First published on 27 Nov 2010. Updated on 7 Feb 2012.
10 William Street
If you thought getting into Fratelli Paradiso for dinner was difficult then quit your whingeing - you haven't attempted to have a drink at 10 William Street, probably the hardest bar to get into this side of 8.30pm at Shady Pines. Once you're in, though, be rewarded with a huge and comforting Italian wine list, excellent Negronis and bar snacks aplenty. 10 William St, Paddington 2021. (02 9360 3310).
Ash St Cellar
Ash St Cellar may have lost chef Lauren Murdoch but this laneway wine bar has gained chef Alfie Spina. Grab an outside table, try a carafe of South African wine and order a few tapas for the most fun you'll have at ivy without the queues. 1 Ash St, Sydney 2000. (02 9240 3000).
An old favourite turned new again with a makeover by star Melbourne architect Pascale Gomes-McNabb still has one of the most interesting, ever-evolving wine lists in the city written and executed by wine-loving overlord, Nick Hildebrandt. 320 Crown St, Surry Hills 2010. (02 9332 2344).
Take a trip to Spain without leaving North Sydney at this excellent bottleshop/tapas/wine bar/deli. Ben Moechtar's digs are the perfect place to dig into some Spanish vino while sitting in the dappled shade at one of the many outdoor tables with some olives and a choripan (chorizo sandwich). 134 Blues Point Rd, McMahons Point 2060. (02 9955 9399).
Andreas Puhar, godfather of Sydney sommeliers,works the small room at DeVine with kind of panache most wine slingers only dream about. Combine that with a list heavy on the Teutonic white and Trumer Pils on tap and you've got our hearts for life. 32 Market St, Sydney 2000. (02 9262 6906).
Fix St James
It's more restaurant than wine bar but there's nothing stopping you from stopping by for a glass of wine. Each week, owner/sommelier Stuart Knox highlights a different wine and gives glasses of it away between five and six - just because he wants you to try it. 111 Elizabeth St, Sydney 2000. (02 9232 2767).
Love Tilly Devine
It's the wine bar you'll never want to leave. This new tiny bar, in the heart of the old razor gang district, is run by sommelier Matt Swieboda and chef Tim Webber. It's a bar with a heart of gold. 91 Crown Ln, Darlinghurst 2010. (02 9326 9297).
Few places are quite as afternoon-sucking as the outdoor seats at Vini on a sunny weekend. Combine a hot day with glasses of pinot grigio stained with Campari, and you have a recipe for the most deliciously lost weekend you can imagine. 3/118 Devonshire St, Surry Hills 2010. (02 9698 5131).
The Wine Library
The winner of Time Out's Wine Bar of the Year award is up the pointy end of Oxford Street, where shoes cost more than a week's wages. Happily, though, the Wine Library has plenty on the wine list that's easy on the wallet and the tongue. 18 Oxford St, Woollahra 2025. (02 9328 1600).
MORE SYDNEY WINE BARS
Delicado’s Ben Moechtar has put together the wine list, which is 30 per cent Italian. While you drink you’ll get little snacks throughout the night; they’re gratis, and delicious. The space, designed by Michael McCann, is all warm wood, low, long booths and tinkling, grape-shaped purple lights.
Here we have the upper echelon of wine venues with style and elegance in spades, and yes, it’s in Sydney’s CBD.
Award-winning sommelier John Clancy’s menu runs the gamut from Barossa to Bordeaux and everywhere vine-worthy in between.
The wine’s reasonably priced and the food’s kinda like a cross between Café Sopra and Fratelli
Fico is the sort of place you’ll want to linger. The wine list offers plenty by the glass and the bottle price is reasonable (most are in the $40–$55 bracket), so you’ll have the opportunity to try lots of different things.
Gazebo Wine Garden
It’s wine or beer here and they have both in spades. There are 50 wines by the glass, including a couple of Champagnes. Each night of the week features a different event including bocce, film nights and girls’ picnics.
Glass Wine Bar
Glass runs regular wine programmes, tastings and events with some of the world’s most renowned winemakers, offering unparalleled access for a wine bar in Sydney.
Sepia Wine Bar
A wine list that’s broad, diverse and offering plenty by the glass means that those wanting a wine-bar experience can get it regardless of their dining intentions. They also offer a dedicated
Shop and Wine Bar
Around the corner from Bondi behemoth the Beach Road Hotel, you’ll find the hole-in-the-wall Shop & Wine Bar doing the local community proud. Pull up a bar stool and partake in a glass of wine. Live life on the edge and order a ‘mystery wine’ that differs daily depending on what’s left over from the day before.
The cracking wine list provides some decent exploration for oenophiles yet presents a raft of Aussie and Kiwi favourites among the comprehensive French offerings. This is the centrepiece of the venue, and certainly makes Tastevin a destination for those who want a genuine French style bar experience.
Wine Odyssey has no peers for its total wine adventure and offers additional joy for those seeking a cosy wine bar.
The Winery by Gazebo
The thing to remember about Gazebo is that it’s not a serious wine bar and doesn’t pitch itself that way. The list keeps it light and approachable and it’s reasonably priced, too. Food-wise, try their house-made sausage roll.
This wine bar in a dark, moody room specialises in Italian wine and snacks. A big glass cabinet holding skewers of meat, zucchini flowers, rolled pork along with great big wheels and balls of cheese and legs of cured hams and sausages.
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