Whether you just want to catch up with friends and linger over a nice bottle, or whether you'd like to try some new wines and learn a thing or two Sydney has some pretty darn good offerings when it comes to wine bars. Wine goes well with food, and all of our list of five top Sydney wine bars, by the way, also offer some pretty good grub to wash down with the wine.
Conveniently on the cusp of the city centre, Fix St James is one of Sydney’s long serving and reliable wine bars. With an eclectic list that spans some classic wines to some newer, more natural styles, leading sommelier Stuart Knox and the knowledgeable team will have something to satisfy the most discerning of palates. And if you thought the place was only about wine, think again: the food is simple, seasonal and on the money every time.
111 Elizabeth Street, Sydney +61 2 9232 2767
What’s not to love about this quaint little space along Oxford Street? Great Australian wine luminaries don the walls, Jeff Buckley croons from the speakers, and a selection of the world’s best natural and organic wines are stacked on the shelves. While the wine is the star of the show, the food isn’t to be sneezed at: pea, Persian fetta and mint insalata is stunning in all its seasonal simplicity, as are the delicate and flavoursome pork & veal meatballs. Seats are limited, so get down early and perch yourself at the bar and let the staff and the vino do all the talking.
18 Oxford Street, Woollahra +61 2 9360 5686
Before Tapavino opened as Australia's first Sherry bar, Bulletin Place was a quiet little cobbled laneway not unlike that you would find in Spain. Now that the word is out, it can be hard to get a table in this historic two storey terrace. Tapavino is not just about the selection of 80 Sherries though, with an extensive range of over 300 Spanish wines and plenty of Spanish style bites so you can "sip-a-little-bit-of-this-and-eat-a-little-bit-of-that".
6 Bulletin Place, Sydney +61 2 9247 3221
It's all about Italy at 121 BC. Or should we say wine? As 121BC is said to be the year of the very first vintage. The long bar lined with bar stools down one side spans the length of the adjacent bottleshop. Everything is offered by the glass on a regional blackboard that changes frequently. Because 121 BC doesn't take bookings the best advice is to arrive as early as you can.
4/50 Holt Street (with the entrance on Gladstone), Surry Hills +61 2 9699 1582
This sandstone cellar and its booths are the perfect setting for drinking wine with a small group of friends. On the (predominantly Australian and French) wine list here, there are lots of choices by the 1/2 glass so you can try a few more different tipples. Deli Wine Bar also offers a full glass too, and wine by the carafe, and a bigger selection by the bottle. But we love the half glass thingamajig. And the deli plates that as the name of the bar suggest can accompany your drinking. No bookings - just rock in.
65 - 67 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills