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The best wine bars in Sydney

The best wine lists, sommeliers and vinous adventures to be had in the city

Man behind bar at Bodega Surry Hills
Photograph: Anna Kucera
By Time Out editors |
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Sydney loves wine and luckily we've got a bunch of beautiful bars pouring some of the best drops from around the country and the world. Whether you're after natural vino, some cheese with your wine or you want to hit an urban cellar door, these are the best wine bars in Sydney.

RECOMMENDED: The 50 best bars on Sydney.

Sydney wine bars for your hit list

1
Love Tilly Devine
Bars, Wine bars

Love Tilly Devine

icon-location-pin Darlinghurst

Even though it was one of the early adopters in the small bar boom, Love Tilly Devine is no less popular today than it was four years ago – securing those window seats is a badge of honour not many have earned. This is a great place to let wine surprise you. Sure, that orange fiano from Cantina Giardino in Campania might smell like peaches, but the skin contact gives it a dry finish that feels like a delightful bait and switch with your tastebuds.

2
Anna_Kucera_10_William_Street_12.jpg
Restaurants, Italian

10 William Street

icon-location-pin Paddington

10 William Street is both a restaurant and a bar with a penchant for crazy, raw, wild and feral Italian wines. Your sommelier might pour you something like the exciting Cirelli trebbiano from Abbruzzo, or an almost rosé-like pinot grigio.

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3
Drinks at The Dolphin Hotel
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Bars, Wine bars

The Dolphin Wine Room

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

This is the kind of place that can turn your whole understanding of wine upside down by pouring you a Chilean skin-contact muscat that’s as savoury as an antipasto board. Behind the bar is a wall of fridges with small doors so that it resembles a 16-day advent calendar, but instead of shit chocolate you get a whole lot of crazy, interesting, fun and smashable wine. 

4
Cheese, grapes and toast at Dear Sainte Eloise
Bars, Wine bars

Dear Sainte Éloise

icon-location-pin Potts Point

We’ve all been there – so hungry that you’ll offer your shoes, your bank balance or even your first born for a little snack and something to drink. And Dear Sainte Eloise gets it. Hell, they’ve named the new Potts Point wine bar for that moment of blood sugar crisis when George Orwell, while Down and Out in Paris and London, prayed to what he thought was a saint for a little supper. Luckily for you and your progeny, all you need is cash, and the makings of a perfect evening will wend their way to your wooden table top over the course of a very enjoyable few hours in this classically styled perch. 

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5
Food at Bodega Surry Hills
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Restaurants, Spanish

Wyno x Bodega

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

What do you get when one of Sydney's most beloved tapas restaurants moves into one of Sydney's favourite wine bars? Wyno x Bodega, that's what. Everything here – and we mean everything – is available by the glass, which means you have 300-plus labels to choose from and some of the city's favourite snacks to keep you company. Get cracking.

6
Customers at the bar at Monopole
Restaurants, Modern Australian

Monopole

icon-location-pin Potts Point

The line between restaurant and bar has gone from a little fuzzy to indistinct, and nowhere is this more so than at Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt’s Potts Point wine bar and restaurant, Monopole. You could pop in for a cheeky drink and end up eating the full tasting menu. You could opt for a quick supper that turns into rolling home heavy with biodynamic wines and light on cash. It all depends on what you’re in the mood for. 

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7
People sitting outside drinking wine  at Where's Nick Marrickvil
Bars, Wine bars

Where's Nick

icon-location-pin Marrickville

You know a suburb was clamouring for a wine bar when at 6.30pm on a Wednesday there’s hardly an empty seat in the house. Where’s Nick, Marrickville’s only wine bar, has been embraced by the swiftly gentrifying Inner West suburb with a fervour usually reserved for relatives thought to be lost at sea. Turns out the residents of 2204 are ready and willing to pull up a mismatched wooden dining chair, open their wallets and lob fistfuls of dollars over the bar in return for more glasses of the Other Right’s late year viognier, whimsically titled ‘Moments of Strange Magic’. 

8
Interior at Ode Bondi
Bars, Wine bars

Ode

icon-location-pin Bondi

Close quarters are helpful when you’re on a date, and sexy Italian wine bars don’t get much cosier than Ode. All that low, flattering light is like a real-world Instagram filter; the little round tables are so small you can interlock knees; and given they quite literally have wine on tap, a night here is a reliable recipe for romance.

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9
Outside through the window at Poly
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Bars, Wine bars

Poly

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

Don’t kid yourself, just because it’s calling itself a bar doesn’t mean you’re not going to drop a chunk of cash grazing your way through the snacks menu. This is the kind of drinks list that will accomodate many return visits before you run out of interesting and delicious things to drink, moving comfortably across global vineyards with a natural bent but behind the bar there’s no evangelical posturing about it.

10
Bartender at at Bibo Wine Bar
Bars, Wine bars

Bibo Wine Bar

icon-location-pin Double Bay

Bibo has all the essential hallmarks of an upmarket Euro-style wine bar: it’s low lit, dark and looks like an old-world smoking room. If you just want a snifter of a millionaire’s life they also do museum wines by the glass so you can drop $48 on a 2005 Two Hands shiraz from McLaren Vale – just to see what it tastes like. Of course you’re not surprised that you can drop your whole paycheck on wine in Double Bay, but you can also sit all night long on $10-$12 glasses here, and use your extra money to spin out the evening with some bar snacks.  

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11
People drinking wine At The Wine Library
Bars, Wine bars

Wine Library

icon-location-pin Woollahra

You know how the saying goes: if it ain’t broke then don’t mess with the system at a popular wine bar. For long-time fans of the Wine Library, this learned seat of good vines and snacks is sticking to its guns under the stewardship of new owners, chef Matt Taylor (ex-Bentley, ex-Monopole), sommelier Tim Perlstone (ex-Merivale) and Sam Jones (ex-Monopole). The room looks much the same and the bar is still the best place along Oxford Street for a deep dive with wine-loving bartenders. 

12
Bartender at She Loves You
Bars, Wine bars

She Loves You

icon-location-pin Newtown

 With the right little bar in your neighbourhood, ‘me time’ can also be ‘wine time’, which is certainly the case for the three separate people having a quiet drink on their own at She Loves You, a 40-person bar in Newtown. The ace wine list that makes a lot more sense when you find out that one of the owners is also the sommelier at Billy Kwong. Otton wanted to move away from the rigidity of restaurant lists, so this is a good venue if you want to really discuss your choices before they open a bottle. 

Want more? Check out Sydney's best bars

A selection of four different cocktails lined up on the bar at T
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Bars, Cocktail bars

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Every year we put our livers and sleep patterns on the line to bring you, dear reader, a comprehensive guide to the best bars in town to make sure your evenings never run dry.

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