Embla – CBD
This CBD wine bar is from the same minds behind Carlton’s Town Mouse, and you can bet it’s every bit as impressive. The elegant, Parisian-style space has a casual, yet grown-up feel to it, and the short-but-snappy menu shows more than a few touches of cheffy flair. The wine list, although a crowd pleaser, tends to nudge you towards trying something exciting, and maybe even a little bit weird.
City Wine Shop – CBD
With its Euro-style streetside seating, and a delightful menu to match, The City WIne Shop will transport you straight to some charming Parisian bistro. Choose a bottle from the wall of wine to drink then and there, or to take home and enjoy later on. Otherwise, the regularly-changing pouring list has a little something for every palate, encouraging you to linger and try something new.
Punch Lane – CBD
One of Melbourne’s original laneway wine bars, Punch Lane is an oldie, but a goodie. It’s all dark timber and cosy European vibes; perfect for long lunches, pre-theatre drinks or a cosy date-night tipple. Get comfy and make your way through the beautifully executed, Euro-inspired menu, and a wine list that celebrates both old world drops and exciting modern varietals.
Bar Liberty – Fitzroy
This Fitzroy newcomer steers the wine bar concept into adventurous territory, helmed by a couple of ex-Attica folk who aren’t afraid to push the envelope a little. Expect a sleek, contemporary space, where you’ll tuck into deliciously clever dishes, interesting wines and maybe a few old favourites. Cocktails are of the bottled variety and there’s a custom-made wine on tap.
Gerald’s Bar – Carlton North
A long-time neighbourhood favourite with a European soul, loads of character and a great collection of knick-knacks. Here, the day’s offerings, from both kitchen and bottle, are scrawled simply on the wall; you’ll find happy punters getting stuck into all of it, maybe perched at the bar swapping banter with the owner, or huddled in the cosy back room over a few drops from the 200-bin cellar.
Lady Nelson’s Wine + Kitchen – Windsor
Tucked away down the Windsor end of Chapel Street, this newcomer has quickly marked itself as a destination for discerning drinkers. The wine list is one to get excited about, and with over 50 drops on offer by the glass, it’s the perfect excuse to get a bit adventurous. Backing it all up, there’s a great little menu of nibbles and charcuterie, as well as a few winning cocktail creations.
Bar Nonno – Northcote
Every bit as Italian as the name suggests, this Northcote wine bar is a father-and-son operation, where traditional ideals and styling reign supreme. Nab a seat in the front bar, the buzzing dining room or the herb-filled courtyard, and prepare to be charmed; by the old-school service, the memorable fare and a wine list that’s as well-priced as it is well thought out.
Bellota – South Melbourne
Sister and neighbour to the iconic Prince Wine Store, this nifty bar carries the same penchant for fine wine, with an ever-changing list that’s been carefully sourced from around the world. The sophisticated space blends Euro styling with a touch of Melbourne flair and, along with the kitchen’ simple bistro menu, is the perfect accompaniment to an evening of excellent wine.
Marion – Fitzroy
From the same brains behind next door’s Cutler & Co, it’s little surprise this Gertrude Street wine bar is a hard one to fault. It’s a place for serious wine buffs to try something adventurous, or for casual quaffers to indulge in some old favourites. You’ll find a brief, regularly changing menu backing up that hefty wine list, and a fresh-faced space in which to enjoy it all.