Dating back to 6,000 BC, humans have always loved their wine. Back then reserved for aristocrats and clergy, we’ve been witnessing a wine democracy where anyone can enjoy a nice glass of fermented grapey goodness. Bursting with a shared passion, Young Gun of Wine is an ardent band of curators and writers, leading people to places where they can have a fulfilling wine experience.
And in vino veritas, they revealed the best haunts nationwide at their award ceremony Wineslingers. 100 winemakers, sommeliers and journalists had voted on their favourite wine spots across Australia. This year’s Top 50 list demonstrated diversity, colour and a collective sense of fun and adventure when it comes to wine. Some are restaurants with encyclopaedic lists, some boltholes with a few dozen well-chosen bottles, but they’re all venues where wine is the hero.
Amongst the finalists, four of the venues were crowned with awards. Trophies included ‘Wineslinger’ for the venue that secured the top spot in the list (10 Williams Street in Sydney), the publicly voted ‘People’s Choice’ (Settlers Tavern in Margaret River), along with new additions for the ‘Best New Haunt’ (Wines of While in Perth), and recognising a venue pushing the boundaries of possibility ‘Maverick’ (Supernatural Cellars in Byron Bay).
Even though it appears as New South Wales and Western Australia claimed all the praise, fear not —there are 11 places in Victoria in the Top 50 list that we can be proud of and pay a visit. After work wines in CBD? Look no further than the hall-in-the-wall 40-seater with subterranean ambience Arlechin, last year’s winner and a crowd pleaser City Wine Shop, arguably the hottest wine bar Embla now with a sister rooftop bar, and Hardware Lane’s most elegant joint Kirk’s Wine Bar.
Super star north-sider watering holes include the casual wine bar with fine dining pedigree Bar Liberty, neighbourhood bistro-bar housed in a striking 19th century building Carlton Wine Room, Gertrude Street’s wine connoisseur Marion, the distinctively European Napier Quarter and the cosiest wine bar of the town Neighbourhood Wine. On the other side of the river in South Melbourne and South Yarra, Bellota and France Soir are the chic spots that made it to the finalists.
All the serious grape-lovers out there: For a good time, guaranteed, put these gems at the top of your to-go list. And for anything and everything wine-related, make sure to keep an eye on Young Gun of Wine and be in the know.
Bee Sharp is an arts marketer with a mammoth appreciation and appetite for good wine.
Young Gun of Wine helps people discover the joy of wine throughout the year.