Here are the 50 best wine bars in Australia — and four that are worth a special detour

The Wineslinger Awards. Credit: James Morgan
  • The wine purveyors at Young Gun of Wine, a company which showcases the best winemakers and wine venues in Australia each year, revealed their list of Australia’s top 50 wine bars eligible for the Wineslinger Awards.
  • On Monday, Young Gun of Wine also revealed the four winners of the Wineslinger Awards, which included Wineslinger of the Year, People’s Choice, Best New Haunt, and Wineslinger Maverick.

Attention winemakers and avid wine drinkers (I am the latter): The wine purveyors at Young Gun of Wine, who have been showcasing the work of up and coming winemakers and wine bars since 2007, have announced the top 50 best wine bars in Australia curated by a panel of experts for their annual Wineslinger Awards.

According to Young Gun of Wine, the company has set out to “help people discover the joy of wine,” and considers its list of top 50 wine bars in Australia to be “the wine guru’s guide to the best haunts across Australia right now.”

The list was voted on by a panel of 100 experts, including winemakers, sommeliers, and journalists, and recognises venues that not only offer a great selection of wine, but also excel in creativity and offer a unique environment to drink in.

The Wineslinger Awards were launched last year as a complement to the Winemaker Awards, which showcase the country’s most innovative wine producers.

Young Gun of Wine and Wineslinger founder Rory Kent, who hosted the awards ceremony in Melbourne on Monday, said that the selection of venues represented Australia’s dynamic wine landscape, and consumers’ shifting perceptions of the wine industry.

“The wine landscape has changed so much in recent years, becoming more and more dynamic — from the products available to the places in which to discover and enjoy wine,” he said. “This year’s Top 50 list demonstrated that diversity and colour.”

Here are the top 50 best Aussie wine bars of 2019, in alphabetical order:

● 10 William St – NSW
● 1889 Enoteca – QLD
● Africola – SA
● Arc Dining – QLD
● Arlechin – VIC
● Bar Liberty – VIC
● Bar Rochford – ACT
● Bellota Wine Bar – VIC
● Bibo – NSW
● Carlton Wine Room – VIC
● City Wine Shop – VIC
● Cru Bar & Cellar – QLD
● Dear Sainte Eloise – NSW
● East End Cellars – SA
● eightysix – ACT
● Embla – VIC
● Ester – NSW
● Ettie’s – TAS
● The Exeter – SA
● Fix Wine – NSW
● France-Soir – VIC
● Franklin – TAS
● Hellbound – SA
● Italian & Sons – ACT
● Kirk’s Wine Bar – VIC
● La Lune Wine Co – QLD
● La Lupa – QLD
● Lalla Rookh – WA
● Los Bravos – WA
● Love Tilly Devine – NSW
● Lucinda – TAS
● Maeve Wine Bar – QLD
● Marion – VIC
● Mary’s Underground – NSW
● Monopole – NSW
● Mother Vine – SA
● Napier Quarter – VIC
● Neighbourhood Wine – VIC
● Petition Wine Bar & Merchant – WA
● Poly – NSW
● Settlers Tavern – WA
● Stone House – NT
● Strange Company – WA
● Supernatural Cellars – NSW
● The Dolphin Hotel – NSW
● The Summertown Aristologist – SA
● The Valley Wine Bar – QLD
● Tom McHugo’s Hobart Hotel – TAS
● Willing Bros. Wine Merchants – TAS
● Wines of While – WA

And here are the winners of the Wineslinger Awards:

The winners from left: Peter Windrim from Supernatural Cellars, Sam Winfield from Wines of While, Karen Gough from Settler’s Tavern, and Andrew Ainsworth of 10 William Street.

Wineslinger of the Year – 10 Williams Street in Sydney, New South Wales

Kent said: “Our panel of 100 leading sommeliers, winemakers and wine/hospitality journalists chose Sydney’s 10 William Street as their number one Wineslinger in Australia. For good reason too, as 10 William Street has been a leader in this domain: offering exceptional food in a relaxed setting, with a banging wine list that offers a sense of discovery to even the most well-versed wine lover.”

Wineslinger People’s Choice – Settlers Tavern in Margaret River, Western Australia

Kent said: “With the ‘People’s Choice’, it’s so exciting to see that Settlers Tavern has won the hearts, minds and votes of the wine-loving public, as they’re such a unique destination – a place that is so fun and laid-back, but with such a seriously deep wine offering. You can get a parma, see a band and drink some of the finest wine around, or discover a new local micro-producer.”

Wineslinger Best New Haunt – Wines of While in Perth, Western Australia

Kent said: “Wines of While have brought natural wine to Perth, with an admirably strict level of adherence to a definition of the term ‘natural wine’, which can be so loosely used. Only open for a little more than a year, they have made quite an impression, and won the most votes from our 100-strong panel of any venue under two years of age, thus making them the ‘Best New Haunt’.”

Wineslinger Maverick – Supernatural Cellars in Byron Bay, New South Wales

Kent said: “They don’t employ sommeliers and shun winespeak for relatable language. They have no cutlery – people eat with their hands. They don’t offer cocktails – just wines, and there are about two beers on the list … Supernatural are pushing the boundaries, challenging the status quo, remaking and reshaping things, and that’s why we’ve named them the ‘Maverick’.”

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