Best Hotel Restaurant List

bert’s bar & brasserie

Bert’s Bar & Brasserie

2 Kalinya St, Newport, NSW
(02) 9114 7350

Cuisine Modern Australian
WINE LIST Andres Aragon, Adrian Filiuta & Franck Moreau MS
WINEs ON LIST 1,200 (38 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($70-$13 by the glass)

The Northern Beaches has been a Sydney playground for more than a century with Bert’s looking fully at ease in the Newport Hotel overlooking Pittwater.

Winning Best Hotel List last year hasn’t stopped them adding more than 500 wines (and 10 by the glass) to the list for a total in excess of 1,200. It’s a typical Merivale list in that it is immaculately curated with every wine earning its place, and a presentation that is thoughtfully designed for easy navigation.

It’s an international collection of 38 wines by the glass (125 or 250ml) with Dom and Y’quem bookending a rare Henschke George 5th Grenache (magnum) and a dozen under Coravin. It’s an impeccable bubbly list; strong on verticals of the local (Hunter) hero, semillon; focused on traditional varieties yet with a stellar selection of less well-known grapes; lengthy verticals of Hill of Grace, Grange, the rare Wendouree reds, Mount Mary, and the Bordeaux First Growths. The cutting edge is catered for with wines fermented on skins and low-intervention reds, while the current love affair with rosés and gamay is neatly consummated. Exemplary.

peter forrestal


Black Bar & Grill

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

CUISINE  Modern Australia Steak House
WINEs 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.

Wolgan Dining Room

2600 Wolgan Rd, Wolgan Valley, NSW
(02) 6350 1800

CUISINE  Modern European
WINE LIST Anthony Sabastian Tran
WINEs ON LIST 553 (60 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($410-$18 by the glass)

This is an extraordinary list; admirably in tune with its place within the Wolgan Valley Resort. It’s rare to see a wine list so packed with the great wines of Australia and the world. And to have room for a sizeable group of locals; emerging superstars such as Domaine Simha and Stargazer. There’s a celebration of icons by the glass; the offer of complementary local wines throughout dinner. Unique.