Melbourne’s best wine bars if you’re over the whole club scene
16.02.2022

Melbourne’s best wine bars if you’re over the whole club scene

Melbourne wine bars
Words By Charisa Bossinakis

With Melbourne’s vibrant and thriving nightlife, there’s certainly no shortage of different wine bars to try and dining experiences to immerse yourself in.

Whether you’re after a crisp savvy b or impatiently waiting for dance floors to come back, a wine bar is a perfect way to destress after a long work week, or hell, even mid-week to help you get through, no judgement here.

Filtering through all the different wine bars Melbourne has to offer is a task itself, as we are spoilt for choice, which is a blessing and a curse. However, some key ingredients to look out for when choosing the best wine bar includes the wine list, delicious food, knowledgeable staff and inviting atmosphere so you can kick your feet up as you guzzle down some fine vino.

If you’re looking for a great night out but don’t feel like downing a few fireball shots and ending up at Revs at 3am, here are Melbourne’s best wine bars for a chill rendezvous. These wine bars are bound to make you feel extremely lavish and even get the tick of approval from the most experienced wine connoisseurs out there.

Salut!

Bellota

 

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Bellota is the extension of the beloved Prince Wine Store, showcasing some of the most delicious wines and carefully curated dishes. From the moment you set foot in this classic Victorian building, you’re immediately taken back by the stunning European bar culture, boasting the finest salamis and cheeses with its delicatessen like display.

Here, you can find a whopping 3000 bottles in stock with a European menu, including a range of classic dishes with a modern spicy twist. This French and Italian inspired menu has an assortment of charcuterie boards, seafood and pasta made from the freshest local produce.

If it’s a luxurious cheese and wine night you’re craving, Bellota is a no brainer.

Embla

 

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This industrial-chic wine bar is one of Melbourne’s finest venues owned by Dave Verheul and wine guy Christian McCabe. Embla is simplistic yet effective in its approach to a wine bar, as it’s sophisticated but has a no-nonsense kind of energy that lends itself to the unpretentious wine drinkers of Melbourne.

The wine menu was created by French wine guru Eric Narioo and winemaker Patrick Sullivan, who have delivered some of the best un-tinkered with, natural bottles of wine guaranteed to quench your thirst. However, if you’re after some nibbles, Embla serves up a selection of small plates that feature exotic and fresh flavours. Expect to find smoked duck liver toast, beef carpaccio and baby octopus among their tastiest dishes.

Open from 12pm till midnight; you can pop in for a cheeky drink at just about any time in the day.

City Wine Shop

 

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The same team behind Supper Club, Siglo bar and Neapoli, is another must-try fine wine and dining experience that’s the perfect intersection of luxe and minimalism. Sitting at the top of Spring Street is one of the city’s hottest drinking holes that acts as a wine shop as well, so you can sit down for a drink or pick up a few bottles to go; the choice is yours!

This chic café also serves up small and main contemporary dishes and an array of delicious bar snacks and cheeses, supplied by the Spring street grocer next door.

This place is always bustling and tends to fill out quickly, so it’s worth booking in advance.

Marion

 

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Located in the heart of Fitzroy, right next to Cutler & Co, is Marion – one of the best Northside wine bars featuring an exclusive wine list and seasonal gourmet dishes. If you’re looking for an intimate setting to impress your date, Marion is the perfect place. Star chef Andrew McConnell is known for his eclectic and unique flavour pairings, and his Marion creations are no different.

While here, you must try the burrata or their flounder, but if you’re looking for something to snack on, there’s also has a selection of fine cow milk cheeses that always go down just right.

The Carlton Wine Room

The Carlton Wine Room is a quintessential dining experience for grape lovers. This bistro/bar has a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere and is the ultimate spot for a wind-down wine. Set in a stylish 19th-century building, The Carlton Wine Shop offers an ever-changing, extensive wine list and an impressive menu created by head chef John Paul Twomey.

The ground floor offers a cellar room, an intimate space that seats up to 24 guests. However, upstairs is the Faraday room, a private dining room met with an art deco aesthetic and strikingly high ceilings with a view over Faraday Street.

If you’re looking for drink and beautiful surroundings, make sure to spot by the next time you’re in the neighbourhood.

Etta

 

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Made to feel like an extension of your own lounge room, Etta is one of the cosiest places to have a glass of vino. What used to be an old fish and chip shop has transformed into a peeled back, elegant 80-seat dining room offering a brilliantly curated wine list.

If you’re feeling a little hungry, be sure to tuck into some smaller plates created by Head Chef Rosheen Kaul, who formerly worked at Carlton Wine Shop and draws from her Chinese, Filipino and Kashmiri heritage to curate Etta’s menu.

Whether you’re trying to win over some brownie points with your significant other or just after a late-night beverage to discuss the latest Succession episode, this East Brunswick wine bar caters to all.

Bar Liberty

 

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Named after the Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith quote – “So this is how liberty dies…with thunderous applause,” situated on the corner of Johnson Street, is one of Fitzroy’s hottest wine bars known as Bar Liberty. If you’re after exquisite wines from Australia’s most flourishing regions, you’ve come to the right place.

Penny Wines in Beechworth and legendary winemaker Tom Shobbrook have joined forces, and even custom-made red and orange wine served on tap. Not to mention they also serve classic cocktails, beer, cider or sake, whatever you’re in the mood for.

Also, while you’re here, be sure to order the Sydney Rock oysters, as these babies always hit the spot!

Toorak Cellars

 

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This trendy wine bar and bottle shop is one of Southside’s best hang out spots, as from the moment you enter, you immediately notice the excellent service and warm atmosphere.

Toorak Cellars sits right across from Toorak Station on Beatty Avenue and is incredibly versatile. Not only does it offer a fine wine list from 20 different labels, but they also serve great cocktails and food all year round. Enjoy the luxurious outdoor garden while sipping on an Aperol Spritz in the Summer or cosy up inside and indulge with one of their wood fire pizzas in the colder months.

There are so many reasons to love Toorak Cellars.

The Alps Wine Shop and Bar

 

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Named after the mountainous region, The Alps specialises in wines from the most outstanding vineyards in Burgundy, Alto, Jura and Veneto. However, The Alps also have an extensive selection of natural Australian wines if you’re craving something a little more familiar. But if you’re feeling bold, definitely try one of their Grenache blends and pair it with one of their Alpine cheese boards.

This ever-changing wine menu will always keep you on your toes; however, The Alps also serve classic cocktails and beers if you want to chop and change between glasses.

Rufus

 

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Impeccable wine, food and old school service where customers feel like royalty, you can never go wrong with this little hidden gem. This Winston Churchill inspired wine bar is tucked away off Greville Street, stretching across an unassuming laneway and is one of Prahran’s best keep secrets.

Rufus has a stunning terrace that will make you feel like you’ve transported to the South of France, and with international travel off the cards for now, this is the perfect wine bar if you’re looking for a bit of escapism.

Regardless if you’re after a post-work beverage or you’ve come for celebratory drinks, Rufus is the ideal way to treat yourself while enjoying the finer things in life.

Gerald’s Bar

Since opening in 2007, Gerald’s Bar has been one of the best places to grab a drink and be immersed in wine culture. Gerald’s is not only passionate about vino, but the stories and adventures it brings, as this North Carlton venue is where creative minds come together to discuss anything and everything, from politics to art, travel, to the name of Kylie Jenner’s offspring.

The only thing more stimulating than the conversation is Gerald’s comprehensive wine list, as their menu boasts over 200 different bottles. However, don’t be intimated, as staff are extremely helpful in choosing a suitable wine for you.

Also, with a menu that changes daily, their kitchen is all about keeping things fresh and seasonal, as one day you could be chowing down on crumbed sardines, the next day, it could be porterhouse steak. They play by their own rules!

Check out our list of Melbourne’s best winter bars for that warm, cozy ambience here.