It used to be that a killer line-up of wines – by the glass and bottle – was enough to make a wine bar noteworthy. Now, it’s the bare minimum. The wine bars in this guide have the food, decor and ambience to match their wines. Above all, though, they’re fun.

Unlike in restaurants, wines don’t play second fiddle here – they’re the star. Sure, you’re likely to find your favourite classic varietals, but these venues will also push you to try (and enjoy) the latest in biodynamic, organic and natural wines.

Related pages:
Best Wine Shops in Melbourne
Best Beer Bars in Melbourne
Best Cocktail Bars in Melbourne

Marion

Andrew McConnell's wine and snack bar, right next to Cutler & Co, with gun sommelier Liam O'Brien floating between the two.

53 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Cumulus Up Wine Bar

The upstairs version of Andrew McConnell's Cumulus Inc has the same X factor.

Level 1 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Etta

A stunning wine bar with a vegetarian-friendly menu.

60 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Embla

Chef Dave Verhuel works magic with his wood-fired oven. Fellow owner Christian McCabe works magic with the quirky wine list. It's a partnership that makes Embla good for almost any occasion you can think of.

122 Russell Street, Melbourne

Bar Liberty

One of the city's best wine and beer lists, paired with extraordinarily attentive service.

234 Johnston Street, Fitzroy

Old Palm Liquor

The follow-up to Neighbourhood Wine is cool and comfortable. Take a seat at the bar or in front of an open fire and feel the tension melt off your shoulders.

133b Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Neighbourhood Wine

Japanese and Lebanese wines? You bet.

1 Reid Street, Fitzroy North

Little Andorra

Half a dozen new wines each week, and jazz and blues records that change almost as much.

555 Nicholson Street, Carlton North

Agostino

A modern take on the classic Italian enoteca, a 50-seat wine bar with house-made pasta, hard-to-find wines and waiters clad in head-to-toe white Japanese denim in an iconic heritage-listed building.

297 Lygon Street, Carlton

Congress

Kangaroo pastrami, pulled pig’s-head and croquettes are the hallmarks of this flexible restaurant-slash-wine bar.

49 Peel Street, Collingwood

Lagotto

From the team behind Congress and Future Future, this cafe, grocer and wine bar is serving cacio e pepe eggs in the morning and locally made charcuterie – best followed with Sicilian cannoli – by night, in a room full of mid-century design flourishes.

1 York Street, Fitzroy North

Punch Lane

A city staple for more than 20 years. What more do you need to know?

43 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

Bellota Wine Bar

Sample 3,500 bottles from the neighbouring Prince Wine Store.

181 Bank Street, South Melbourne

Denton Wine Bar

This Flinders Lane corner spot has outside seating and a couple of booths, but you should grab a seat at the bar. For $10 a pop Denton will pour you a pinot, chardy or some nebbiolo rosé from its own vineyard.

1 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Project 49

Before it was a wine bar, it was a brand of organic chardonnay from Beechworth.

107 Cambridge Street, Collingwood

Willow Wine Cafe

Owner Ellen Turner has put together a selection of curious and more accessible drops, with a good mix available by the glass, too.

126 Williamstown Road, Kingsville

Wine 1160

A wine bar with no bar, to remove any separation between staff and customers.

1160 High Street, Armadale

Henry Sugar

A rustic wine bar from two experienced hospo names.

298 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North

The Alps

Where terroir and honest wine-making matter above all else.

64 Commercial Road, Prahran

The Hills

A neighbourhood wine bar from the crew behind Toorak Cellars, Milton Wine Shop and the Alps.

141 Union Road, Surrey Hills

The Moon

A wine bar and shop from the guys behind The Alps and Toorak Cellars.

28 Stanley Street, Collingwood

Arlechin

Whether it’s spaghetti, smoked-eel parfait or jelly slices, the Grossi family’s new venture will guarantee you’ll be eating (and drinking) in style, post midnight.

Mornane Place, Melbourne

Gerald's Bar

As little or as much sophistication as you need.

386 Rathdowne St, Carlton North

Juliet Melbourne

A wine bar that's all about supporting women in the industry.

37-41 Little Bourke St, Melbourne

Kirk’s Wine Bar

Settle into a bentwood chair and pretend you're in Europe.

Corner Hardware Lane and Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

City Wine Shop

Sit in or take a bottle home.

159 Spring Street, Melbourne

Seddon Wine Store

Five hundred bottles to take home or drink on site.

2/101 Victoria Street, Seddon

Luxsmith Bar and Wine Shop

This former vintage clothing shop has big open windows and a capacity of just 30. There's a broad selection of local and Eurocentric wines here.

5 Gamon Street, Seddon

Union Wine Store

Number two from the couple behind Seddon Wine Store.

211 Union Road, Ascot Vale

Hudsons Road Wine and Beer

Two hundred wines and beers, to drink in or take home.

2 88 Hudsons Road, Spotswood

Smithward

This tiny Collingwood bar doesn't have a kitchen – so it serves a lot of cheese, including raclette.

48 Smith Street, Collingwood

Underwood Wine Bar

Knock back a glass or two while you're waiting for a spot at nearby Moroccan Soup Bar.

181 St George's Road, Fitzroy North

Gertrude Street Enoteca

Where Italian food and wine matter.

229 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Atlas Vinifera

A wine bar and bottle shop, with 350 wines from around the world.

274 Church Street, Richmond

Saint.Urban

The sister venue to Punch Lane carries over the charm.

213 Swan Street, Richmond

The Ugly Duckling

A sun-bathed greenhouse with a banging selection.

238 Swan Street, Richmond

South Press Wine House

Beef and banquettes.

27 Toorak Road, South Yarra

Hampton Wine Co.

There's no menu: just pick from the perimeter shelves.

444 Hampton Street, Hampton

Milton Wine Shop

Wine, cheese and a "no snobbery" policy.

1427 Malvern Road, Malvern

The Milton

A buzzing, timber-clad cocoon.

134 Ormond Road, Elwood

The Valley Cellar Door

Skip the wine list and select directly from the wall.

18 18-20 Hall Street, Moonee Ponds