Best Digestif List

Bentley Restaurant + Bar

Bentley Restaurant + Bar

Pitt & Hunter Sts, Sydney, NSW
(02) 8214 0505

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Nick Hildebrandt & Ben Gardiner
WINEs ON LIST 1,400 (50 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($60-$10 by the glass)

It can be really, really tricky to create an outstanding digestif list, one that is diverse, intriguing, enticing and downright fabulous, although that certainly doesn’t mean impossible. Just check out Bentley’s compilation for a case in point. It must be said that this restaurant is no stranger to our wine awards – it nabbed the top gong a few years back.

Nick Hildebrandt and sommelier Ben Gardiner certainly know how to inspire and coax diners to drink well, and when it comes to a digestif they have all the options covered. Expect glasses of eaux de vie, perhaps one from Alsace producer Domaine Weinbach, and an Il Moscato di Nonino grappa that feature alongside a neat range of Cognac, Armagnac, calvados, whisky and whiskey.

But it is also the in-between stuff that delights such as a wonderful range of fines and marcs. How about a ’94 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Marc or a ’98 Domaine Tempier or perhaps a shot of chartreuse from a choice of 10 different styles? Yes please. While traditionally to aid digestion after a meal, there’s something rather stylish about a digestif to finish your dining experience, especially a great one at Bentley.  



Black Bar & Grill

80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont, NSW
(02) 9657 9109

CUISINE  Moden Australia Steak House
WINE ON LIST 1,000 (35 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($288-$12 by the glass)

Black Bar & Grill has aspirations to celebrate local NSW wine producers and Australian makers in general, but to also be a full-on international wine list of quality. It succeeds admirably in both. It is possible here to enjoy glasses of artisanal sake, Penfolds Grange or a J.J. Prum Mosel Riesling while reading about the history of viticulture and winemaking in the Sydney region or learning more about featured NSW producers. Champagne, Burgundy and a host of top Italians shine alongside top Oregon pinots and the odd South African. Leave room for the very serious selection of digestifs to finish.


3 Dalley St, Sydney, NSW
(02) 8067 0450

CUISINE  Italian Steak
WINE LIST  Alice Massaria
WINE ON LIST 302 (25 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($40-$13 by the glass)

This new ray of Italian sunshine brightens the Sydney scene with a challenging array of indigenous Italian varieties from the motherland and Australia. While many of the offerings will be unfamiliar, the list provides support as, no doubt, do the sommeliers. While there is little compromise to Australian tastes in (for example) the aperitifs or digestifs the range of Italian favourites should tempt most palates.