Sydney’s wine bars each assert their own unique strengths and specialties, be it bold, feral Italian reds; cutting edge biodynamic bottles; rotating glass lists hand-picked by the customers with special house blends by the owners; or unexpected vintages from unsung winemaking regions around the world. Here’s our guide to the best wine bars in the city.
Love, Tilly Devine is named for the infamous gang maiden who once ruled the streets of Darlinghurst and Surry Hills. The wine list here is a diverse range of unusual bottles from the more neglected regions of the wine world; as long as it tastes great, it has a place on Tilly’s menu. The knowledgeable staff will gladly guide patrons through their 300+ varieties of wine (sorted under broad stylistic headings), so you’ll have plenty of help exploring unfamiliar labels. Try the dry orange fiano from Cantina Giardino in Campania; the light, acidic Bourgogne Aligoté from Burgundy; and Balland, coteaux du Giennoux ‘Les beaux Jours’ gamay pinot noir.
Address and telephone number: 91 Crown Ln, Darlindhurst NSW 2011, Australia, +61 2 9326 9297
10 William Street is a hole-in-the-wall gem that some potential patrons might carelessly walk right past, owing to its subtle shopfront. This under-the-radar allure carries over to the interior, which is blessedly free of pretension with its stripped-down aesthetic of white walls, bare bulbs, and a big black chalkboard placing the focus squarely where it belongs: on the wine. 10 William Street has a strong penchant for raw, wild Italian wines. Sommelier Matt Young and owners Giovanni and Enrico Paradiso and Marco Ambrosino have composed a wine list of powerfully rich character, but still varied enough to win over even the most seasoned connoisseurs. Consider the Cirelli trebbiano from Abbruzzo, the distinguished 2001 G. Quintarelli Valpolicella, the gentle Thick as Thieves pinot noir from the Yarra Valley, or the Domaine Lucci orange sauvignon blanc.
10 William St, Paddington NSW, Australia, +61 2 9360 3310