wines, focussing on icon and reliable Australian wine producers. Ipso, you get a range of Penfold's' Bin Range wines alongside Cape Mentelle, Shaw + Smith or Domaine Chandon. Some more boutique offerings come in the form of wines from Jasper Hill, Curly Flat and Hurley Vineyard, bolstering the premium image of wines available at Black Caviar. Most of the wines come from current or recent releases, but for the enthusiasts, there's a scattering of more mature drops in the mix too. Victorian wine is a strong focus in the list, doing great service to local winemakers big and small. While diversity in styles may not be the point, most varieties and well-known blends are firmly in the cross-hairs of this list. Plenty of options here for all comers.

Blue Tree Grill

122 Healesville-Kinglake Rd, Healesville, Vic
(03) 5962 4899

racv.com.au/travel-leisure/racv-club/healesville/
food-drink/blue-tree-grill.html

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST Christian Maier
WINEs ON LIST 155 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16.5-$5.5 by the glass)

As one would appreciate, being the Healesville Country Club, the list opens with 75ml flights of Yarra Valley drops, and the regional theme extends from glass to bottle to become the foundation on which the selection is built. Not only that, but the prices are very modest, with the list's author tantalising the guests with bottle aged, bench mark bargains with the likes of 2010 Cullen Diana Madeleine ($210) and 2007 Yarra Yering Dry Red No 2 ($185) from the cellar, which dates back to the clubs inception, 1952. If these walls could talk.

The Botanical

169 Domain Rd, South Yarra, Vic
(03) 9820 7888

thebotanical.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LISt Peter Baker
WINEs ON LIST 864 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($24-$7 by the glass)

A sophisticated and extensive list that is confident and comprehensive. Not only knowledgeable in wine,  all the spirit, cocktail and beer accoutrements are considered. Since I can remember, The Botanical has always made a statement when it comes to taking its drinks list seriously. Very Melbourne, very sophisticated, very stylish. No end of luxury and possibilities to splash out on, no end of modest prices and easy drinkability, it works hard catering for all patrons.

Bottega

74 Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9654 2252


bottega.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Ben Knight
WINEs ON LIST 150 (11 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$11 by the glass)

One could say Bottega is verging on being a Melbourne institution. Established in 2002, it's starched whites, small and intimate, professional, stylish, and a always a little exclusive. One imagines its well-heeled, business clientele enjoy this space as if it was their own home. It's refreshing that the wine selection has been reduced, but not at the expense of retaining a benchmark selection of Australian and European labels. After years of skin in the game, Bottega's list is less about choice and more about facilitating enjoyment and fun.

Bouzy Rouge

470 Bridge Rd, Richmond, Vic
(03) 9429 4348


bouzyrouge.com.au

CUISINE Mediterrenean
WINE LIST Ben Sanders
WINEs ON LIST 280 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$9 by the glass)

A lively selection that spells fun, starting with classic and signature cocktails to get the party started. Well priced wines by the glass, Arinto to Albarino, Alfronchiero to Jaen, sitting comfortably alongside the more traditional grapes. A sommelier's selection features favourite bottles and helpful descriptors. Wine prices are surprisingly affordable with plenty on offer for those on a budget. A tribute to Madiera is a talking point with a comparative flight of three to to stimulate your appetite or digest the feast.

Brae

4285 Cape Otway Rd, Birregurra, Vic
(03) 5236 2226


braerestaurant.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Jared Hill/Simon Freeman
WINEs ON LIST 600 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($58-$14 by the glass)

An erudite list, not a wine out of place. An exciting selection that is beautifully composed. The emerging and esoteric feature strongly, offering the guest a sense of adventure. There is a commendable list of local, cutting edge Victorians, which gives substance and interest for travellers, including  back vintages of established greats like Crawford River and Best's Great Western. Then there are the rare and boutique Europeans which guild the cellar with star quality and gravitas. An outstanding collection on offer, it’s worth a journey for the wine list alone.

Brass Razu Wine Bar

13 Main St, Mornington, Vic
(03) 5975 0108


brass-razu.com.au

CUISINE Tapas
WINE LIST Dr Paul Collier
WINEs ON LIST 420 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13-$9 by the glass)

Having been established for over 10 years this wine bar, situated in maritime vine lands of Mornington Peninsula, is a treasure trove for wine lovers. It's an old school selection written by Dr Paul Collier with strong and proud representation of local Victorian producers. So too, attention is paid to international reds and whites in addition to labels with some welcome bottle-age. the offerings are rounded out with swathe of boutique and international spirits. Gin and whisky can be sampled in 15ml flights, not to mention being shaken or stirred into a cocktail. with over 400 wines this is a regional labour of love, confirmed by the modest pricing and considered selections.

Burma Lane

118 Little Collins St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9615 8500


burmalane.com.au

CUISINE Asian-inspired modern Australian
WINE LIST Matthew Lamb/Anthony Pieri
WINEs ON LIST 78 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$12.5 by the glass)

A lighthearted selection of labels and styles, the list categorises its wines playfully. The selection embraces minimal intervention, the innovative and the modern types. Gin and vermouth successfully introduce the reader and whet the appetite, with a decent beer and spirit selection too. Great overall value to be found here. Less serious, more fun, from the wine list, to food and decor, all the elements of Burma Lane dovetail neatly into one bright colourful package.

Caruggi

66 Little Malop St, Geelong, Vic
(03) 5229 6426

caruggi.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Amanda Rimmer
WINEs ON LIST 98 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13-$8.5 by the glass)

This list crosses the spiritual vinelands of Italy offering Italian and Australian examples of the key grapes that reside in the established regions. Sicily's nero d'avola sits alongside a comparative nero from McLaren Vale. Aglianico from Campania anyone? Or perhaps Heathcote? Prices are more than reasonable with descriptors to assist the reader's selection. Opening with classic, bitter aperitifs and closing with a  notable list of mountain herb Amaro's, this is a tidy, confident selection that invites enjoyment from the first to last stages of  the dining experience.

Caterinas Cucina

221 Queen St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9670 8488


caterinas.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Caterina Borsato
WINEs ON LIST 426 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($19-$12.5 by the glass)

Caterina Borsato takes her wine list very seriously with over 400 listings her guests can travel to all corners of the wine world in her iconic basement restaurant. A significant investment that has been developing since 1995 her emphasis on Italian bottles, with constant thought given to vintage depth with barely a current release to be seen. An admirable list that would engage many an wine drinker and enthusiast.

Cellar Bar

80 Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9662 1811

florentino.com.au/cellar-bar

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Kabir Antoniak
WINEs ON LIST 49 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($19-$8 by the glass)

An array of vermouth, bitter concoctions and gins mixed on the rocks awakens the senses. The wine choices are tight and punchy and weighted on the European side and befit the dark wood, brassy Venitian setting. Meet The Maker selection features the wines of a single producer giving depth. Style categories and lighthearted illustrations ease the decision making and navigation.The digestives are tastefully emphasised concluding and interesting and thoughtful read from cover to cover.

Centonove

109 Cotham Rd, Kew, Vic
(03) 9817 6468


centonove.com.au

CUISINEItalian
WINE LIST Jesse Davidson/Cristiano Ceccherini
WINEs ON LIST 450 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($18-$11 by the glass)

A colourful cellar with a myriad of wines from all corners of the globe. Being Italian by nature, there is strong emphasis on the country’s greats, with Tuscan and Piedmontese offerings giving particular weight and resonance to the Centonove cellar. Following on there is a roll call of renowned Australian and New Zealand labels that also take pride of place. So too, flights of Grosset and Felton Road enjoy extra leg room with multiple vintages listed. A bold offering of over 400 labels that takes its eating and drinking seriously.

Centra

131 Yarra St, Geelong, Vic
(03) 5224 1515


centrahotel.com.au

CUISINE Rustic Italian
WINE LIST Cam O’Keefe
WINEs ON LIST 160 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$7 by the glass)

All options have been considered in this beautifully presented impressive and passionate little drinks list. All bases are covered in short categories that are well chosen, bolstered by back vintage tributes from star Victorian vignerons and European greats. A tidy craft beer list, short but quality driven spirit choices, digestives and amari. Love the energy and vibrancy of this drinks collection. Exciting and noteworthy content at modest prices.

Chairmans Club

448 Epsom Rd, Flemington, Vic
(03) 9376 0633


vrc.net.au

CUISINE Modern
WINE LIST Dan Schwarze
WINEs ON LIST 260 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($25-$11.5 by the glass)

With over 250 listings, this is a cellar that features a great many of Australia's outstanding benchmark producers. Happily, more often than not, these favourites carry some welcome bottle age, which adds no end of excitement when it comes to making your selection. European favourites stand tall for those whose tastes venture further afield. And most suitably, a flight of Penfolds Grange patiently waits for the winning occasion, as does a list of celebratory Grande Marque Champagnes with Dom aplenty.

Congress

49 Peel St, Collingwood, Vic
(03) 9068 7464

congresswine.com.au

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Katie McCormack
WINEs ON LIST 50
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$10 by the glass)

The art of the small list is written large here. It's a compelling compendium of smart, avant-garde and natural wine producers augmented with well-chosen wines from high quality, more traditional boutique wineries. Therefore, you get the cult Spanish wines of Partida Creus set alongside the wonderful wines of Beechworth's Sorrenberg, or Craiglee's stoic, complex shiraz brushing shoulders with Tom Shobbrook's frisky, nouveau-styled Barossa cinsault. It's a list that compels drinkers to try new things or to relax into glasses of original, compelling wines from a global roll call of progressive winemakers. Narrowing the list down to a tight 50-or-so listings is very difficult, but wine director Katie Mccormack has done so with great skill, ensuring that though there's a clear focus on minimal intervention winemaking, there's plenty to explore for all. It's clever, wonderful drinking to be had here.

Cru Wine Bar & Cafe

916 Glenferrie Rd, Kew, Vic
(03) 9818 4366


crukew.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Tony Donnini/Peter Rose/Andrew Pickering
WINEs ON LIST 394 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($17-$10 by the glass)

A thunderous list that showcases a truly global breadth of the wonderful world of wine. You can tell immediately that great care is given about the collection and that a love of wine is the beating heart of Cru's team. The list opens with lengthy explanations about their mores and interests, and segues into a collection of 'weird & wonderful' that should keep drinkers on their toes. Following is a collection that runs with wide appeal, sparkling wines come from all over the planet, even showcasing rarely seen fizz from England, though there's grower Champagne, Cava, Franciacorta and Aussie fizz alongside. There seems to be a particular bent towards powerful wines of Italy, though you'll find salve in fresher pinot noirs and unusual red grape varieties of Europe, if lighter is your thing. Plenty under the hood in the white wine selection too, with marquee producers of chardonnay, riesling and sauvignon blanc served well. Nicely done all up.

Cucinetta

4/3 Murphy St, South Yarra, Vic
(03) 9942 2607

cucinettamelb.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Giacomo Pietrantuono
WINEs ON LIST 31 (29 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($28-$11 by the glass)

A heart-on-sleeve wine list that showcases sommelier Giacomo Pietrantuono's Italian heritage and personal connection to wines of his home country. This is a wine list that feels very much intertwined with the proprietor and his vision for hospitality and sharing his experience in the industry. Champagne and a couple of Australian wines join a tight list of some 30-odd wines - the list is keenly focussed on a whirlwind tour of Italy's premier wine regions and varieties. It's great to see Italian wines from lesser-known wine producers getting centre stage, allowing Cucinetta to help guests explore alternatives to tried and tested names. While there's great prosecco, soave and Barolo in the mix, the couple of Tuscan reds with some cellar age are gems in this tightly written list. Beers and spirits also play a part in creating a fuller experience, with most selected as per the over-arching Italian theme.

Cumulus Inc

45 Flinders Lne, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9650 1445


cumulusinc.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary European
WINE LIST Nicholas Carne
WINEs ON LIST 499 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($40-$9 by the glass)

A stupendous list that offers incredible depth, a global perspective and a compelling marriage of established wine producers alongside the thrilling, emerging roll call of Australia's avant garde. It's wonderful to see a firm anchor in wines of Victoria too, with commitment to multiple generations of producers, from benchmarks Yeringberg, to culture shifting Jamsheed and through to young guns like Latta and Boomtown. Feature pages highlight interesting collections, including a line-up of Yarra Valley greats, a wonderful selection of Chablis, and a tribute page to the By Farr family winemaking legacy. Amongst all this local focus there is terrific wines from benchmark French and Italian wine regions, with, of course, Burgundy, Champagne and Piedmont particularly on song, though there's brilliant wines from lesser-known international regions and varieties of equal allure. Adventure alongside comfort in recognition, while ensuring top quality wines hit your glass - a motto for a top list.

Cumulus Up

Level 1, 45 Flinders Lne, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9650 1445


cumulusinc.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary European
WINE LIST Nicolas Cane
WINEs ON LIST 502 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($21-$10 by the glass)

A contemporary and wonderfully chosen list, the wine collection has a distinct bent towards smaller, grower-producers and boutique-style operators, though there's plenty of familiar turf amongst the brilliant but less obvious wine producers amassed here. The list itself works cleverly too, showcasing by the glass offerings, a short list of favourites, then the cavalcade of some 500 wines follows. There's feature producers in the mix too, so you get to see sets of aromatic whites and rose from Domane Wachau or Cedric Bouchard's high quality Champagnes. The list is truly global, from lesser known wine regions of western Europe through to Austria, New Zealand, Spain and Portugal. That being said, there's great depth in 'local' wines of Victoria, particularly the younger generation set, though the line up also includes an impressive feature collection of Mount Mary. It's a stellar compendium of greatest hits here, original and compelling in its way.

Cutler & Co

55–57 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Vic
(03) 9419 4888


cutlerandco.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LISTLiam O'Brien
WINEs ON LIST 632 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($45-$14 by the glass)

A mesmerising list for its complexity, detail, abundance and incredible spread of global wine touchstones, drinking at Culter & Co is rated 'e' for 'epic'. From rarities of Jura through to heights of Burgundy's best producers and back to stalwarts of Australian wine set amongst the rising coterie of the local, Victorian avant garde, this is a list that excels in its surprising, delightful, thrilling and vast collection. By the glass is a whistle-stop tour of trendy styles, more serious releases and some back vintage gems, and segues well into the cornucopia of sparkling wine styles (trendy and more serious!), including a detailed overview of big name and grower Champagne. Bonneau du Martray finds footing alongside the sought-after wines of Josko Gravner, while a brace of wines from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti are amongst a host of peers of Burgundy, Australian (and New Zealand) pinots likewise find a spotlight. It's a list that has matured year on year to the very upper echelon.

Dandelion

133 Ormond Rd, Elwood, Vic
(03) 9531 4900

dandelion.ws

CUISINE Vietnamese
WINE LIST Jane Lindsay
WINEs ON LIST 56 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$13 by the glass)

A short but well-chosen wine selection at Dandelion, giving drinkers the opportunity to scour the globe for wine drinking, with a keen eye on boutique, emerging and indie wine producers. The bent is decidedly skewed towards the Vietnamese cuisine of the food menu too, with gewurztraminer, viognier, pinot gris/grigio, aromatic white blends and riesling highlighted in the list. It's great to see recognisable, high quality brands like Laurent Perrier and Geoff Merrill mixing it up with younger generation wine producers like Jo Marsh's Billy Button wines or gamay (and pinot noir, and chardonnay!) specialists Eldridge Estate from Mornington Peninsula. These smaller, rarer wines are gems in a list that seems carefully selected and honed for ease of navigation and drinking options. Cleverly done, well done. Thank you, Dandelion!


Doot Doot Doot

166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North, Vic
(03) 5931 2500


jackalopehotels.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Marcus Radny
WINEs ON LIST 350 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$14 by the glass)

A stellar list that feels more inner city, small wine bar than it does a regional restaurant, but that's certainly the beauty of dining outside of metropolitan areas these days - wine lists are increasingly thrilling. This is a pretty edgy wine collection with a strong bent towards natural wines and artisan producers. That being said, there's anchors in a multitude of wine realms which makes this list so compelling, and the most important thing is that the wines selected here are of outstanding quality and interest. Kudos for that. You'll thrill in grower Champagne, younger generation Australian wine producers, a raft of well-chosen Burgundy producers and interesting lesser-sung grape varieties and blends. The list is lengthy and offers a neat back catalogue of cellared wines in tow. Indeed, this is such a wonderful gathering of wine, it's hard to know where to direct attention. There's so many fascinating, delicious wines on hand. Kudos for diversity and personality here.

Edwards Waterfront

101 Bentinck St, Portland, Vic
(03) 5523 1032 


richmondhenty.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
Wine List Mark Mcintyre
Wines ON LIST 144 (44 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($24.5-$7.5 by the glass)

An Australian-centric wine list that travels broadly and widely, with a smattering of good New Zealand fare in the mix. It shows great awareness of best variety/styles matched to great growing regions, and does well exploring the wines of great drinkability, high profile and some judicious maturity for some of the more premium wines on offer. There's big names like Penfold's St Henri, Seppelt St Peter and Katnook Estate Odyssey, but you'll likewise find a good anchor into the 'local' Henty wine region, with a collection of Crawford River wines, alongside Seppelt Drumborg, Pierrepoint and Henty Estate. Of particular note is the volume of wine on offer by the glass, a triumphant 44 wines grace the offering, from entry level quaffers through to some more special drops. It's a good wine list, steeped in Australian wine classics, offering good diversity and interest for the dining experience.

Elyros

871 Burke Rd, Camberwell, Vic
(03) 9882 8877


elyros.com.au

CUISINE Greek
WINE LIST Angie Giannakodakis/Nikki Reid
WINEs ON LIST 129 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($27-$11 by the glass)

An adventurous list but one that anchors you firmly in the cuisine of the menu, this is a collection of wines that is dedicated to exploring the wonderful, colourful, delicious wines styles of Greece, with a scattering of Australian and international wine selections alongside. Therefore, you get aromatic white wines of Peloponnessos, Crete and the Ionian Islands, or crunchy reds from Makedonia and the Aegean Islands. This is the heart of this wonderful collection, a strong showing of intriguing Greek wines that should be the focus of drinkers at this restaurant. That being said, there's smart inclusions of riesling from Mosel, pinot gris/grigio from Mornington Peninsula and a gathering of Australian shiraz and cabernet based wines. There's a few mature wines in the mix too, but the young, fresh examples are eagerly aligned to refreshing the palate with the dishes on hand. A small but worthy selection of ouzo (and other Greek apertifs) add additional credence. A wonderful list, all up.

Epocha

49 Rathdowne St, Carlton, Vic
(03) 9036 4949


epocha.com.au

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Angie Giannakodakis
WINEs ON LIST 199 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($20-$14 by the glass)

Entirely focussed on European wines, and almost uniquely smaller, organic, biodynamic and natural producers, this is a very demanding but rewarding wine list that requires either intimate knowledge in the currency of emerging and contemporary wines, or to hand over faith in the expertise and knowledge of the staff at Epocha. That being said, what has been chosen is seriously good, with a strong list of Greek wines underpinning the Jura, Loire, Burgundy and Champagne selections that sit alongside lesser-sung wine regions' wines like those of Basque country, Corsica or Baden. The list stretches to almost 200 selections with a rotating 15-or-so by the glass, making it an appealing experience on repeat visits with a sense that exploration and wide-eyed approach is a maxim of the appeal. Come for the Pineau d’Aunis stay for the Mauvrodaphne but don't miss some Gros Manseng on the way through...

Etta

60 Lygon St, Brunswick East, Vic
(03) 9448 8233

ettadining.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Hannah Green
WINEs ON LIST 79 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($21-$11 by the glass)

This is a very 'Brunswick' wine list in as much as it supports not only a kind of 'locavore' ethic in Victorian wine producers, but offers those selecting a global outlook on what's hot in contemporary wine. There's orange wines, pet nats, cult natural wine producers, wines of Jura, grower Champagne and loads of light and fresh, crunchy red wine built for ease of drinking and personality. It's a wonderful list, therefore, a celebration of how diverse wine imports and local wine styles are in this modern era. It's also wonderful to see support for those who have been committed to great grape growing and winemaking for an echelon, so Clyde Park, Fighting Gully Road and JJ Prum find space amongst new breed wine crew like Little Reddie, Amble and The Wine Farm, names that are yet to find the spotlight, but are increasingly important in Australian wine. So much interesting and good drinking at Etta.

The European

161 Spring St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9654 0811


theeuropean.com.au

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Chris Broughton
WINEs ON LIST 700 (173by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($18-$13 by the glass)

A list so rich and deep in global wine it could be an international touchstone for how great wine lists should look. As the name suggests, the list focuses entirely on wines of Europe with a legion of sommeliers shaping and moulding the collection over the past 20 years. It's heady in its listings of grand wines, from marquee (and grand marque!) Champagne to its illustrious archive of Burgundy, this is a list that makes aficionados, wine enthusiasts and the uninitiated delight in its wide and broad spectrum of great wine. Young riesling from Germany is outstanding, the detailed selection from Barolo and Barbaresco thrilling, while newer to the limelight regions like Baden, Burgenland and Savoie find space amongst the canons of fine wine. Beyond the new and fresh, the wine selection is importantly and richly embellished by a huge proportion of cellared wines. The European wine list continues to be a significant tome for extraordinary wine.

Ezard

187 Flinders Lne, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9639 6811


ezard.com.au

CUISINE Australian Freestyle
WINE LIST Brendan Bennett
WINEs ON LIST330 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($55-$14 by the glass)

A superb wine list that showcases a broad array of wine styles across boutique and more established, icon producers. It's immediately noticeable that a wide range of cellared wines forms a basis for the wine list too, with mature riesling, judiciously cellared chardonnay from choice vintages and a credible selection of Burgundy and Italian red wines with judicious age. There's a great selection of cult wine producers too, so you can opt in on Jerome Prevost's rare, pinot meunier vintage Champagne, or dive into bottles from Sorrenberg, Bindi or Nicolas Joly. Great to see mini runs of Mount Mary Quintet and Domaine Leflaive, though you'll find it hard to miss the tight collection of famed Domaine de la Romanee Conti, if your budget extends to it! The list is bolstered with a smart spirits collection and neat picks from smaller sake producers. It's a wonderfully well-rounded list that ekes out best-ofs, left, right and centre. So much to choose from, so many great wines.

Florentino

80 Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9662 1811


florentino.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Kabir Antoniak/Rodney Morris/Emanuele Luzi
WINEs ON LIST1016 (45 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($76-$12 by the glass)

It could be anticipated that at one of Australia's greatest Italian restaurants that the wine list would follow suit, but what isn't expected is just how far, detailed and exciting that selection could be. This is one of Australia's most scintillating wine collections, hewn tightly to showcase Italian grape varieties and wine styles, with a strong dedication to the emergence of the same from Australian soils. The by-the-glass selection is extraordinary in its currency of established, premium wines and those from the emerging sect of avant garde wine, with Coravin pours bolstering the offering, and a brilliant collection of amaro following suit. There's incredible depth in Barolo, Tuscany, marquee Amarone and cult producers of Sicily, Veneto and Friuli, but what really thrills is seeing just how potent the sect of Australian nebbiolo or sangiovese goes alongside. Page after page exalts the theme and brings home a potent message - drink well, drink broadly, even within the theme. Superb.

Garden State Hotel

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


gardenstatehotel.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian/Gastropub
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.

Golden Dragon Palace

363 Manningham Rd, Lower Templestowe, Vic
(03) 9852 4086


goldendragonpalace.com.au

CUISINE Chinese Cantonese
WINE LIST Shawn Kwok
WINEs ON LIST 286 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$9.5 by the glass)

A list full of stalwarts and classics with a sprinkling of emerging future stars. What makes them especially appealing is the keen pricing. Kiwis are also well represented. Throw in an extensive offering of mature vintages and this is a list to savour.

Grill

80 Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9662 1811

florentino.com.au/grill

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Kabir Antoniak
WINEs ON LIST 1016 (28 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($62-$12 by the glass)

Like its stablemate, Grossi, Grill is a list that shows an incredible dedication to Italian wine and to the wines produced from Italian grape varieties from Australia. This could mean a simple list that wallows in safety, but instead, the list soars as an imaginative treatise to indigenous varieties of Italian wine regions, unusual wines styles emerging from Australian wines, a collection of matured, cellar-release Italian classics and a fortified and amaro list that goes beyond impressive. This is a wine list that should be held aloft as a totem, showcasing originality of identity while anchoring itself firmly in the cuisine of the restaurant. And, while deifying all things Italian, there's still a raft of JJ Prum, incredible grower-producer Champagne, Loire chenin blanc and touchstones from most other exceptional growing regions of the world. It's a list that just won't quit. Turn each page slowly and carefully and return often to forage amongst this collection.

Healesville Hotel

256 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville, Vic
(03) 5962 4002


yarravalleyharvest.com.au

CUISINE Regional
WINE LIST Michael Kennedy
WINEs ON LIST 400 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($30-$8 by the glass)

One of Australia's great pub wine lists with an emphatic support for local product across just about every wine style while covering iconic wineries through to emerging, younger generation producers. The wine list is a wonderful, rolling expression of a dedicated cellar, and though anchored in the Yarra Valley, extends to the great producers of Australia, with a tightly selected collection of international wine benchmarks are found alongside. Although the list is predominately about wine, Australian artisan spirits are increasingly a big feature, and the beer selection continues to be, exceptional and lengthy. The big sections to draw the gaze are chardonnay and pinot from the Yarra Valley where the icon varieties shine through the lens of some of Australia's most exciting wines. Don't miss the cellared examples from Mount Mary, Gembrook Hill, Hoddles Creek and Mac Forbes, all of which are high points of a striking wine list.

Highline

29 Chapel St, Windsor, Vic
(03) 9510 4050


therailway.com.au

CUISINE Modern contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Eric Wagnon
WINEs ON LIST 235 (65 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($120-$10 by the glass)

It's hard to look past the almost 50 wines on offer by the glass, a head turning collection of global benchmarks that showcases everything from South African white blends to high class white Burgundy through to natural wine from the variety frappato from Sicily. Then there's a serious collection of Champagne that weaves together icon wine brands and grower producers, but don't miss the intriguing wines found under 'alternative white' and 'alternative red' where perhaps the most exciting wines on this list are found. There's plenty of young, fresh wine styles, but also a very good collection of matured, cellared drops particularly with a focus on Australian old school-good school, bolder flavoured reds like Penfolds Grange and RWT or Yalumba The Reserve, Peter Lehmann Stonewell and Jim Barry The Armagh. Though the mature Australian wines are seriously attractive, it's great to see the emergence of new wave Australian wine producers gracing these pages too. Lots to drink here.

Hogget Kitchen

6 Farrington Cl, Warragul, Vic


hogget.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Jessica Martin
WINEs ON LIST 95 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($20-$11 by the glass)

A quixotic wine list primarily servicing the wine programs of compelling Victorian winemakers William Downie and Patrick Sullivan. Their eponymous wine projects are front and centre in this collection with both winemakers showcasing back vintage releases and an array of local wines from their leased (and home) vineyards. Alongside their own wares there's a sympatico selection of natural wines, organic farmed wines and wines from boutique wine producers, often produced or imported into the country in minute volume. Grower Champagne opens the list, fresh and savoury whites dominate and light, crunchy, bright reds are a metier here. There's a very strong showing from Victorian wine producers too. The offering feels quite discovery-orientated, a touch challenging, but wholly focussed on presenting an exciting and diverse array of options for intrepid drinkers. The oeuvre is decidedly natural, but it's been hewn from quality producers and set to thrill those dining at Hogget.

Iki-jime

430 Little Collins St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9691 3838

ikijime.com.au

CUISINE Fish & Seafood
WINE LIST Remi Craquelin/Maeva Rougeoreille
WINEs ON LIST 610 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($23-$13 by the glass)

A wine list that reflects the contemporary mores of drinking in Australia to almost pinpoint accuracy. There's the swathe of natural wines, the collection of respected, local, boutique wine producers, the jaw-dropping big names from global touchstones of fine wine and a undeniably excellent coterie of cellared wines, ready to roll for your matured, drinking pleasure. It feels easy to recognise that this is a list built around a philosophy that sees farmer-producers and sustainably-produced wines at the forefront. Kudos to the Ike-Jime team for so ably matching their food menu with this. Champagne is all-star, don't miss the heady collection of Alsace whites and do admire the superb collection of chenin blanc, so often a maligned variety. Aromatic and savoury whites appropriately to the seafood-focused menu dominate the entire list, but well-chosen nebbiolo, cabernet sauvignons and a section under the banner of 'syrah' rather than shiraz. It's an exciting, thoughtful, excellent list.

Highline

29 Chapel St, Windsor
(03) 9510 4050


therailway.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Eric Wagnon
WINEs ON LIST 216 (62 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($12-$160 by the glass)

An outstanding list for various reasons, but the most compelling is the epic, lengthy by the glass selection that gives drinkers a near endless opportunity to sample great wines of the world. Options for by the glass come in tasting size and full glasses, enhancing the experience at Highline. The bottle list feels unapologetically skewed to Australian wines, with the selection leaning towards smaller, artisan producers, experimental or newer to Australia grape varieties, but there's homage to great, fine wines and a very serious, finely-tuned collection of Penfold's Grange. Orange wines, roses and textural/unique whites form a solid baseline for those seeking a more avant garde experience, though there are totems of the fine wine world scattered through the list. Judiciously chosen imports are a perfect addendum to the wonderful representation of local wines. Spirits and beers are well chosen too. Great drinking here.

Kazukis

1 Camp St, Daylesford, Vic
(03) 5348 1218


kazukis.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST Primo Clutterbok
WINEs ON LIST 245 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($28-$15 by the glass)

An investment in both the local community of Macedon Ranges, and in the metier of the kitchen, is writ large in this wine list. Sake, Japanese spirits, tea, wine from Japan and shochu are all underpinning the drinks offering, but these are brought into the fold amongst a wine list that is packed with amazing imported wines and prestigious Australian winemakers. The list proudly spotlights a coterie of Macedon Ranges wine producers including Bindi, Curly Flat, Cobaw Ridge and young gun Joshua Cooper. In every sense it's a beautiful wine list with wines and drinks sensitively selected to match the food menu, curated around lighter, fresher white wines, an impressive array of pinot noir from Burgundy and a deep collection of Australia's finest chardonnay. Adding further interest are  wines purposefully kept in the cellar for a more ideal release, with examples found in nearly every category listed. It's the kind of list that should be used as a shining example of thoughtful curation.

Lake House

4 King St, Daylesford, Vic
(03) 5348 3329


lakehouse.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Robin Wilson
WINEs ON LIST 1213 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($22-$13 by the glass)

A legendary list. Thoroughly comprehensive, but if there are regions/styles that shine are Burgundy and Champagne. Indeed, the list of champagnes would be proudly flaunted by most top restaurants from that region. An excellent focus on local wines as well. It does not get much better.

Lamaro's Hotel

273-279 Cecil St, South Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9690 3737


lamaroshotel.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Nick Brown/Sandy Ingram
WINEs ON LIST 220 (34 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $-$$$ ($8.50-$18 by the glass)

Lamaro's Hotel in South Melbourne first opened in 1850 and has been 'the local' on leafy Cecil Street ever since. It boasts an  extensive and wonderfully balanced list of wines from across the country. Highlights include Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay by the glass, a sparkling selection that spans the champagne greats and the growers plus other bubbles from around the world, some dynamic emerging producers, a great spread of local, national and international wines (think cult producers, Aussie 'first growths' and more), and some impressive back vintages. The list isn't all about wine, though - Lamaro's boasts an extensive beverage list for anyone who might feel a hankering for something different, think Cognac, cocktails, tap beer and cider. The adventurous and exciting Australian menu essentially begs for an interesting wine match, and with thirty four to choose from by the glass alone, there is surely something for everyone. Bravo Lamaro's.

Laura

3649 Frankston-Flinders Rd, Merricks, Vic
(03) 5989 9011

ptleoestate.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Andrew Murch
WINEs ON LIST 550 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($36-$10 by the glass)

A compelling offering from the freshly-minted Point Leo Estate winery restaurant, Laura. It's a wine collection that proudly offers up the winery's own fare, but likewise allows diners to select from some 550-or-so beyond the cellar door. The selection is keenly focussed on Australian wine, particularly wine producers of a more boutique but high quality nature. It's great to see classics like Crawford River riesling next to Mac Forbes', or the slew of amazing Burgundy offered up alongside local heroes like Tolpuddle (multiple vintages!) or closer to the restaurant, Hurley Vineyard and Paradigm Hill. It's likewise great to see not only reverence for Australia's more progressive wines listed here, but the international avant garde that includes German pinot noir, orange wine from Georgia and Jura white wines. Best of all, the spread of prices means that casual wining and dining is possible, though if a big night out is more your speed, there's a serious cellar to trawl through.

Lazerpig

9-11 Peel St, Collingwood, Vic
(03) 9417 1177

lazerpig.com.au

CUISINE Pizza
WINE LIST Jake Winther
WINEs ON LIST36 (10 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$10 by the glass)

Lazerpig offers their customers the rather unique opportunity to enjoy their pizzas with some obscure, left-field wines and curiosities, while making sure that this very small list never neglects quality. The same applies to their collection of beers. An enhanced experience, indeed.

L'Hotel Gitan

32 Commercial Rd, Prahran, Vic
(03) 9999 0990


lhotelgitan.com.au

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Edouard Reymond
WINEs ON LIST 187 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($19-$9 by the glass)

Lots to like right here, particularly the mix of established and boutique wine producers that grace the list with a kind of best region/best variety matrix. Therefore, you get Petaluma Riesling from Clare Valley, Demi by Syrahmi Shiraz showcasing Heathcote's most notable red variety, and there's a neat collection of icon wine styles from Burgundy, Alsace, Spanish wine regions, Rhone and Piedmont. It's a list you could say is 'very well balanced' in that it represents Australia well, the sect of newer producers of local sources in Victoria, a clever selection of imports without overwhelming a guest at L'Hotel Gitan. Half bottles and magnums lend some depth too, particularly with cellared wine options, though there's quite a few scattered through the 'regular' listings. A small collection of higher quality natural wines are segregated for ease of location too. All in all, the list ably highlights diversity and high quality wine. Smart selection brings this to life.

The Lincoln

91 Cardigan St, Carlton
(03) 9347 4666

hotellincoln.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary, Gastro Pub
WINE LIST Robyn Nethercote
WINEs ON LIST 129 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$9 by the glass)

A list that hits home runs across the board. Tight but cleverly constructed and clearly the product of much thought, this is a list that ventures far and wide with a selection of classics and plenty of thrilling choices from left field, some very much left field. You’d be happy if this was the list at your local.

Lobster Cave

18 North Concourse, Beaumaris, Vic
(03) 9589 6329


lobstercave.com.au

CUISINE Seafood
WINE LIST Jai Singh
WINEs ON LIST 345 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$12 by the glass)

It's a wine list that goes old school, good school strongly, with a deep connection to classic, blue chip Australian wines. That being said, there's a very careful complement of international wines, showcasing best variety and region with aplomb. Therefore, you get Ferg’s Old & Rare collection that showcases the strength of the cellar, with runs of Cullen, Peter Lehmann's Mentor cabernet sauvignon and prized wines from Mount Mary, Torbreck and Tahbilk. If that's the crown jewels, then there's plenty more gems in the body of the list, with strong representation from marquee producers like Tyrrell's, Rockford and De Bortoli, with Penfold's given a feature page all of its own. It's a place where diners will be treated to mature wines of considerable significance, and indeed, this is where the greatest thrill in selecting from this list occurs. Classic wines, cellared wines and a keen eye for the fuller flavoured reds of the world are the hallmarks of a evergreen wine list here.

Long Chim

8 Whiteman St, Southbank, Vic
(03) 9292 8888


crownmelbourne.com.au/restaurants/premium/long-chim/info-booking

CUISINE Thai
WINE LIST Matthew Brooke
WINEs ON LIST 80 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($20-$12 by the glass)

An appealing wine list that offers drinkers a selection truly appropriate to the heat, spice and Thai-focussed flavours of the food menu. Therefore, you get a slew of excellent riesling with various residual sugar, bright, fresh aromatic whites of pinot gris, pinot blanc and gewurztraminer, with lighter bodied reds from pinot noir and gamay a focus. For those seeking a little extra heft, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon from fine producers join the fray, though they sit on the medium bodied side of the fence, mostly. You get big names like Felton Road, Seville Estate and JJ Prum alongside some of the edgier producers of Australia's avant garde, including Brash Higgins and Sailor Seeks Horse. The line-up is very good, well-balanced between established wineries and those setting pace from the avant garde. Expect some good Champagne and sparkling wines, decent beers and a couple of smart house cocktails alongside. Nicely done.

Longrain Melbourne

40-44 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9671 3151


longrain.com

CUISINE Modern Thai
WINE LIST Guillaume Bonage
WINEs ON LIST 99 (2 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$13 by the glass)

A very tight and carefully constructed collection with the emphasis on quality wines, while avoiding the usual suspects. Pinot Noir and Riesling are the standouts. On top of this, the pricing across the board is excellent, making this a most appealing list.

Longsong

Upstairs, 44 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9653 1611

longsong.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary Australian
WINE LIST Sonia Bandera
WINEs ON LIST 76 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$10 by the glass)

Adventurous collection of interesting and often left-field wines that can take you on a journey around the world of wine. Nothing dull here. Victoria may hold pride of place, but they have sourced from far and wide. Plenty of excitement if one prefers to go by the glass.

Lucy Liu

23 Olive Lne, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9639 5777


lucylius.com.au

CUISINE Pan Asian
WINE LIST Yan Qiu (Ollie) Wang
WINEs ON LIST 276 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$

A lovely link to all things Oriental, especially sakes and beers, which aligns perfectly with the cuisine. And so much more, of course. An appealing, and unsurprising, emphasis on Riesling and Pinot Noir from local and offshore vineyards. Well priced and with a smattering of mature vintages.

Lûmé

226 Coventry St, South Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9690 0185


restaurantlume.com

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST Daniel Gibson
WINEs ON LIST 205 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($25-$13 by the glass)

This is such a fantastic list. From its original line-up of smaller producers and dedicated vignerons to the personal touches of seasonal staff picks, there's so much resonance and personality stacked into a relatively small selection of around 200 wines. Australia is well represented in icon wines and emerging wine projects, while collections of outstanding, cult Burgundy producer Domaine Valette or legendary Rhone Clape add bold punctuation. There's excellent and diverse things to drink by the glass, a thoughtful, unique collection of cocktails and tightly collected junmai sake on offer. It's great to see diversity laid on strong, with stellar wines from Wendouree, Henschke and Yarra Yering listed alongside the wilder edge of Le Coste or Pheasant's Tears. So much to choose from, in so many styles, in such a succinct collection. The thunderous, brilliant spirits collection of obscure but fine distillates is icing on cake. Bravo.

Luxsmith

5 Gamon St, Seddon, Vic
(03) 9362 7333


luxsmith.com.au

CUISINE Modern Vietnamese
WINE LIST Ben Knight
WINEs ON LIST 50 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13-$8 by the glass)

It's a tight and cool list of 50-odd wines, around a dozen by the glass, loaded with killer producers and generally doing a great job of being enticing, interesting and down-right delicious in its offering. The list has plenty of information, cleverly interspersed with the menu, showcasing tidbits about styles and producers, relaxing drinkers into the gist of the wine list. Wine selector Ben Knight is well-known in Australian wine circles for his finger-on-pulse, so you get boutique Australian producers alongside emerging, younger generation Victoria winemakers coupled to a collection of international wines that come  from marquee wine regions. Sympatico to the menu, fuller flavoured reds are mostly side-lined while aromatic whites, rose and fresh, younger reds make the headway. Victorian wine is also a strong feature. This is a very cleverly selected wine list brimming with energy and opportunity to drink well.

Maha

21 Bond St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9629 5900


maharestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Middle Eastern
WINE LISTRhys Baker
WINEs ON LIST 291 (36 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($40-$13 by the glass)

A list which, for the most part, mines the tried and trusted regions and cherry-picks the leading producers and their best wines – never a bad thing. There are some intriguing selections from left-field, Turkey, Morocco, Israel and the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, that will appeal to the thrill-seekers. A clever set of matching wines to the degustation menus is another option.

Malvern Hotel

1117 Malvern Rd, Toorak, Vic
(03) 9822 3582


themalvern.com

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Thomas Robson
WINEs ON LIST 295 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($30-$8 by the glass)

A first-class list, carefully constructed to ensure options for all, and priced exceptionally well. they are not afraid to highlight the usual suspects but have also included many emerging superstars. The local wines are perhaps the focus for many but those venturing offshore will also be rewarded.

Marion

53 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Vic
(03) 9419 6262


marionwine.com.au

CUISINE European
WINE LISTLiam O'Brien
WINEs ON LIST 212 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($26-$10 by the glass)

Lovely, thoughtful selection of wines available by the glass, which sets the tone. This is a list for the adventurous. There are wines from well-known stars, like Grosset and Pannell, but the majority of options are exciting and emerging producers – future household names, perhaps.

Masani

313 Drummond St, Carlton, Vic
(03) 9347 5610


masani.com.au

CUISINE Regional Italian
WINE LIST Kara Maisano
WINEs ON LIST 632 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($25-$12 by the glass)

A really fascinating list that will take the attention of any winelover at the table. Italy rules. For those who prefer the classics, the local wines are the go. Offshore, there are many more adventurous choices. And the pricing is exceptional. A list that will draw oenophiles back many times.

Mediterraneo

116 Bridport St, Albert Park, Vic
(03) 9690 5155


mediterraneo.com.au

CUISINE Steakhouse, Mediterranean, Eastern European
WINE LIST Sonia Popovic
WINEs ON LIST 279 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($22-$8 by the glass)

Any establishment offering an extensive cellar list of wines over a decade of age makes a dramatic statement of the commitment they have to a first class list. When those wines offer such amazing value, even more so. The list is comprehensive and well supported by a fine collection of spirits. A list to love.

Melbourne Supper Club

161 Spring St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9654 6300


melbournesupperclub.com.au

CUISINE Bar snacks & supper
WINE LIST Chris Broughton
WINEs ON LIST1,100 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($18-$11.5 by the glass)

Not so much a wine list, more an honour roll of superstar producers from across the world of wine – Chave, Bonneau, JJ Prum, Rousseau, Guigal, DRC, Navazos and so many more. A great array of them all, plus a staggeringly good list of Champagnes. So many choices, emerging stars and the greats. An amazing list.

Meletos

12 St Huberts Rd, Coldstream, Vic
(03) 9739 1888


meletos.com

CUISINE Italian/European
WINE LIstFrederic Lamagere
WINEs ON LIST 76 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($21-$11 by the glass)

A tight list that focuses heavily on excellent, interesting and occasionally obscure wines from all corners of Victoria, with good value across the board. A great opportunity to enjoy what this State has to offer. In addition, a thoughtful collection of aperitifs and spirits.

Merchant

2/495 Collins St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9614 7688

merchantov.com

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Michael Smith
WINEs ON LIST 130 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($36-$11 by the glass)

Take a trip to Venice with this enthralling wine list. Or venture forth around the rest of Italy. Lots from back home, ranging from classic producers like Mt Mary, Oakridge, Tolpuddle and more, right through to the weird and wonderful. Very thoughtful and approachable ‘by the glass’ section.

Merrijig Kitchen

1 Campbell St, Port Fairy, Vic
(03) 5568 2324


merrijiginn.com

CUISINE Regional
WINE LIST Tanya Connellan
WINEs ON LIST 193 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($18-$10 by the glass)

A list begging for extensive exploration. Enough classics for the traditionalists but also a wonderful array of very well-priced, obscure and rarely encountered wines. So, Vasse Felix and Weinbach rub shoulders with Pyramid Valley, Bindi and Bill Downie. Lots to love in this most eclectic collection.

Midnight Starling

60 Piper St, Kyneton, Vic
(03) 5422 3884


midnightstarling.com.au

CUISINE French
WINE LIST Daniel Saligari / Paul Hobson
WINEs ON LIST 91 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($29-$13 by the glass)

The key to a small list is keeping it tight and making sure every wine counts. Midnight Starling goes very close to that. Lots of top wines from household names and some who will be. The spirits, aperitifs and interesting attachments are equally impressive.

Mister Bianco

285 High Street, Kew, Vic
(03) 9853 6929

misterbianco.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Joseph Vargetto
WINEs ON LIST 200 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$12 by the glass)

A list for the Italophile. A fine collection of that country’s vinous gems which is well supported by numerous other local offerings, well priced. Sicily, in particular, has some intriguing choices. Those game should take the trip to Italy and sample some of these gems.

Mitchell Harris Wines

38 Doveton St, North Ballarat, Vic
(03) 5331 8931


mitchellharris.com.au

CUISINE Modern Bar Snack & shared plates
WINE LIST John Harris
WINEs ON LIST 185 (21 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($13.5-$9 by the glass)

If anyone can make it past the Tyrrells Vat 1 Semillon 2011 for $95, they’ll find many more diamonds, and very little rough. A list not afraid to feature classics next to the latest trends (funky wines?). In addition, fabulous pricing and a fine array of older vintage reds.

Natural History Bar & Grill

401 Collins Street, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9982 1811

naturalhistorybarandgrill.com.au

CUISINE American Grill
WINE LIST Gavin Wraith
WINEs ON LIST 122 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($22-$9 by the glass)

A list which eschews the traditional standard wines and makers and ventures forth into what will be uncharted territory for many. Worth following. Wines from such alluring destinations as Savoie, Jura, Corbieres, Corsica and more. the pricing will not prove an obstacle. Serious spirits list.

Neapoli

30 Russell Pl, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9650 5020


neapoliwinebar.com.au

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Chris Broughton
WINEs ON LIST 100 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15.5-$10 by the glass)

Many will struggle to move past the ‘by the glass’ options, sourced far and wide and always with an eye on quality but there are plenty of mouthwatering choices that await – names like Jasper Hill, Rockford, Charteris, Main Ridge and many more make this an impressive list. The pricing is excellent and very appealing.

Neighbourhood Wine

1 Reid St, Fitzroy North, Vic
(03) 9486 8306


neighbourhoodwine.com

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Simon Denman
WINEs ON LIST 500 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($24-$10 by the glass)

Extensive collection of fine wines, well-known and intriguing left-field options, but there is a most useful innovation with the inclusion of a sub-list of ‘everyday wines’, which offer brilliant value. Numerous options by the glass. The preferred opportunity is surely to allow this list to take you on an exciting journey through lesser known and exciting emerging wines.

Noble Rot

51 Point Lonsdale Rd, Point Lonsdale, Vic
(03) 5258 5115


noblerotwine.com.au

CUISINE Tapas/Pizza
WINE LIST Jordan Berry
WINEs ON LIST 261 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($25-$9 by the glass)

A list with an uncompromising attitude to quality. There is an extensive collection of local wines but so much more and with prices that are even more appealing. Billecart-Salmon Brut under $100! Names like Navazos, Bonneau, Mugneret-Gibourg, Thivin, Pyramid Valley among so many superstars and future legends.

Nobu

8 Whiteman St, Southbank, Vic
(03) 9292 5777


crownmelbourne.com.au/Nobu‎

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Matthew Brooke
WINEs ON LIST 320 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($21-$12 by the glass)

What is immediately apparent about this lovingly crafted list is that it walks the tightrope between a collection of very fine wines and wines which are carefully selected to match the cuisine. There are also flights of sake, a fine array of Japanese whiskey and even Japanese beer, cider and cocktails. Impressive.

Ombra

76 Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9639 1927

ombrabar.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Kabir Antoniak
WINEs ON LIST 100 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($20-$8 by the glass)

Although portrayed as Heathcote meets Italy, this is much more an Italian/Victorian collaboration. Lots of options from emerging producers or stick with classics like Sassicaia or Bass Philip. Considerable thought has gone into an excellent set of wines ‘by the glass’ and there is ample support from a fine collection of spirits and beers.

Osteria Ilaria

367 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9642 2287

osteriailaria.com

CUISINE Modern Italian
WINE LIST Raúl Moreno Yagüe / Luke Skidmore
WINEs ON LIST 412 (23 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($25-$9 by the glass)

An exceptionally wide-ranging list which highlights wonders from around the Old World, though with many fine local offerings. Classics abound, but the more adventurous will find quality everywhere from Jura to Greece, from Etna to Dao. Good representation from emerging superstars, such as Kusuda and Lucien le Moine.

Petit Tracteur

1208 Mornington Flinders Rd, Main Ridge, Vic
(03) 5989 2510


petittracteur.com.au

CUISINE French
WINE LIST Jacques Savary de Beauregard
WINEs ON LIST 92 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($23-$9 by the glass)

A list that may be tied to ‘Ten Minutes by Tractor’, and well represented it is, but that has not stopped those behind it carefully crafting a very fine collection that highlights not only their region but beyond. Well priced and many superb wines make this a very impressive list.

Pier Farm

34 The Strand, Williamstown, Vic
(03) 9397 7799

pierfarm.com.au

CUISINE Seafood
WINE LIST George Haralambopolous / Hamish Small
WINEs ON LIST 114 (15 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($14-$11 by the glass)

A list that could double as the template for wineries deserving of inclusion in an Aussie wines ‘hall of fame’, with equally useful contributions from offshore. A smattering of older vintages make it even more appealing. All well supported by the beers and spirits available.

Point Leo Estate

3649 Frankston-Flinders Rd, Merricks, Vic
(03) 5989 9011


ptleoestate.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Andrew Murch
WINEs ON LIST 120 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($19-$9 by the glass)

A strong vindication for the great wines and emerging culture of younger generation winemakers of Victoria, this list is narrow bandwidth but still manages to offer a breadth of styles and varieties to ensure all-comers are satisfied. While showcasing the wines of the Point Leo Estate is paramount, there's a clever selection of big names (Mount Mary, Yabby Lake, Main Ridge for instance), set alongside some of Victoria's most thrilling cult  producers (Mac Forbes, Sorrenberg, Bindi as examples). There's mainstay varieties like pinot noir and chardonnay for those expecting such from a Mornington Peninsula winery restaurant, but forays into lesser-sung varieties like fiano, chenin blanc, savagnin, gamay, mourvedre and nebbiolo are also found here. Indeed, it's the kind of list that warrants a little extra exploration beyond the high quality wines of Point Leo Estate, every wine seems selected for its own mini benchmark from its region. Clever.



Polperro Winery

150 Red Hill Road, Red Hill, Vic
(03) 5989 2471

polperrowines.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Sam Coverdale/ Morgane Mainguy/ Erik Nap
WINEs ON LIST 100 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$11 by the glass)

There is an understandable emphasis on the wines of Polperro and associated wineries, but the team have ventured further afield and included an eclectic array from other Mornington Peninsula producers, other local regions and those from offshore. Well priced and there is a fine collection of spirits and beers to enjoy. Worth visiting.

Provenance

86 Ford St, Beechworth, Vic
(03) 5728 1786


theprovenance.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian with Japanese influence
WINE LIST Damian Moylan
WINEs ON LIST 240 (16 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($25-$14 by the glass)

One suspects that those behind this list have a few favourites. Sake would be one, with an exceptional range. Local wines, no surprise there. JJ Prum, but then why not? This is a carefully crafted list with a fine array of possibilities. Beers, spirits, fortifieds (those wonderful Rutherglens) are all well represented. A list to like.

Pure South Dining

GR2/3 Southgate Ave, South Bank, Vic
(03) 9699 4600

puresouth.com.au

CUISINE Tasmanian & Modern Australian
WINE LIST Tim Stow
WINEs ON LIST 230 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($24-$12 by the glass)

Tasmania comes to Victoria. A list dominated by the Apple Isle so naturally, sparklings, Chardies and especially Pinot Noir are to the fore. Plenty of other fine options to fill in any gaps. Prices are very attractive. Finish with a fine Malt whiskey from Tassie.

RACV City Club

501 Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9944 8000


racv.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST Christian Maier
WINEs ON LIST 674 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($19-$5.5 by the glass)

The epitome of a traditional wine list, a list of quality. If the ‘by the glass’ section is a barometer for the rest of the list, then customers know they are in for a treat. Pinot Noir is seriously exciting and, unlike some of the more extensive CBD lists, there are plenty of bargains for all. Mount Mary an obvious favourite here. Fantastic collection.

Railway Hotel Windsor Bistro

29 Chapel Street, Windsor, Vic
(03) 9510 4050

therailway.com.au

CUISINE Bistro & Grill
WINE LIST Eric Wagnon
WINEs ON LIST 67 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($15-$8 by the glass)

A new list which kicks off very promisingly with a thoughtful, appealing and keenly priced list by the glass. A nice mix between reliable producers, classic wines and some emerging stars. Well supported by an impressive collection of beers and spirits.

Red Emperor

M10, Mid Level Level 2, Southgate Complex, 3 Southgate Ave, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9699 4170


redemperor.com.au

CUISINE Chinese
WINE LIST Yandy Sham
WINEs ON LIST 250 (42 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($21.5-$6 by the glass)

A deceptively impressive list. An ideal place to enjoy the evening with wines by the glass, so extensive is the election, but then the pricing is so appealing that it makes so much hard to resist. Plenty of mature wines from quality vintages and a collection of older Bordeaux for those inclined.

Red Spice QV

37 Artemis Lne, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 8660 6300


redspiceqv.com

CUISINE South East Asian
WINE LIST Matthew Lamb / Anthony Pieri
WINEs ON LIST 127 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($15-$12 by the glass)

There is an opportunity here for interesting winelovers to experiment with some of the better quality natural wines, but most will stick with the tried and true classics scattered throughout this wide-ranging list. Every category carries it own weight. Pricing is attractive and the list is well backed with a fine collection of spirits.

Red Spice Road

27 McKillop St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9603 1601


redspiceroad.com

CUISINE South East Asian
WINE LISTMatthew Lamb / Anthony Pieiri
WINEs ON LIST 199 (33 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($28-$12 by the glass)

The current ‘flavour of the month’ in fizz are the growers’ champagnes are they feature heavily here. There are numerous fine, traditional and emerging options, well priced, but many will be happy to stay with the very impressive and eclectic ‘by the glass’ collection.

Rockpool Bar & Grill
Melbourne

3/8 Whiteman St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 8648 1900


rockpoolbarandgrill.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Sebastian Crowther MS / Ash Boburka
WINEs ON LIST 1200 (40 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($89-$12 by the glass)

A list where one could play, ‘spot the region or top producer not represented’, though I'm not sure you'll find any. An amazingly comprehensive list of superb wine and quality producers, while offering emerging stars and numerous mature wines from excellent vintages. The highlight must be Burgundy, both red and white.

Rosetta Melbourne

9/8 Whiteman St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 8648 1999


rosettarestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Lisa Cardelli
WINEs ON LIST 800 (30 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($38-$12 by the glass)

A wonderful collection of all things Italian, wine and food. The mouthwatering array of Barolo is a highlight. There are whites from across the country, traditional grapes grown in various regions plus Italian grapes from around the world. What more could any Italophile want? Impressive cocktails, aperitif and digestives round out a fine list.

Sake Flinders Lane

121 Flinders Lane Melbourne, Vic
1300 670 910

sakerestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Sebastian Crowther MS
WINEs ON LIST 150 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($19-$13 by the glass)

You'd be hard pressed getting away without a serious collection of sake if your restaurant name is Sake, so it's a relief to see there's no slouching off here. Indeed, variants of sake, umeshu, and shochu are incredibly well chosen, available in various pour sizes and showcase a breadth of styles from clean and fresh through to more textural and exotic. If sake isn't your thing, then excellent Japanese beers, and a serious collection of Japanese whisky, are available to augment the experience. Wine is of course present too. It's a more comfortable line-up of well known producers from around the world, with top end Champagnes from Krug, Louis Roederer Cristal and Veuve Clicquot leading out the charge. Aromatic whites are appropriate to menu and represented well, including wines from benchmark producers like Crawford River (Henty), Frankland Estate (Great Southern) and Zind-Humbrect (Alsace). Wines from around the world are chosen wisely here. It's a very well rounded, thoughtful list.

Sake Hamer Hall

100 St Kilda Rd, Southbank, Vic
(03) 8687 0775

sakerestaurant.com.au

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Sebastian Crowther MS
WINEs ON LIST 150 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($20-$13 by the glass)

A wine list that offers some broad, interesting drinking while also providing a very good backdrop for the Japanese cuisine on offer. Therefore, sake, umeshu and fragrant, fresh, aromatic white wines are given additional attention, though pan-Asian cocktails and Japanese beers are off great interest and suitability to menu too. The list anchors drinkers in high end, high profile Champagne producers, marquee Australian blue chip wineries and yet still finds space for emerging grape varieties, wine styles and a good collection of younger generation wine producers. It's rare to see such keen-eyed focus on cuisine though, and that's the major coup here - even at the shiraz and cabernet sauvignon section of the menu there's vitality and vivacity from the winemakers' wines selected, rather than working to a heavier spectrum. Kudos for the clever selection here.

Sezar

6 Melbourne Pl, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9663 9882


sezar.com.au

CUISINE Armenian
WINE LIST Anna Healy
WINEs ON LIST 58 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($25-$12 by the glass)

A well-crafted ‘by the glass’ list carries the day, and though there are plenty of traditional options, including stellar producers such as Mac Forbes, Savaterre and Bannockburn, there are also more courageous options from places such as Armenia, Georgia, Lebanon and Croatia. Finish with an Armenian brandy or Arak.

Shadowboxer

302 Toorak Rd, South Yarra, Vic
(03) 9041 7707

shadowboxer.bar

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Michael Thom
WINEs ON LIST 80 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($20-$10 by the glass)

A list which allows one to explore local versions of some of the more obscure offshore grapes, though plenty of other options for those not so inclined. Naturally, this leads us to the more adventurous winemakers. The pricing is tempting. At least as impressive is the collection of spirits, especially gins, rums and whiskies.

Shark Fin House

131 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9663 1555


sharkfin.com.au

CUISINE Chinese
WINE LIST Shermen Cheung
WINEs ON LIST 300 (24 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($12-$7 by the glass)

A solid list that features prominent Australian producers, from the boutique to the benchmark. The prices are fair and reasonable and there is a reserve selection of older vintage labels, adding depth and interest. From Henschke and Penfolds to Hurley and William Downie, with Cognac and some Chinese Spirits to add some spice, this is a good foundation list that covers the bases.

Source Dining

72 Piper St, Kyneton, Vic
(03) 5422 2039


sourcedining.com.au

CUISINE European
WINE LIST Tim Foster
WINEs ON LIST 241 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($24-$10 by the glass)

An extensive list which focuses on local wines, especially from all parts Victorian, with a smattering of offshore wines typical of the regions. An ‘Old and Rare’ section provides access to mature wines. Most exciting is the amazing value on offer – for example, Rieslingfreak No 5 2013 for $40 and Moorooduc Estate Pinot Noir 2014 for $69, amongst many.

Spice Temple Melbourne

3/8 Whiteman St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 8679 1888


spicetemple.com.au/melbourne/home

CUISINE Modern Chinese
WINE LIST Sebastian Crowther MS
WINEs ON LIST 100 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($20-$13 by the glass)

An ideal ‘food’ wine list, especially for cuisine that is a little more exotic than some, a little more spicy if you like. Well priced and with good ‘by the glass’ options. If forced to pick, the Riesling and Pinot Noir are the standouts.

Squires Loft Albert Park

St Kilda Road Towers, 1 Queens Rd, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9863 7700

squiresalbertpark.com.au

CUISINE Steakhouse
WINE LIST Ross Brown
WINEs ON LIST94 (33 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($15-$9 by the glass)

The “Cellar Reserve List”, which offers numerous appealing local reds, many of which are from mature vintages, is the highlight of this list. There is an understandable emphasis on quality Aussie Shiraz and Cabernet, ideal for this restaurant.  fits right in with this style of meat-lovers’ restaurant. A solid, well priced collection.

Squires Loft Nunawading

54 / 288 Whitehorse Rd, Nunawading, Vic
(03) 9894 0583

squiresnunawading.com.au

CUISINE Steakhouse
WINE LIST Ross Brown
WINEs ON LIST78 (35 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($15-$7.5 by the glass)

The emphasis on top-notch Aussie Shiraz and Cabernet fits right in with this style of meat-lovers’ restaurant. A solid if small list, very well priced, which is nicely supported by the “Cellar Reserve List”, full of delicious local reds, many of mature vintages. a list that is ideal for this restaurant.

Steak Ministry

39 Kingsway, Glen Waverley, Vic
(03) 9560 1818


steakministry.com.au

CUISINE Steakhouse
WINE LIST Hamish Small
WINEs ON LIST 200 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($17-$10 by the glass)

A list of classics. Wines have been sourced, not only from around Australia but from the traditional regions of the world and the names will be instantly recognisable to winelovers. A special collection from Rockford in the Barossa Valley will especially appeal. A fine list for the style of restaurant.

Stokehouse St Kilda

30 Jacka Blvd, St Kilda, Vic
(03) 9525 5555


stokehouse.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary
WINE LIST Gavin Cremming
WINEs ON LIST 650 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($27-$10 by the glass)

A list for the adventurous. Sure, there are many safe choices, but the list has been compiled to ensure there are some rare and even exotic selections available, but all of exemplary quality. Take a punt. There is a focus on superb champagnes and pinot noir, both local and Burgundian.

Strangeloves

577 Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds, Vic
(03) 9078 3574

strangeloves.com.au

CUISINE BYO Food
WINE LIST Christopher Exell
WINEs ON LIST 50 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($18-$9 by the glass)

Interesting concept – a wine list for BYO food, but there are more than enough fabulous wines here to make one wish this was just down the road. Pinot Noir and the wines from Cullens are obvious favourites here and there is an exceptional collection of whiskies and gins.

Syracuse

23 Bank Pl, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9670 1777


syracuserestaurant.com.au

CUISINE European / Sicilian
WINE LIST Florian Valieres
WINEs ON LIST 732 (42 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($60-$10 by the glass)

A thoroughly comprehensive collection of wines with something for even the fussiest oenophile. Wide-ranging selection by the glass, with a number under coravin. The great strength of this list is its extent and the number of options for mature vintage offerings.

Taxi Kitchen

Federation Square, Cnr Flinders & Swanston St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9654 8808


taxikitchen.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian with SE Asian Flavours
WINE LIST Ben Preston
WINEs ON LIST 215 (17 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($20-$10 by the glass)

Other than a couple of hole-fillers, this list is Victorian from go to woe. A thorough exploration of the wines of that State, especially the stars like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Also, a nice collection of some of the top wines from Ten Minutes by Tractor from the Mornington Peninsula.

Ten Minutes By Tractor

1333 Mornington Flinders Rd, Main Ridge, Vic
(03) 5989 6455


tenminutesbytractor.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Jacques Savary de Beauregard
WINEs ON LIST 1224 (46 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($73-$11 by the glass)

Strap yourself in for a truly jaw-dropping list. The brilliance here is that though this is a winery restaurant, the 'house wines' are seamlessly woven into the collection rather than being overt - that being said, Ten Minutes by Tractor produces outstanding regional wines, so pride in their metier should be writ large! Diving into this list is a head-spinning exploration of classic and contemporary wine. By the glass itself is spectacular, with local and imported wines selected keenly for diversity of personality, and a heady list of prestige wines available from Coravin. The body of the list is tantalising, with flights of Australian icons cozied up to an incredible collection of Burgundy - indeed a visit to this restaurant just for the Burgundy listings wouldn't be untoward. Feature pages on icon wine producers like stalwart Clare Valley producer Grosset juxtaposed with cult, natural wines from Gut Oggau (Austria), seals the deal. This is an incredible wine list.

Tender Trap

266 Blackburn Rd, East Doncaster, Vic
(03) 9842 3466


tendertrap.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Chris Moraitis
WINEs ON LIST 264 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$12 by the glass)

A wine list of great diversity and a global outlook, offering drinkers a grand experience from by the glass through to the opportunities to drink mature red wines. It's a list that has had grand consideration underpinning choices, you can see that in wines of Portugal alongside classic Australian producers set amongst marquee wines of New Zealand. Each section seems to relish in new release and back vintage wines too - a treat for drinkers to have such options. Where the list really comes to the fore is in the full-flavoured Australian cabernet sauvignon and shiraz collections. Here, sets of icon wines like Kay Brothers Hillside and Block 6, Standish Wine Co Relic Shiraz, Yeringberg Cabernets and Grosset Gaia are offered in sets of multiple vintages, often over a decade maturing. For lovers of such styles, it's worth a cellar raid here alone!  All up, a strong offering from Tender Trap.

The Terrace

315 All Saints Rd, Wahgunyah, Vic
1800 021621


allsaintswine.com.au

CUISINEContemporary European
WINE LIST Nicholas Brown
WINEs ON LIST 64 (13 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$10 by the glass)

The focus of this wine list is squarely on the winery's wares, with All Saints and St Leonards Vineyard proudly supported at length throughout the pages. Regional staples of hearty reds, particularly durif, are therefore a primary feature, which is wholly appropriate and likely welcomed by those visiting the regional area. Outside of the local wines and winery's wines, there a neat collection of cuvees from best-known wine regions and styles, like riesling from Pflaz, Germany, rose from Provence, pinot noir from Tasmania, and even a couple of cellared Vouvrays for good measure. There's nothing particularly complex or detailed about this wine collection, but it should satisfy just about anyone taking time out at All Saints Estate.

The Point Albert

1/10 Aquatic Dr, Albert Park, Vic
(03) 9682 5566

thepointalbertpark.com.au

CUISINEModern Australian
WINE LIST Owen Gibbons
WINEs ON LIST 2000 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($80-$14 by the glass)

An Aladdin's cave of gems from around the world. While a reasonably extensive list, the focus is on quality not quantity and it is obvious that there has been a great deal of thought to ensure an ideal collection. Some brilliant mature options - old DRC, a 47 Petrus and much more. Some are very well priced - the 1971 for $2200. But plenty of lower priced stars as well.

Thirty Eight Chairs

82 Main St, Rutherglen, Vic
(03) 9827 5553

thirtyeightchairs.com.au

CUISINE Italian
WINE LIST Fabio Magliano
WINEs ON LIST 217 (14 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$ ($42-$12 by the glass)

A comprehensive Italian-centric collection that aims to cover the popular, well-known and marquee varieties and regions of Italy. It ticks many boxes for those seeking a good exploration of say Tuscany, Barolo, Sicily or Campania, but adds value with wines from Australia, New Zealand and Germany with cameos from Greece, USA and (!) India. Indeed, though the list trumpets its Italian credentials, there's way more going on than meets the eye. While the Chianti or Amarone section is eye-catching, the depth in Burgundy and Australian big name wine producers (particularly warm climate, fuller-figured reds), is pretty impressive. Diversity and distinction are key, and this is a list that should reward a great deal of aficionados and everyday wine punters alike.

Thousand Pound

82 Main St, Rutherglen, Vic
(03) 6032 8179


thousandpound.com.au

CUISINE Modern European
WINE LIST Nicholas Brown
WINEs ON LIST 112 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$ ($26-$11 by the glass)

For those seeking intel on northern Victoria's wine regions and good quality wines that come from within, this list is a mainlining of just that. It's a list that speaks loudly of its All Saints winery owners, showcasing the generational wine producer's wares alongside a host of stalwart and emerging wineries from local wine growing areas. Though heavy on the All Saints range, there's diversity in imported wines, including a neat collection of Champagne, with touchstones from Mosel, Loire Valley and Burgundy. Rutherglen is heavily represented, and its great to see younger generation producers like Cofield and Scion set amongst names like Morris, Campbells and Buller. The focus is on more traditional wines and wine styles, but for the adventurous there's a couple of cheeky cuvees from avant garde producers like Jamsheed and rising star from Great Western, WA, Express Winemakers. It's nicely done here.

Vaporetto

Rear 681 Glenferrie Rd, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9078 5492


vaporetto.com.au

CUISINE Venetian
WINE LIST David Wickwar
WINEs ON LIST 88 (20 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($19-$10 by the glass)

An inventive wine list that firmly anchors itself in the world of Veneto wine, though there's decent breadth in the Australian offering and a keen eye on the Victorian wine community is implicit. The wine list actually opens with a huge range of Venice-inspired cocktails and a clever collection of spritz - a very exciting thing to see such detail and focus on things spiritous and blended. Once settled in and past the cocktail hour, work your way through the keen selection of by-the-glass, often showcasing lesser known but quality producers from Italy, before letting sommelier David Wickwar guide you through the offering from Veneto. It's great to see a range of styles, and not just the fuller figured amaros, working magic in the Veneto section. 'The rest of Italy' is judiciously chosen for variations and 'best-of' wine styles too. Mature Australian reds round out an intriguing offering here.

Vue de Monde

525 Collins St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 9691 3800

vuedemonde.com.au

CUISINE Australian
WINE LIST Carlos Simoes
WINEs ON LIST2000 (48 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($100-$10 by the glass)

An outstanding, incredibly detailed tome of wine that breathes energy into one of Australia's finest dining experiences. This is an epic wine collection that spans vintage and new release, ultra-fine wine examples, the emerging, younger generation of winemakers of Australia and offers aficionados the opportunity to pore over an encyclopaedia of some of the world's greatest wines. One need only see incredibly rare wines from producers like Jerome Prevost (Champagne) or glance over the deep collection of JJ Prum riesling (Mosel) to get a gist of what is possible when selecting from this incredible collection. There' volumes of Australia's blue chip wine producers, much of which is cellared for best vintages, and these are set alongside incredible collections of Burgundy's finest, Bordeaux marquee producers, the top names of Italy and best-ofs from most European winemaking countries of note. Head-spinning stuff here. A jaw-dropping list.

Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel

98 Parker St, Dunkeld, Vic
(03) 5577 2241

royalmail.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Matthew Lance/Peter Dillon
WINEs ON LIST 1250 (40 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($20-$10 by the glass)

If one had to take just a single wine list to a desert island for the rest of your life, this would be it. Every base covered, every box ticked. Brilliant by the glass from classics to curiosities and mature gems. toss in amazing verticals and collections from stars as diverse as JJ Prum, Clos des Goisses and Denis Mortet. What a list!

Wine And The Country

1/97 Vincent St, Daylesford, Vic
(03) 5348 3756


wineandthecountry.com.au

CUISINE Charcuterie & Cheese
WINE LIST Jeremy Shiell / Bronwyn Liddelow / Jennifer Latta
WINEs ON LIST400 (12 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$

With around 400 selections, Wine and The Country is a Daylesford gem that winds its way through home grown local producers; Ballarat Pyrenees, Grampians, Macedon and a myriad of brewed and distilled beverages, all Victorian. Emphasis in also on small producers, alternative grapes and the more natural the better. Wild and wonderful, it instills a sense of fun and excitement, the sort of list that draws you from town to country for some new and vibrant experiences. Certainly worth making a day or night of it.