When proposing to go out for a drink with your friends, it can be all too easy to suggest going to the pub or trying any one of your nearest city’s cocktail bars. But what about the humble wine bar? After all, wine is one of the most popular drinks in Australia, so why wouldn’t you want to visit a bar dedicated to the grape-based elixir to enjoy some of the finest drops around?
The answer is simple, you would want to and you should. Fortunately for residents of Brisbane and its surrounding areas, the Queensland city is home to a number of first-class wine bars just waiting to pop open some corks and pour you something you’ve likely never tried before, but might just become your new favourite.
Obviously, any of Brisbane’s coolest restaurants and hotels are going to have their own well-stocked wine lists, but a wine bar is a perfect location to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation, as staff will have encyclopaedic knowledge, so can tell you all there is to know. Wine bars, naturally, lend themselves to being the ideal setting for a date, too.
When wanting to visit a wine bar in Brisbane, you can’t go past Maeve Wine. Founded by three friends who share a love for all things red, white and rose as well as a passion for delivering the highest in customer service, Maeve Wine will welcome you in with open and arms and have you leaving feeling like you’ve gained a new friend.
The wine list is always evolving and doesn’t necessarily place an emphasis on local bottles, but rather an emphasis on easy-drinking wines that the owners themselves love to indulge in. The food menu is equally delectable with strong inspiration from European dining and, as you’d expect, all dishes can have a wine paired to complete the experience.
Address: Level 1/39 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane, 4101
Phone: 07 3846 7783
Grape Therapy Wine Merchant & Grape Den
Just taking a step inside Grape Therapy is akin to savouring your favourite bottle. A warm atmosphere is put upon you from the off and the experience only intensifies from there. The bar’s wine list, naturally, changes on a regular basis, but the vast majority of bottles stocked (and boy, are there are a lot) will come from Australia, with the odd European influence thrown in for a touch of diversity.
Grape Therapy may be a wine bar first and foremost, but it also has a fine selection of whisky from around the world, along with sake and a healthy choice of beers. Pair any of these with some tapas, pizza, cheese or charcuterie and you’ll easily be able to spend several hours lounging on the bar’s Chesterfield sofas.
Address: 471 Adelaide Street, Brisbane City, 4000
The Valley Wine Bar
A gem within Fortitude Valley, The Valley Wine Bar stocks an unbelievable amount of wine, offering customers a choice of 400 wines by the bottle and an additional 20 by the glass. It’s nigh-on impossible not to find a wine you like here.
Wines are sourced from all over the world, but The Valley takes extra care to ensure many of the bottles come from vineyards that are farmed organically. The result is not only a drop that you can taste the difference in, but one that is far better for the environment.
Address: 171 Alfred Street, Fortitude Valley, 4006
Phone: 07 3252 2224
Mr Chester Wine
Mr Chester Wine boldly claims they are “what a wine bar should be”, and with a carefully curated menu that celebrates both local producers and those from further afield, all of whom adhere to some sustainable production methods, we’re inclined to agree.
The bar itself is staffed by some of the friendliest people you’ll ever come across, with the entire team being on hand to serve you and engage with you, to help you discover something new, fall back in love with a varietal you haven’t sampled in some time, and to suggest the perfect food accompaniment.
Address: 2/850 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, 4006
Moo Moo Wine Bar & Grill
While it might have the words wine bar in the name, Moo Moo is more of a restaurant compared to the other wine bars on this list. But that’s only because its multi-award-winning wine list is an accompaniment to an incredible selection of steaks and seafood.
The majority of the current red wine menu is sourced from Australia, highlighting the country’s penchant for producing exceptional shiraz, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, among other varietals.
The whites, meanwhile, are procured predominantly from overseas, with Europe and New Zealand proving to be master producers. Whatever you choose – or are recommended by the waitstaff and sommeliers – you can be sure of not only a great glass of wine, but a great pairing with a steak.
Address: Port Office Building, 39 Edward Street, Brisbane, 4000
Phone: 07 3236 4500
Cru Bar & Cellar
Think of a wine bar and you’ll likely imagine either a small and cosy bar with an intimate setting, or something like Cru, a much more modern venue with a warming and relaxed atmosphere. Found in Fortitude Valley, Cru Bar is cleverly designed so that you can easily stroll through the door, perch yourself at the bar or nestle into a booth and peruse the 450+-strong wine menu.
Fortunately, thanks to Cru’s Coravin system, which prevents then wine from being exposed to oxygen, means at least 40 of those can be had by the glass. Wines are sourced from around the world, and the beer menu is equally extensive and international.
Address: 1/22 James Street, Fortitude Valley, 4006
Phone: 07 3252 2400
Larder Wine Bar
A well-stocked wine bar with an equally well-stocked wine shop right next is what you’ll find when you pay a visit to Larder Wine Bar. Owned by couple Stephanie and James, the pair pay frequent visits to the wine bars of Europe to draw inspiration for their own venue, and it certainly shows through both the décor, the food menu and the wines on offer.
If you fancy an evening of wine and cheese, Larder should definitely be at the top of your list, as several fine examples are available to choose from, all of which are paired with the perfect glass. Once you’ve found a wine you like, you can stock up on in the adjoining shop.
Address: 479 Waterworks Road, Ashgrove, 4060
Phone: 0491 629 101