A lot of time, thought and knowledge goes into putting together a decent wine list and a great deal of enjoyment goes into consuming it.
From clandestine New York hideaways, stylish London eateries, Parisian cafes, Taiwanese steakhouses, pubs, and grand silver service restaurants… the world and its watering holes are full of great wine lists.
Brooke Sullivan, National Trade Activation Manager for Samuel Smith & Son, is a true Pinotphile.
We asked her to share a few of her favourite haunts, with the best wine lists, from around the world.
10 William St – Sydney
This wine bar and restaurant in Paddington has an extensive Australian Pinot Noir offering, including some of Tassie’s finest, as well as a huge range of Burgundy reds.
Judges of the 2017 World’s Best Wine Lists described the list as “curious and engaging”.
Aria – Brisbane
The top gong in Australia’s Wine List of the Year 2018 went to Aria Brisbane for its impressive wine list of more than 1000 drops from across the globe. You’re in good hands thanks to Head Sommelier Ian Trinkle.
The wine list covers ground between Queensland’s Granite Belt to the faraway corners of France.
Gerald’s Bar – Melbourne
A finalist in Gourmet Traveller’s Wine List of the Year 2019, the owner Gerald Diffey ensures the wine cellar is packed with wines spanning the globe.
Every bottle is listed with a glass price, which you don’t see that often. The food offering is great, too.
Daily seasonal dishes range from $12 to $30 and there’s a seasonal degustation menu for $60 plus drinks. Check out their Instagram account for a hint of what to expect.
fermentAsian – Barossa Valley
This Tanunda-based, high-end Vietnamese restaurant has an overwhelmingly and delightfully extensive wine list.
Chef and owner Tuoi Do’s food is exquisite (she won the Chef Of The Year Award in the 2012 Advertiser Food Awards and in 2018), and the restaurant has an impressive list of awards for its wine list, thanks to the hard work of Tuoi’s husband and Sommelier, Grant Dickson, who is a wine nut and has the most amazing cellar.
The wine list also features nine pages of Pinot Noir, so there’s plenty to choose from.
Stillwater – Launceston
Tasmania is the land of sparkling, Chardonnay and jaw-dropping Pinot Noir. Sommelier Jimmy Welsh ensures the cream of the crop is up for grabs at this fantastic Lonny restaurant, including a range of Dalrymple Vineyards’ wines. The rest of Australia and Europe are well represented, too.
The Source – Hobart
If you’re heading to Tasmania you’re probably already planning to go to MONA, so when you get there, make sure you wine and dine at The Source. Its menu features local ingredients and its wine list, featuring fine Tassie drops from Freycinet and the Coal River Valley, was recently recognised by the Tasmanian wine industry with a 2017 Tasmanian Wine List Award.
1907 Restaurant & Bar – Perth
This character-packed restaurant is housed in a 100-year-old former rag factory.
The 1997 Domaine Louis Remy ‘Latricières-Chambertin’ Grand Cru from Burgundy is a highlight ($820 for the honour), while Pinot Noirs from California, Central Otago, Tasmania’s Coal River Valley, and Victoria’s Gippsland and Yarra Valley are more affordable options.
67 Pall Mall – London
67 Pall Mall in St James’s is where it’s at for wine lovers of any and all varieties. It is a members only club (which makes it even more interesting) run by wine lovers for wine lovers and is headed up by Master Sommelier, Ronan Sayburn.
You have the opportunity to try a massive array of wines and Coravin is used extensively there so you can ‘taste’ several different wines in a single sitting.
Noble Rot Wine Bar & Restaurant – London
This is a really cool little spot in Central London that has been around for a while. It’s run by a couple of guys that just love wine (and food – their menu is perfect!).
It’s an easy place to get caught having a session on their ‘house’ champagne, or walking out a few quid lighter thanks to their crazy Burgundy selection. It is one of the places my love for French Pinot really began and I feel like I’ve been broke ever since.
Willi’s Wine Bar – Paris
Willi’s Wine Bar in Paris is an institution for a reason. Founded by British bloke, Mark Williamson in 1980, this bar is pretty fun – especially as Mark is on hand to help guide you through the list.
He’s a Rhone tragic, but you’ll find a tidy selection of Red Burgundy to sink your palate into. It’s pretty popular with both tourists and Parisians. You can get good food and an awesome selection of wine at reasonable prices – often a hard thing to find in Paris!
La Cave des Climats – Paris
Aussie wine writer Nick Ryan loves this joint. It’s a wine bar in Paris dedicated to Burgundy…the perfect Pinotphile hideaway.
He’s also recommended Le Baron Rouge in Paris to me before. Rustic and fun with an awesome wine selection and a great selection of ‘drinking’ food.
Palais Coburg Residenz – Vienna
The six cellars at Austria’s five-star 19th-century hotel are home to 60,000 bottles spanning four centuries.
There’s the France Cellar, New World Cellar, Old World Cellar, Champagne Cellar, Rare Wines Cellar, and Yquem Cellar. It was enough to top the The World Of Fine Wine’s 2017 World’s Best Wine List, judged by an independent panel of prestigious international wine experts. If rare wine is your thing, get on the next flight to Vienna.
Absinthe Brasserie and Bar – San Francisco
This French and northern Italian inspired restaurant has a wine list that boasts more than 73 different Californian Pinot Noirs (each one shouting “pick me”).
The list also includes Pinot from New Zealand and plenty of old-world Pinot Noir. Henri Gouges galore!
21 Club – New York
Manhattan’s 21 Club is a speakeasy steeped in history. It was built during the 1930s prohibition-era as a clandestine place to drink and be merry.
Architect Frank Buchanan’s design includes secret camouflaged doors and revolving bars – all designed to keep the fun-police out.
The cellar has been home to private wine collections belonging to the likes of presidents, Elizabeth Taylor and Mae West, and the collection of Pinot is vast and smashing.
Madera – Palo Alto
Wine Spectator describes this restaurant as “a Pinot Noir lover’s paradise in Silicon Valley.”
A Michelin one-star kitchen produces the food to accompany a wine program devised by Paul Mekis.
Prepare yourself for some serious decision-making dilemmas. There are 17,645 bottles in the cellar and 2500 wines to choose from.
Pages 65 to 90 of the wine list cover Pinot Noir from America, France, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa and Spain.
8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana – Hong Kong
If you’re in the market for a $1880 bottle of 2011 Domaine Faiveley, Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru from Burgundy, France, get thee to Hong Kong.
8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana has a walk-through cellar boasting more than 2000 bottles.
New World, Old World… it covers them all.
A Cut – Taipei
Taiwan is home to this delightful steakhouse in the basement of the Ambassador Hotel.
It has a swag of accolades behind it, including repeat Wine Spectator ‘Best of Award of Excellence’ ratings since 2009.
There are 900 wines to choose from. Luckily many of them are great with steak.