Australia’s Wine List of the Year +
Best City Restaurant List + Judy Hirst Award


Aria Brisabne

1 Eagle St, Brisbane, Qld 
(07) 3233 2555

Cuisine Modern Australian
WINE LIST Ian Trinkle
WINEs ON LIST 1,040 (39 by the glass)

Over 1,000 bottles grace the pages of the Aria, Brisbane wine list. That’s impressive in itself. However, it is the depth and complexity of the collection which makes it Australia’s Wine List of the Year for 2018, as well as the recipient of the Best City Restaurant Wine List award.

The list has been impressing the judges for many years. It entered the prestigious Hall of Fame by being awarded the Best Wine List in Queensland in 2011, 2013, 2014. It has also received awards for its listing of Australian and Queensland wines. It is a more than fitting accompaniment to Matt Moran and Ben Russell’s superb food. And with its views over the Brisbane river and city, Aria, Brisbane is a must-visit restaurant for elegant fine dining.

Ian Trinkle, Aria Brisbane

Ian Trinkle is the head sommelier and is responsible for managing the impressive compendium. For this, he is honoured with the Judy Hirst Award. Working alongside Trinkle is assistant sommelier Benjamin Watson. The guiding influence of Matt Dunne, group sommelier for the Solotel Group, must also be mentioned.

The comprehensive nature of the wine offering at Aria, Brisbane makes it a list for all wine lovers. It does not define what one should drink, instead it presents the best wines from a broad range of categories so that the diner has a curated choice, whatever their style preference.

If you are a Queenslander or an inquisitive visitor, there is an excellent selection of local Granite Belt labels, including wines made by talented craftsman Mike Hayes of Symphony Hill. Or, if you have a penchant for sake, then enjoy the quality set from importer Black Market Sake. There is also a page of red and white wines from the Jura, as well as a producer spotlight on Domaine de l’Anglore which adds interest.

Within each variety’s segment, Australian labels are given pride of place with a focus on small wineries. Central to the offering is high-quality wine, whether it be a quirky contemporary producer, like Ochota Barrels or a familiar favourite, such as Rockford. You will be impressed by the diversity within the riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet and shiraz categories. There is also a good subset of semillon, a variety which is too-often neglected. And turn to the page on Australian red classics for some rare icon wines, including aged Cullen Diana Madeline and Jim Barry Armagh.

The international selection has impressive breadth in style and price with a mix of entry-level and prestigious wines, allowing all customers to enjoy global styles irrespective of budget. Burgundy is a highlight. There is also a good range from Champagne, Beaujolais, the Rhône Valley and Southern France. From Italy, select from a hand-picked set of Tuscan, Piedmontese and Sicilian gems. And if you are after something out-of-the-ordinary, turn to the page of ‘Red Varietals of Intrigue’ for a mondeuse from France or an old-vine xinomavro from Greece.

I applaud the inclusion of multiple vintages from certain producers as it allows one to consider the impact of vintage and age. There is also an excellent number of wines below $100.

Trinkle recognises the importance of wines by-the-glass by presenting an exciting and satisfying offering. There are over 20 to choose from on the standard list, plus an extra 15 ‘Old and Rare’ wines served via Coravin, in taste (30ml), half (125ml) and full-pour (150ml) sizes. There is also a delicious fortified offering.

Despite the list’s vast size, choosing a top bottle is easy, as it is beautifully organised and presented, having elegance, order and clarity.

Congratulations to Trinkle and the team at Aria, Brisbane for showcasing a unique selection of quality wine from Australia and beyond. TONI PATERSON MW

wine list of the year Finalists

Crafers Hotel

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

CUISINEFrench Gastro Pub
WINE LIST Liinaa Jaumdally (Berry)
WINEs ON LIST 1900 (46 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($12-$266 by the glass)

Australian wine scene, overseeing the formidable, 1900-strong wine collection of Crafer's owners, Ed and Julie Peter. It is a world-class wine list by any measure, made all the better by Liinaa's attention to detail. Guests can arrange for a Session With The Sommelier with a guided tasting, a unique
opportunity not to be missed.  Local Adelaide Hills hold their own against the best of Australia and abroad. Fans of newer, edgier styles of "natural" wines will be familiar with many of the names listed, while multiple vintages of some of the great classics will delight.


252 George St, Sydney, NSW
(02) 9114 7312

CUISINEModern Australian
WINE LIST David Wood / Franck Moreau
WINEs ON LIST 1140 (45 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($190-$45 by the glass)

Consistently among the finest lists in Australia: diverse by the glass, with Coravin extending the range of mature wines. Exemplary list of spirits; wonderful range of teas; champagne listing by (more than 20) villages; comprehensive offering of less well-known varieties and less prominent wine producing countries. And of course, the great wines of Australia and all major regions of the world.