They say you don’t make friends with salad but when it comes to fine wine most of us are forced to choose our friends – ruthlessly. Well we say all of your friends and your palate deserve better.
After our recent wrap of Melbourne’s best wine bars, we’re now heading up the coast to weed out a collective of Sydney’s best spots to indulge in a drop of Cab Sav or favourite white.
It’s time to put down that goon bag and get your wine connoisseur on.
For those who can’t tell by the name, Tapavino is all about the love for Spanish flavours with a matching atmosphere to boot. It started life as Australia’s first Sherry Bar located in a small lane way much like those found in Spain. Since then the word has spread and Tapavino has become Sydney’s premiere destination for sampling some of Spain’s finest wine. Tapavino has since opened two more establishments in the CBD but the original one is the our recommendation to experience where the magic began.
For a wine bar that lives up to the monumental name, 121BC is the place to be. The elegant establishment focuses on small artisan producers and Italian local varieties whilst supporting the sustainability of wine growing through the minimal intervention of the wine making process. Be warned though, the wine bar only houses a single communal table which seats 24 persons meaning you’ll need to get in early. If that fails, 121BC also doubles as a wine shop so you can take your prized drop home to enjoy. Now we’re talking. The wine bar is open from Tuesday to Saturday 5pm to 12am.
Fix Wine Bar
Those who love to walk more on the adventurous side of wine only need to hit up one place. Fix Wine Bar focuses on the smaller boutique growers to deliver hand-picked wines of local and global origins. The result is a place that’s both refreshing but still consistent in quality when it comes to the flavour, individuality and personality of the wine list. It’s a gurantee that you’ll find something here that you’ve never tasted.
The Stinking Bishops
Uncle Ben once said that with great cheese comes great wine. Or some variation of that anyway. The Stinking Bishops is a premiere cheese shop first but backing up the smelly stuff is a pretty serious wine list that simply earned itself a spot in the best wine bars of Sydney. The appeal here comes from matching the plethora of cheese to an extensive wine list. Again, it’s a small joint so head in as early as possible.
Following in similar footsteps to the aforementioned Fix, Cittavino also comes armed with the liquid gold you’re likely not to find anywhere else – they import their wine themselves directly from regions of Spain, Italy and France. Joining this respectable list is also samples from America and South Africa alongside small Australian wine producers.
10 William Street
10 William Street needs no introduction. As part of the Fratelli Paradiso group, the Italian wine establishment has amassed a solid following from across the city and even caused some controversy with the lockout laws. More importantly their wine list is astounding with a menu spanning four pages with bottles from Australia, Italy, Spain, USA, France, Germany, Austria and Japan just to name a few. If you can’t find the right tipple for yourself in here then you probably don’t have tastebuds.
The Wine Library is your classic all-rounder wine bar serving up a decent tipple for those in the CBD. It has all the reds and whites along with staff who know what they’re on about when faced with such an extensive wine list. For the peckish they even have cheese plates, meat balls and spiced lamb and ricotta gozleme to go with your drink of choice.
Love Tilly Devine
Follow the rustic sign outside along with a dimly lit interior from the window and you’ll find one of the city’s most loveable wine bars. Heck it even champions it with a name like Love, Tilly Devine. The stylish yet down to Earth vibe makes it one of the best places to catch up with a friend or date but more importantly their wine is damn good. The wine list currently sits at around 300 different wines from many of the world’s great regions – everywhere from the Yarra Valley to the Jura to Wachau. And it changes daily. Insane? Not yet. The bar only fits 40 persons so you better sprint there from work if you plan on scoring yourself a spot.