When I first moved to San Francisco, I put together a wine bar “hit list” so that I could aim to try one every Wednesday – a widespread concept these days, we called it “Wine Wednesdays”. In an effort to re-connect with the Sydney wine bar scene, which has changed somewhat in the last few years, I’ve put together this list of 10 wine bars that I would like to hit up. Old & new. Every Wednesday…Well, one can only can try.
In no particular order:
- Bambini Wine Room, 185 Elizabeth St, Sydney. Arguably Sydney’s most elegant wine bar, Bambini transports you into a regular scene of a Paris wine bar, with beautiful chandeliers, baroque wall paper and ornate bistro-style seating throughout. The wine list no joke either. Although there is great bar food, if you’re looking for something more substantial, you can go next door to the Cafe/Restaurant. Global wine list.
- Love, Tilly Devine, 91 Crown Ln, Darlinghurst. Run by former Quay sommelier Matt Swieboda and former Sean’s Panorama chef Tim Webber, this little gem of a wine bar in an alleyway in an unassuming space puts the fun back into wine. All 300 that are listed on the menu. Global wine list.
- 10 William St, 10 William St, Paddington. Owned by the brothers from Fratelli Paradiso, with former Aria sommelier Matt Young in charge of the wine, this establishment is known not only for its stellar wine list but also its delicious Italian-influenced food. Predominantly Italian & French wine.
- Wine Library, 18 Oxford St, Woollahra. Another one which combines an extensive wine list with great food. Global wine list.
- The Winery, 285A Crown Street, Surry Hills . Arguably the largest spot in Sydney devoted to wine, although there is a whole variety of other drinks and food available in the restaurant. If you can get past the crowds and get a spot, it’s a fun spot to visit, particularly in summer when you can enjoy being outdoors. Global wine list.
- Vini, 3/118 Devonshire St, Surry Hills. Specialising in Italian fare, this charming wine bar + restaurant with a changing handwritten blackboard plays a terrific host, satisfying both food and wine enthusiasts. With 250 Italian wines on offer, it’s certainly worthy of a visit. Italian wine list.
- Ash St Cellar, 1 Ash St, Sydney. Tucked away behind the Ivy, this wine bar has a very Parisian feel to it, particularly with the wooden bistro-style seating. A great addition to its wine offering is its tapas menu, which can turn your ‘one or two drink’ evening into a night-long affair with bites to nibble on. Global wine list.
- Chapter One, Shop 3A, 34 Campbell Pde, Bondi. Cafe by day, boutique wine bar by night, this little nook in Bondi is probably the most inviting on this list – you’ll feel very comfortable in this cozy space with all its colourful cushions. What I love about this place is the focus on sustainable, handmade wines and food that goes well with them. Global wine list.
- GPO Wine & Cheese Room, 1 Martin Pl, Sydney. It’s all about the cheese at GPO, evident with just one glance of the menu, which offers 5 flight selections, including the Australian Flight, European Flight and Sparkling & Champagne Flight. These are all paired by the sommelier and fromager with cheese, crackers and quince paste. Global wine list.
- Millevini, 397 Crown Street, Sydney. With a name that means “a thousand wines” in Italian, it is no surprise how extensive the wine list is. They don’t take their food lightly either, with a full fledged restaurant style menu focusing on Italian fare. Predominantly Italian wine.