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Wine and food at Old Palm Liqour
Photograph: Parker Blain

The best wine bars in Melbourne

It wasn't easy, but we sipped red, white and rosé across the city to bring you this guide to the finest wine times in town

By Time Out editors

June 2020This list was initially published in January and since then, the hospitality industry has gone through extreme changes. As the industry transitions slowly towards regular operations, we encourage you to continue supporting your favourite venues in a safe and thoughtful way. This also means accepting any changes to the dining experience with generosity and understanding.

This list is updated monthly. For the most current information, we recommend contacting the venue directly or checking its social media accounts. 

Whether you're looking for a bar in the north, south, east, or west of our fair city, Time Out Melbourne has got all points of the compass covered. Walk into any of these top-notch wine bars and you're guaranteed service by staff who know what they're talking about, a great atmosphere, and of course, a solid wine list. And being the snack-loving city we are, you can bet these venues are no slouch in the kitchen, either.

For more carefully curated guides to Melbourne's drinking culture, head to our favourite cocktail bars, rooftop bars and whisky bars.  

The best wine bars Melbourne has to offer

Pouring drinks at Bar Liberty
Photograph: Graham Denholm

1. Bar Liberty

Bars Wine bars Fitzroy

To drink at Liberty is to revel in the best of all booze. The only rule about each drop here is that it must be a superlative example of its style. Whether it’s wine, cider, cocktails, whisky, vermouth or even housemade soda, every item on the long menu is carefully curated, the variety and quality on offer hard to overstate.

Food at Carlton Wine Room
Photograph: Graham Denholm

2. The Carlton Wine Room

Restaurants Carlton

As much a restaurant as it is a wine bar, Carlton Wine Room comes to you from three industry veterans who have worked under the McConnell and Bartholomew empires. Upstairs is reserved for serious diners, but the front bar and street seating is open for you to drop in for a glass or a cocktail. It gets a little hairy once the sun sets, so strategise or you could be left waiting for a seat.

People inside at Gerald's Bar
Photograph: Carmen Zammit

3. Gerald's Bar

Bars Wine bars Carlton North

Ten years since its inception, this snug bar still sets the benchmark for neighbourhood boozing, with charismatic staff, handpicked imports by the glass and a menu that, like the wine list, draws heavily from Europe.

Food spread at Old Palm Liqour
Photograph: Parker Blain

4. Old Palm Liquor

Bars Wine bars Brunswick

Owners Almay Jordaan and Simon Denman are describing their East Brunswick wine bar spinoff, Old Palm Liquor, as a pub. We’ve never been to a pub that serves over 300 low-intervention and biodynamic wines alongside 12 tap beers and a super-slick menu cooked over coals with a South African inflection before, but we like it.


5. Embla

Bars Melbourne

Is Embla a wine bar? That’s a quintessentially Melbourne question of existential proportions. Anyone wanting to humour their assertion could simply point to a wine list that changes like a chameleon and where low-interventionism is the north star. It’s the kind of list where the words “organic” and “bio-dynamic” are only a sommelier away, but fear not: the strike rate here is far higher than at similarly ethosed places.

6. Marion

Bars Wine bars Fitzroy

This classic Andrew McConnell venue has some natural advantages over any competitors. For one thing, sharing the vast cellar of Cutler & Co means Marion can lay claim to being the best-stocked wine bar in the 'hood, but in reality, there’s no need to venture beyond the shorter list purpose-built for Marion, stuffed with all kinds of vinous excitement by the glass.

Please note that Marion is currently closed and operating as a grocer and the north side outpost for Baker Bleu. For the most up-to-date information, please check directly with the venue.

Dining at Cumulus Up
Photograph: Graham Denholm

7. Cumulus Up Wine Bar

Bars Melbourne

The great thing about having a wine bar attached to a casual fine-diner with a cracking cellar is that you get access to all of it, but in a more relaxed and social environment. You’d be forgiven for thinking the big, leather bound list at Cumulus Up is full of untouchable museum bottles. Not so. Flipping through, you’ll find a long but impressively engaging and easy to use guide to wine varietals.


Pouring wine at Napier Quarter
Photograph: Graham Denholm

8. Napier Quarter

Bars Restaurants Fitzroy

The cafe-to-wine-bar category has been growing strong over the last few years, but the one to beat everyone to the punch is Napier Quarter. Their any-time-of-day anchovy and egg toast bridges the gap between breakfast and light, drinking snack. Wines of the day are scrawled along the wall, and if you're after a particular something, just speak to any of the well-versed staff.

Food at City Wine Bar
Photograph: Graham Denholm

9. City Wine Shop

Bars Wine bars Melbourne

The City Wine Shop makes for a great long fancy lunch, however, the price tag here is incredibly reasonable for a place whose neighbours include Melbourne institutions The Supper Club and The European. The staff here are wine connoisseurs and they want to talk wine. It’s a great spot for an outside lunch or an indoor wine haunt when you want to hide from the elements.

Food at O.MY
Photograph: Graham Denholm

10. O.My Bar

Bars Wine bars Beaconsfield

O.My Bar seats 16, split between a high communal table and a handful of window seats in a simple, black-painted room with walnut furniture in the old Beaconsfield post office. The wine list is the same as O.My’s restaurant list (this is a great thing), where prosecco and a pinot meunier-based grower Champagne (Champagnes are most often made from chardonnay or pinot noir) are offered as by-the-glass bubbles for drastically different tastes and budgets. Cheap and cheerful pours by no means undermine the thoughtfulness of this list, even if the latter is described on the menu as ‘ fuckin’ smashable!’.

Wine and food at Kirk's Wine Room
Photograph: Graham Denholm

11. Kirk's Wine Bar

Bars Wine bars Melbourne

Amid all the mediocre pasta and manhandling, the warm glow of Kirk’s Wine Bar shines extra bright. Years have passed, but it feels as essential as ever, proving that a classic wine bar, done well, never goes out of fashion. Their list is as deep as it is broad, paying respect to all the old-world staples before giving equal ardour to trailblazing makers like Radikon and local innovators like Memento Mori.

Please note that Kirk's Wine Bar is currently closed. For the most up-to-date information, please check directly with the venue.

12. The Moon

Bars Wine bars Collingwood

The Moon feels more like the VIP room of a nightclub or a sleek cocktail lounge than a wine bar, but that's part of its charm. Along one long wall, beautifully labelled take-away bottles are lit like art in a gallery. The list of wines by the glass is a good balance of approachable and more out-there natural stuff, with a slant towards Alsatian styles.

Interior at Neighbourhood Wine
Photograph: Nathalie Saldumbide

13. Neighbourhood Wine

Bars Wine bars Fitzroy North

Climb the stairs to the first-floor bar and restaurant to discover a clubby, handsome space of vintage bar stools, tapestry and brass. Take your time perusing a 20-page wine list, peppered with natural beauties, impressive imports and little-known locals. Minimal-intervention, biodynamic and organic wines form the backbone of this commendable selection.

Food at The Alps
Photograph: Graham Denholm

14. The Alps

Bars Wine bars Prahran

Mark Hopkinson and Lyndon Kubis have worked their magic on an old milk bar on Commercial Road, turning the skinny terrace into a sexy slip of a wine bar. Along the wall, some 400 wines, largely boutique Australians and interesting importsare available for you to drink in or take away.


15. Congress

Restaurants Collingwood

You'd be forgiven for thinking Congress is a restaurant rather than a wine bar, considering their pigs head sandwich was one of the most sought-out snacks of 2018. But, they encourage carefree drinking through their wine list featuring large, classic producers of austere wines nestled amongst some trendy, local producers from the Adelaide Hills.

Drink at Westwood
Photograph: Graham Denholm

16. Westwood

Bars Wine bars West Melbourne

Westwood is no ordinary wine bar; they open for breakfast to serve you coffee and toasted sandwiches, lunchtime brings baguettes into the mix, and dinner comes from the inventive hands of Rhys Bennett (Dinner by Heston). There are usually around 10 wines by the glass, all hovering around or below $15 from small, local producers- oft-changing and ever-interesting.


17. Little Andorra

Bars Wine bars Carlton North

It’s a brave thing to open a wine bar across the street from Neighbourhood Wine, and a couple of blocks from Gerald’s Bar. But Little Andorra in Carlton North has proven itself worthy, carving out its own identity and nailing the cosy neighbourhood style in an area heavy on options.

Pouring wine at Atlas Vinifera
Photograph: Graham Denholm

18. Atlas Vinifera

Restaurants Bars Richmond

Care is the number one factor in this quaint little wine bar. Atlas Vinifera has invested money in its compelling and incredibly well-stocked shelves, it has invested time in staff training, and it has a highly functional space while remaining entirely independent. It operates as a retail store as well, so expect a lot of foot traffic, an inordinate amount of regulars and even more cheers.

People sitting inside at Gertrude Street Enoteca
Photograph: Graham Denholm

19. Gertrude Street Enoteca

Bars Fitzroy

One of Melbourne's original bottle shop/bars, this Mediterranean marvel boasts produce-driven dishes and an intrepid wine list.

Please note that Gertrude Street Enoteca is currently closed. For the most up-to-date information, please check directly with the venue.

20. Milton Wine

Bars Malvern

A wine cellar in a terrace house sounds better suited to the leafy back streets of Fitzroy or East Brunswick, but Milton Wine is smack, bang in the middle of the high-priced burbs. The tram stops right out front, casually ushering you into a library of wines from Australia and Europe (with a bit of a skew towards Italy).

The interior of Underwood Wine Bar in Fitzroy North

21. Underwood Wine Bar

Bars Wine bars Fitzroy North

Local wines, cheese toasties and hyper-local beers are trademarks of this seductive, wine bar championing all-Australian wines in the inner north.

Please note that Underwood is currently closed. For the most up-to-date information, please check directly with the venue.

22. Amarillo

Bars Wine bars Fitzroy

This low-lit, Iberian-style wine bar keeps things deceptively simple and very comfortable, so it is easy to find yourself glued to a stool all night or talking to a regular who makes you feel like you've just walked into their lounge room. Drink from a wine list that reads like an 18 year-old’s gap year hit list with most of Central and Western Europe getting a look in, plus a whole lot of Victorian drops leading the local charge.

The interior of Toorak Cellars wine bar in Armadale

23. Toorak Cellars

Bars Wine bars Armadale

Educating the good people of Toorak on the wonders of natural and biodynamic wines, the folks at Toorak Cellars have enough tried-and-tested examples to keep everybody happy.

24. Seddon Wine Store

Bars Seddon

One of the best bars in the west, Seddon Wine Store is part wine store, part neighbourhood bar. Choose a boutique label to enjoy in the store, or grab a bottle to go.

Please note that Seddon Wine Store is currently only offering takeaway and delivery. For the most up-to-date information, please check directly with the venue.

People sitting inside at Bellota Wine Bar
Photograph: Graham Denholm

25. Bellota Wine Bar

Bars Wine bars South Melbourne

A little slice of the Left Bank in South Melbourne, Bellota will win you over with its intrepid wine list, charcuterie and cheese and sass-packed service.

26. Joanie’s Baretto

Bars Thornbury

At this intimate, cultured Thornbury bar, you can practise your Italian in the bathrooms, where language lessons are piped through the speakers. Drinks are sourced solely from the Boot, and snacks of fritto misto (golden-fried seafood) arrive quick-smart on the table.


28. Strangeloves Wine Bar

Bars Moonee Ponds

In the spiritual home of Dame Edna Everage, Strangeloves puts the power firmly in the hand of the punters, by asking the first four guests to choose two reds and two whites. The price of each bottle is then divided by four to decide that day's by the glass list.

More of Melbourne's best bars

Cocktail at Romeo Lane
Cocktail at Romeo Lane
Photograph: Nathalie Saldumbide

The 50 best bars in Melbourne right now

Bars Cocktail bars

Melbourne's bar scene continues to be the envy of the nation, and our late-night credentials only get stronger with every new opening. Here is Melbourne viewed through the bottom of a glass: from its world-beating cocktail lounges to its down-and-divey saloons. 


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