As someone once wrote, ‘have a glass of wine and forget all about it, if that doesn’t work, have the whole bottle. You might not forget, but you won’t care’. We’ve searched for the best wine bars in Sydney that live up to a drinking-the-whole-bottle standard, purely because their wine lists are just so damn good. We can’t help but indulge ourselves—we’ll do a juice cleanse tomorrow…
The Lodge Bar
Why go on a round-the-world trip when you can enjoy the best international wines from the comfort of Balmain? The Lodge Bar is the perfect destination for a relaxed evening as the sounds of jazz filter between the clinking glasses and happy customers. With a wine list exceeding 200, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with options but we assure you there’s something for everyone. There’s even an array of cheeses to help wash down the wine, because that makes their wine list all the more delicious.
French food and good wine is a match made in heaven, we like to say, and Onde definitely has our hearts because they take this coupling to the next level. Their extensive (and delicious) wine list features an eclectic mix of wines from all over the globe. You'll find bottles from Australia, France, Spain, Italy, and California. They're all hand-selected to go with the menu, although they go down a treat on their own. Cheapskates need not worry either, they sit at around $40-$55 per bottle, so no need to break the bank for a decent drop.
Pocket Bar may be small, but their wine list certainly packs a punch. Along with the red and whites (which have a wine lover’s description so you know what your drinking before you’ve begun), they’ve got a range of unusual cocktails that sound as delicious as they taste. If you’re environmentally inclined, try out the organic and biodynamic wines, like Chile’s fruity Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc— it’s sure please.
You know you’re in for a good time when the wine list is longer than a small novel. With so many options you might ask how you’re supposed to choose. Well Listers, Jonah’s have included a ‘1001 wines to try before you die’ list to, shall we say, ‘narrow’ the choices for you. In the end though, whatever is poured into your glass will be a perfect match to the majestic views and amazing food.
The Local Bar
The Local Bar is the perfect spot to raise a glass and celebrate life because you can. The relaxed atmosphere and eclectic drinks menu is perfect for an afternoon of fine wine and wonderful company and hey, you don’t even need a reason to go here! Just be sure to check out the tapas share menu while you’re there—you won’t regret indulging in the creamy duck liver pate.
If there’s any place that lives up to the phrase ‘Italians do it better’, it’s Vini. With over 250 Italian wines served alongside quality Italian dishes, they’ve got ‘yum’ written all over the menu. The staff are well educated in wines to help you navigate the extensive menu and get the most out of your dining experience. Hint: the menu is also written in Italian, but don’t worry if you can’t pronounce it because they’re all delicious.
This CBD hang out proves that Spanish wine has as much flair as the Spanish themselves, and we’re more than happy to share their energy, with a glass (or two) in our hands, of course. The folks at Tapavino have sourced the best quality wine (there’s 300-plus), paired it with the tastiest tapas Spain has to offer, and brought it all together to share with us Aussies. We’re certainly glad they have because the crab, avo and chilli tostado is delish (and even more so with a drop of Spanish wine).
The folks at Mille Vini like to celebrate all things Italian, meaning they’ll always vote in favour of the Italian wines, and we like them even more for that. There’s also a generous menu of Italian food if you’re in the mood for sharing dinner with friends (that’s the way the Italians do it, and that’s how we like to do it at The Urban List because food + wine + friends = happiness).
The Wine Library
As the name suggests, The Wine Library is a wine-lover’s paradise. Nestle yourself by the bar, let the staff take you through the extensive wine list and relax. Because wine is paired so wonderfully with food, share a cheese plate or some seasonal oysters with your fellow drinkers to finish off your afternoon with a little bit of luxury.
Image credit: Lisa Brooke at Mille Vini