If you're into wine, the selection at a dining destination can absolutely make or break your dinner experience. But how do you separate the great from the not-so-great, when you aren't a wine expert?
There's a lot that goes into creating an excellent wine list, and we think it comes down to one thing: balance. Balance of styles, balance of flavours, and balance of price points. You also need a good sommelier, or wait staff who know their stuff, when it comes to wines and what you should order. They have an innate sense about what you will like (based on your vague and, let's face it, possibly half-cut ramblings) as well as a finely honed ability to know when to pour and when to hold back.
So, with these guidelines in mind, we've put together a list of restaurants in Brisbane who have the wine thing down pat.
Here are our picks of Brisbane's best wine lists:
This is a bit of a no brainer. Aria is renowned for its extensive, beautiful wine list, so it's no surprise that they recently won the title of Best Queensland List in the Australian Wine List of the Year Awards. With an extensive range of boutique wines and some big names, plus a host of staff that know their stuff, Aria's list does not disappoint.
Not only is it one of the best restaurants in Brisbane, but Ortiga's wine list is something special. They've got wines from all over, with a special nod given to the Spanish varietals, to go with the delicious Spanish cuisine. An exceptionally knowledgeable sommelier makes this a superior experience.
Food that never disappoints, and an impressive selection of wines available from Cru's own wine cellar, means that Cru is a pretty safe bet for wine lovers.
This Brisbane icon is renowned for its wine list, which has been recognised throughout the industry for many years, taking home a three-glass rating (the top honour) in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Gourmet Traveller Wine's, Wine List of the Year Awards. Sommelier, Alan Hunt, has become somewhat of an icon in the industry and can be credited for much of the success of this beautiful list.
The wines are the heart of this Brisbane favourite, and Enoteca's list is nothing short of impressive. With lots of options by the glass plus a lovely selection of (not just Italian) bottles, Enoteca is all about the vino. The restaurant also houses a cellar downstairs, perfect for private functions, and a lovely little wine store so you can pick up one for the road.
Malt boasts an eclectic wine list and can always be counted on to deliver a delicious drop (and feed) no matter how thick your wallet. A Brisbane favourite for good reason.
Seriously delicious fare, in a beautiful setting—the Moda experience is a truly special one. There are lots of Spanish options (which the experienced staff can talk you through) as well as an abundance of excellent Australian and New Zealand choices, so there's something for all palates.
Urbane serves up some of the best meals in Brisbane. Fact. And their wine list is equally pleasing, with a great range, focusing on iconic wines.
Comprising mostly French and Australian wines, Brents in Toowong is one that cannot be missed. The food is excellent and the wines even more so. Add some of the best service around, in a tucked away venue in Toowong, and we think we're onto one of the best wine (and food) lover spots in Brisbane.
Where have we missed? Let us know, below!
Image credit: Geoffrey Zabell