Melbourne’s best wine bars are the quintessence of its lifestyle: epicurean and urbane.
Here is our list of favourites:
1. Mr Wilkinson || 295 Lygon St. Brunswick. Ph: (03) 9388 8578.
Located only meters away from famed Hellenic Republic, Alderman pub, and East Brunswick Club, this comfortable wine bar is named after the founder of the suburb it resides in. Brunswick was instituted by Mr Thomas Wilkinson over 150 years ago and has since become a trendy and urbane hub. Mr Wilkinson is no expection to the stylish neighbourhood. The décor is fitted out with recycled timber and black steel, and is elegant yet hospitable. On offer, a great selection of by-the-glass wines, boutique beers, and tapas. A must for the roving vinophiles.
2. City Wine Shop || 159 Spring St. Melbourne. Ph: (03) 9654 6657. citywineshop.net.au
City Wine Shop is one of Agenda’s absolute favourites. The wine list is outstanding. The nibbles are delightful and served ‘round the clock’. The view on the Parliament House is simply majestic. Take a bottle of boutique French wine with you, or seat down at the bar for some fried whitebait and a bottle of German Riesling. Melbourne at its best.
3. Gerald’s Bar || 386 Rathdowne St. Carlton North. Ph: (03) 9349 4748.
Crowned ‘2010 Bar of the Year’, Gerald’s Bar is a manifest fixture of Melbourne’s best. The by-the-glass concept is unusual: the first three reds/whites and the first bubbles ordered become the selection for the night. Serving comfort food, this award-winning establishment is unpretentious, hospitable and has an air of Southern Europe.
4. Gertrude St Enoteca || 229 Gertrude St. Fitzroy. Ph: (03) 9415 8262. gertrudestreetenoteca.com
This stylish little wine bar has a bistro feel to it. From snacks and antipasto to a daily special courtesy of co-owner and chef Brigitte Hafner, the food here is sourced locally and of quality. By-the-glass or the bottle, taste a superb selection of wines spanning from regional Victoria to Europe. Enoteca is a ‘must try’ in ever-more urbane Gertrude St and the ideal pit stop for Friday post-work drinks. A word of warning: it is only small and packs out quickly.
5. Punch Lane Wine Bar and Restaurant || 43 Little Bourke St. Melbourne. Ph: (03) 9639 4944. punchlane.com.au
Architectural gem with an eclectic décor, Punch Lane is an institution. Right in the heart of Melbourne’s theatre district, it has been a favourite amongst theatre-goers and wine lovers for the past 16 years. The food is nice and the wine great. Bustling, full of life, cosy. Typically Melbourne.