The Tony Hitchin Award – Best New List



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

cuisine  Steakhouse
WINE LIST  Alice Massaria
Wines on list
302 (25 by the glass)
Wine prices $$ ($13-$40 by the glass)

A new Sydney restaurant devoted entirely to presenting bistecca alla Fiorentina – T-bone steaks Tuscan-style grilled – no doubt presents a challenge to any sommelier, but there is only enthusiasm and a warm personality emanating from the Bistecca list. Sommelier Alice Massaria owns this list and makes it a personal extension of her sunny personality.

Her wine philosophy embraces organic and biodynamic principles. She looks to Italy for inspiration but celebrates Aussie winemakers who respect the origin of the grapes. She also celebrates women in wine with a notation on wines like Elena Walch’s Blauburgunder from Alto Adige, Anna Maria Abbona’s Dolcetto from Piedmont and Chiara Boschis’ Barolo.

It’s fun to search out Italian varieties produced within Australia with some real beauts like Journey Wines Fiano and Payten & Jones Sangiovese. While Bistecca only opened in 2018 it has a handy bunch of aged wines. The Bistecca meat philosophy offers a showcase for rich and bold, earthy and savoury red wines and Alice Massaria takes up the challenge with gusto. But all is not big and heavy for the list plays to its theme also with wines of beauty and grace.  



Reign At The QVB

Level 1, QVB, 455 George St, Sydney, NSW
(02) 8023 7604

CUISINE  Wine Bar/Contemporary
WINE LIST Fabio Nistrio
WINEs ON LIST 200 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($13-$75 by the glass)

Champagne and sparkling wine lovers rejoice. There is a new wine bar on the Sydney wine scene with you in mind and it offers a mighty fine selection of the world’s best by the glass, the wine flight (try The Champagne Districts) and the bottle. Curated by Fabio Nistrio, ex-Sokyo, Reign at the QVB celebrates the best bubbles of France, Australia and Italy in a supremely confident selection. While the table wine section plays a supporting act it is a well considered grouping of Australians with a sprinkling of the rest of the world. The spirits guide is especially creative and worthy of attention.


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

CUISINE  Modern Australian
WINE LIST Andrew Murch
WINEs ON LIST 756 (22 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$$ ($12-$43 by the glass)

I get shivers perusing the wine list at Laura.  It speaks a vinous language that everyone can understand, which is a rare thing indeed. There are fabulous entry-level wines like Pewsey Vale, Chalmers and Coriole, as well as cutting edge producers and lofty European benchmarks. No doubt countless hours have been spent assimilating, sorting and tasting to compile this most astute of lists.  It is contemporary, yet not untouchable; local, yet not parochial; and international, though not exclusive. The prices are fair, and the range is mind-blowingly good. The only agenda it has to push is ensuring its patrons drink the finest of wines. Highly impressive.