Liinaa Berry's 15 favourite wine bars and wine restaurants in Melbourne 2023
Melbourne, Australia's second biggest city, is a city with plenty of great places to visit for every wine lover. Here, Star Wine List's ambassador Liinaa Berry has selected her favourite wine spots in the city. Presented in partnership with Vintec.
Phone: +61 455 122 121
Address: 122 Russell Street, Melbourne
International Best Short List of the Year, presented by DAOU 2023
Embla truly embodies the essence of Melbourne wine bars. This small intimate wine bar takes bookings, but most of the time, this is a place kept for walk-ins. This reflects the true spirit of walking by and deciding, on a whim, to drink a good bottle by yourself at the bar and engage with the staff or walk in with your mate for a lunch of thoughtful and satisfying snacks. Because of the nature of the bar, with its walk-in culture, they don't have a huge wine list but instead a selection of wines by the glass at the back of the food menu. The wines aren't listed like the classic Pinot Grigio...
Phone: (03) 9939 8113
Address: 268 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Aru is a must-visit in Melbourne if you enjoy bold flavours and food cooked on open flames. It has a very smart international wine list to accompany the intriguing dishes and unconventional combination of ingredients. With a South East Asian penchant, every dish is tweaked with flair, and their vegetables are lifted with so much flavour you could just eat that and be content. There is a great selection of aromatic wines to match the flavours, with classics from Europe, Italy, France, and a strong Australian representation.
Phone: (03) 9347 1619
Address: 297 Lygon Street, Carlton
Predominantly Italian food, Agostino is your classic enoteca par excellence: A 50-seat wine bar, daily in-house pasta and an impressive wine list offering quite an extensive selection of Italian wines drawing on from the cellar from King and Godfree – which has been collecting wines for 20-30 years and therefore has an epic selection of back vintages. There is an eclectic mix of traditional and natural wines from Italy but also a well-versed international selection for the Burgundy lover or the Jura enthusiast. Open five days a week for lunch and dinner. Bookings are recommended, but they al...
Phone: +61 3 9866 8569
Address: 11 Toorak Road, South Yarra
France-Soir is an institution. I brought my french speaking parents here many years ago when they were visiting from Mauritius. My brother was looking for a nice piece of rib-eye, and I wanted to drink French, so everyone else had to follow. This is the authentic Parisian corner of Melbourne. Always busy and noisy, the waiters seem to all be French-speaking, rushing with gusto amongst the small spaces in between tables, delivering steak frites, canard a l’orange, and pouring wine from a very comprehensive wine list of more than 1500 references. This is proud old-fashioned busy white table clo...
Phone: (03) 9654 6657
Address: 159 Spring Street, Melbourne
Just on the edge of the city, where the city ends and the hip northern suburbs begin, you will find City Wine Shop on the ground floor of a three-storey Victorian-era building. This institution operates both as a retail and on-premise wine shop with an ever-evolving wine wall. The wine list reflects the wine wall, so you have the choice to pick from the wall or the list. With a mostly classic selection, you can enjoy by-the-glass things like a Saumur, a fine Pinot from a top New Zealand producer or something delicious from the Adelaide Hills. This place is an institution as I think it has pl...
Phone: +61 (03) 9822 0144
Address: 1121 High Street, Armadale
Owner and Chef Clinton’s food is inspired by fine Australian ingredients, which he cooks with various culinary techniques from around the world to produce intriguing and flavorful dishes. My birthday lunch experience there lasted four hours, and we enjoyed eight courses with a bottle of white Burgundy that opened up well across the time. We ended up with two glasses of Victorian Shiraz from a top producer from their usual pairing menu for the red meat. They serve so many snacks, to begin with, you almost leave thinking you had fifteen courses, not because you are stuffed, but because you hav...
Phone: +61 (03) 8618 8900
Address: 80 Collins Street, Melbourne
Society is probably the place to be seen in Melbourne when you are dressed up, in the mood for a lush soiree where you know you will start with a prohibition-inspired cocktail in The Lounge, have plenty of fine wine in the Dining Room, and finish with Negronis on the terrace. With a collection of more than 10,000 bottles, you will find just about anything to satisfy the wine enthusiast to the wine expert. Guided by a strong team of sommeliers, you can feel as soon as you walk in, the culture of wine and the art of fine and luxurious hospitality. Off the busy and glamorous street of the Collin...
Phone: +61 (03) 9650 3155
Address: Basement/141 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Coda is now part of the institutions of Melbourne. I recall going there for dinner and drinks when I first discovered the greatness of the Melbourne hospitality scene around 2009. Set in an underground trendy industrial chic space, Coda offers a clever combination of Vietnamese with a French influence, celebrating great Australian produce. The wine list has quite a big selection of half bottles, which I guess is to compliment the share plates, in the spirit of sharing different wines with different flavors. The list leans on French wines, with some of the more obscure local wines encouraging...
Phone: +61 (03) 9277 9777
Address: 33 Russell Street, Melbourne
Gimlet at Cavendish House is perfectly located for what it offers. A busy venue in a busy part of the Melbourne CBD, it is all-day dining, all-hour cocktail with an attractive wine list that complements their European-inspired dishes using ethically sourced Australian produce made with contemporary techniques. Gimlet is a Chicago-style space located on the ground floor of a heritage building. As soon as you walk in, there is an immediate need to go to the bar for a cocktail, as the name itself tickles this wish. Peruse the menu and winelist whilst enjoying said Gimlet or a glass of Champagne,...
Phone: +61 (03) 9804 5468
Address: 142-144 Greville Street, Prahran
Entrecôte is a French brasserie serving amazing steak frites. The place can feel both sophisticated and more relaxed at the same time, welcoming guests who want to finish a business meeting with a creme brûlée, couples who want to celebrate their anniversary, dates, or larger group bookings and events. It is a busy venue with a timeless spirit - the thoughtful arduous work of a passionate owner and wine lover. You should enjoy bumps of caviar with Champagne as an arrival shot. As would be expected, the wine list is mainly French. French classics with a good representation of Australian wines...
Phone: 0498 562 323
Address: 179 Saint Georges Road, Fitzroy North
I am so glad I discovered this gem. One of my older colleagues from City Wine Shop, who went on to open his own wine distributing company, has now opened a place to let you enjoy, in refreshing conviviality, amazing food with an obvious selection from his portfolio along with other wines from friends who also import natural wines. This is a place of connection. The stories are always intertwining. The record is always on with groovy tunes inviting you to a tiny ground-floor shop at the front of the tram line with wines to pick from the shelf. This is a place that I am proud to call my local.
Phone: (03) 9415 9025
Address: 234 Johnston Street, Fitzroy
Effortlessly cool and very much a place that brought nostalgia to me whenever I wasn’t living in Melbourne, Bar Liberty is the inspirational Fitzroy place for wine and good food. I can say that because I lived in Fitzroy for many years. It has to be one of my favourite places to visit when in town, perfect for gorging on the vibe of the natural wine bar scene. It has one of the most exciting wine lists around, combining many of the more revolutionary producers but also an equally impressive selection of cocktails. You will not be let down by the food either. All is sumptuous with a warm cosy...
Phone: +61 (03) 4432 7951
Address: 178 High Street, Heathcote
Chauncy is the best thing that has happened to regional Heathcote since the gold rush. When in Melbourne, you must take time to visit the regions that embody so much of what the local ingredients are about. In an intimate setting of only 16 seats nestled in an 1854 heritage building with an old-world feel, the cuisine combines French bistro with a hint of Italian influences. The wine list offers a classic selection of the regions you would expect to visit in the old world; Barolo, Burgundy, Champagne and Bordeaux, but also a lot of surprises coming from the lesser known regions, hence an eni...
Phone: +61 3 5989 6455
Address: 1333 Mornington-Flinders Road, Main Ridge
International By the Glass List of the Year 2023
A multi-awarded wine program, from Star Wine List itself with the Grand Prix for the Best winelist of Australia 2021 as well as Australia’s Winelist of the Year Awards for Best winelist of Australia 2021, Ten Minutes is more than a great fine dining restaurant on the eastern coast of Melbourne. It is also a winery in the Mornington Peninsula that makes mostly world-class Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. But for a restaurant in a winery, you would be extremely pleased to know that the list welcomes an incredible diversity of producers and regions beyond their own wines. Yes, the wine program does...
Phone: +61 488 010 706
Address: 1175 Mornington-Flinders Road, Red Hill
Chef Brigitte Hafner and wine lover and photographer James Broadway offer this beautiful luxurious farm retreat built in a 1920 property. The dining experience is a small menu where most of the products come from their biodynamic farm in an ‘agriturismo’ style. The rest is sourced only from ethical providers in Australia. James puts a lot of love into his wine offering and doesn’t like things to be set in stone. He is all for spontaneity. Unlearn what you have learned with no script, no fixed wine pairing, and just go with the heart. Instead of an encyclopedia of a winelist, James offers a d...