The National Wine Centre of Australi

Sarah Atkinson


Sarah Atkinson had a background in hospitality when she left Canada, but it was here in Australia that a spark was ignited, launching her career as a sommelier. Atkinson and her husband Liam own Le Rebelle in Perth’s Mount Lawley, where she describes the cuisine and wine focus as ‘French-ish’.

“We take inspiration from bistro classics and make them our own – think Paris and those amazing Old-World feeling spots in New York,” says Atkinson. “I’ve tried to create a list that carries a lot of freshness to it. Firstly to match the lighter, more delicately flavoured dishes but also to help not weigh down the palate. Whites like muscadet along with fresher styles of chardonnay from near and far, and reds like pinot, gamay and grenache.”

Balance is key to Atkinson’s wine list, but she also takes pride in showcasing small producers. “I like to focus on small producers, much like us; we are a small restaurant owned by myself and my husband with a small, passionate team,” she says. “I hope our guests can find and try something they might never have had before, without going too left-of-field.”

Sarah Atkinson and her husband Liam.

Atkinson is loving how more wineries in Australia are turning to minimal-intervention winemaking. “Looking at wine as an agricultural product rather than something mass produced is a trend I hope lasts for years to come,” she says “I admire what Si Vintners have done. They have practiced organic farming for years and try to let the grapes speak for themselves. Blind Corner is another winery who have worked tirelessly to certify their vineyards as organic and biodynamic, and they even keep bees amongst the vines.”

At home, Sarah loves to pair the humble sausage and mash with a glass of riesling, with the Peter Layer Fass 16 Riesling and La Violetta Das Sakrileg Riesling a couple of her favourites. But her go-to? Si Vintner's Sophie Rosé, with its ability to pair with many dishes.