The Best Wine Bars in Melbourne

Updated 1 month ago

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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.

  • Pick a bunch of shared dishes from the day’s menu on the wall. Order some wine with help from the switched-on staff. The format’s simple, but as we’ve come to expect from Andrew McConnell’s restaurants, everything is just right.

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  • 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.

  • This neighbourhood wine bar and restaurant keeps going from strength to strength. Its latest incarnation, guided by the steady hands of owner Hannah Green and head chef Rosheen Kaul, is one of Melbourne's essential dining experiences. It's also a fantastic place to drink wine – with around 250 bottles on the list.

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  • The sibling of Neighbourhood Wine is cool and comfortable. Take a seat at the bar, or in front of an open fire, and enjoy the rotating share plates and easy-drinking wines.

  • An incredible sound system. Absurdly good value house wines. And an unusual canteen-style window that passes drinks right onto the footpath. This is one of Melbourne’s most fun wine bars.

  • A glowing wine (and pasta) bar at Collingwood’s mammoth arts hub, which doubles as Hope St Radio’s home. Settle in for rigatoni all’amatriciana, Fernet-Branca-and-cola sorbet and plenty of juicy lo-fi wines.

  • Industry experts from Rockwell and Sons and Attica joined forces for this stylish drinking den. The best way to sample the changing dishes is through the set menu (don’t skip the sourdough flatbread). Plus, an extensive wine list offers everything from buzzy pét-nats to classic chardonnays.

  • Former sommelier Campbell Burton is behind this smart store, where 200 bottles of organic, sulphur-free wine rest in temperature controlled cabinets.

  • Blending elements of Melbourne cafe, European wine bar and Tokyo-style “listening bar”, this buzzing spot hosts vinyl-only DJs five nights a week, with no cover charges. It’s one of the best places in town to hear recorded music.

  • Gerald Diffey and Mario Di Ienno’s storied neighbourhood bar brims with nostalgia. Vintage books, yesteryear’s wine bottles and a glimmering disco ball decorate the space – but the thing you’ll notice most is warm, old-school hospitality. The menus turn on a dime, so you’ll always have reasons to keep coming back.

  • Visit this light and airy wine bar, in a quiet northside backstreet, for the well-executed food. Stay for the sculptural timber, brass accents, and warm, classic feel.

  • A cosy wine bar with quality pasta, hard-to-find wines and waiters clad head-to-toe in white Japanese denim. Set within an iconic heritage building, this place is a Melbourne interpretation of a classic Italian enoteca.

  • Melbourne’s answer to the old-school Italian wine bar. Choose a bottle to take home, or crack it open at the restaurant (with a corkage fee) and enjoy with pastas and small plates, alongside the rest of the post-theatre crowd.

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  • A dynamic list of more than 500 bottles will always keep you guessing at this hybrid bar and wine shop. But the knowledgeable staff are quick to recommend something – perhaps some cheese, cured meat or tinned seafood as well if you’re sitting at one of the shop’s 20 seats.

  • Shop number two from the team behind Seddon Wine Store is a simple yet sophisticated follow-up. An equally impressive range is split between the homey front section and the futuristic bank of fridges out back. Local smallgoods, cheese and tinned seafood make for wine-friendly snacking.

  • Visit this no-fuss Euro wine bar, where you can choose from over 3,500 wines right from the neighbouring Prince Wine Store. A large marble bar shows the daily seafood special, which you can enjoy alongside simple yet elevated pasta and moreish charcuterie.

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  • Everything is made from scratch at this wine bar from a young owner-chef with experience at Michelin star restaurants. The menu changes each week (but retains a nostalgic, familiar slant) and the walls are covered with Australian art.

  • Henry Sugar is the kind of wine bar every neighbourhood should have. It’s intimate yet communal; sophisticated yet relaxed. The mix of contemporary Australian fare, sharp cocktails and easy-drinking natural wines are a sure-fire bet your first time here won’t be the last.

  • This intimate wine bar pays homage to the excellent wine regions that encircle the European Alps – but you'll also find honest drops from Australia and New Zealand on its 400-strong wine list. The food menu is small but considered, and might include exceptional cheese, charcuterie and anchovy toast.

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  • A neighbourhood wine bar from the crew behind Toorak Cellars, Milton Wine Shop and the Alps. Choose from around 20 glasses (they rotate weekly) and more than 200 bottles. You can also expect woodfired pizzas, plus a blazing wood heater in the colder months.

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  • This neighbourhood gem is from the team behind The Alps and Toorak Cellars. More than 400 thoughtfully-curated drops make up the wine list, which you can team with sophisticated small plates.

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  • Located in the basement of the Punch Lane building, sleek small bar Juliet champions female winemakers, distillers and cheese makers from Australia, New Zealand and Europe. To eat, it’s snacks featuring sustainable produce and native Australian flavours.

  • A charming bar from the City Wine Shop team. There are few places in town that manage to balance new-world informality with old-world sophistication, but Kirk’s pulls it off with aplomb. Like the wine list, the European-influenced menu has something for everyone.

  • This 30-seat nook attached to Southeast Asian diner Luxsmith is more than just a spillover wine bar for the restaurant. Set in a former vintage clothes store, it’s got a broad wine list with big love for Europe, plus Asian-influenced snacks powered by the kitchen next door.

  • This spot in the western suburbs has roughly 200 wines and the same again of beers, plus a deli cabinet filled with cured meats, pate, and a range of cheese. All of the above are available to enjoy in the relaxed shopfront overlooking the street.

  • It may feel like a neighbourhood wine bar somewhere in Europe, but this tiny spot exclusively pours Victorian vino as a rule. It also goes hard on the cheese front – mop up some melty, stretchy raclette with a stub of crusty sourdough for the full Smithward experience.

  • An ambitious bar and bottle shop showcasing rare drops from around the world. Buy a bottle, pay corkage and park on a stool at the long countertop bar, or hop on a three-glass wine flight if you're feeling adventurous.

  • Dark tones and dim lights set the mood at this casual yet sophisticated wine and cocktail bar. Bar food might include imported cheese, salumi or kingfish crudo. Enjoy their humble dishes alongside classic cocktails such as the Singapore Sling, and more seasonal creative mixes.

  • Housed within a traditional terrace, Milton Wine Shop is the kind of place where lo-fi and classic drops hold equal footing on the evolving wine list. When hunger strikes, there's a short list of seasonal snacks that pairs beautifully with whatever's pouring at the bar.

  • Two winemakers are behind this cosy wine bar, which pours natural drops from Australia and Europe. Sit in the heritage-listed building and enjoy a glass with some charcuterie, or grab a bottle and some deli snacks to go.

  • From live music to a weekly book club, this neighbourhood wine bar is all about community. Visit for a Victorian-heavy wine list, a rotating snack menu and dog-friendly courtyard.

  • This Italian-leaning wine bar serves remixed pastas and classic Italian dishes in a room full of mid-century design flourishes. And there's an on-site bottle shop with Aussie and Italian booze.

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  • This swish bar – decked out in emerald marble and plush velvet – was once a Bakers Delight. Now, it's a buzzy bistro and wine bar from a former Fitzroy Town Hall head chef and the owner of nearby wine bar Barkley Johnson. Visit for a caramelised-onion baguette, whole fish swimming in miso butter and a peachy aperitif cocktail.

  • This warmly lit bolthole, by Amaru's Clinton McIver, is all about fun fine-diner snacks – sans the degustation price tag and cutlery So, raise a spanner-crab doughnut in one hand, and a glass of champagne in the other.

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  • The clever veg-forward wine bar created by two former Neighbourhood Wine and Bar Romantica head chefs. In the sunlight-filled dining room, or under the fairy light-studded lemon tree out back, order smoky-sweet turnips, brown butter fish and boozy amaro sorbet.

  • A homey neighbourhood wine bar set in a Victorian-era building. Find filled-to-the-brim bagels and Reubens by day, and fancy bar snacks and wines that punch above their weight by night.

  • Right across from Prahran Market, the facade isn’t exactly attention-grabbing. But what’s inside certainly is. The stomping fried-chicken sanga and rotating pasta line-up make this communal wine bar a local’s favourite.

  • This neighbourhood wine bar may be small, but its award-winning wine list is mighty. Choose a glass or bottle from over 500 wines. Enjoy it with bar snacks and board games – either in the intimate indoor seating or breezy rear courtyard.

  • A neighbourhood wine bar serving a mix of Australian and European drops alongside small grazing plates. Go for a jamon plate, build-your-own cheeseboard, or order woodfired pizzas delivered from the nearby Il Caminetto. Enjoy wines by the glass or take your pick from more than 250 bottles next door.

  • A Euro-inspired wine bar, wine shop and deli set beneath The Prince Hotel. Enjoy classic Australian and European wines; cheese, charcuterie and small snacking plates from the deli; and descend to one of Melbourne’s most impressive wine cellars.

  • A 70-seater neighbourhood wine bar in a former antiques-restoration shop. Bathe in the chandelier’s buttery glow in the front room, or head out back to get toasty by the fire. There’s a 180-strong wine wall, plus hummus swimming in chilli oil and charcuterie hampers to go.

  • A sleek neighbourhood wine bar and bottle shop with a wall of 600 wines to go, around 30 wines by the glass and whisky flights. Enjoy a glass with a hunk of Victorian-made cheese or takeaway from a nearby restaurant.

  • Hit up this community-focused watering hole for Aussie wines, Melbourne beers, and produce sourced from Victorian farms and businesses within the bar’s five-kilometre radius.

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  • A petite wine bar straddling the homey, community feel of old Footscray and the newer wave of trendy boozers. Come for easygoing, minimal-intervention wines from lesser-known producers, BYO food from Barkly Street’s best eateries and a lounge room atmosphere (including board games).

  • From the team behind Centonove, this neighbourhood wine bar offers a range of Italian drops you can’t find elsewhere in Australia. Enjoy a glass at the marble bar with some elegant Italian-leaning share plates.

  • Anthony Bourdain called the original in Sydney “the most beautiful butcher shop in the world”. Its Melbourne outpost has all the same opulence: dark-green marble floors, a wall of solid pink Himalayan salt blocks and vintage 1930s slicers.

  • This neighbourhood wine bar isn’t just a special-occasion spot. Stop by the casual front bar for mostly Victorian wines, the chef’s table for Euro-leaning snacks, or the stocked pantry for a bottle to go.

  • This west-side wine bar and bottle shop, run by locals, is compact but comprehensive. Grab a bottle to go, or stick around for freshly shucked oysters, local beers and approachable wines in the colourful courtyard out back.

  • This all-day eatery, bar and florist is the relaxed sibling to La Pinta, the buzzy Spanish-style bar over the road. Come for wine by the litre, house-made charcuterie, delicious things on toast and seasonal floral arrangements.

  • The prolific publicans behind some of Melbourne's most popular venues are pouring minimal-intervention wine and classic cocktails at this handsome suburban spot. To eat it's cheese boards and woodfired pies from the pizzeria next-door.

  • Named after a classic Jeff Buckley song, this grungy warehouse wine bar feels like a dinner party in a New York loft apartment. Come for nostalgic dishes with a French bistro lean, music played on vinyl and plenty of interesting wine.

  • Lively cocktails and refined snacks are on the cards at this dark and daring basement bar. But it’s really the wine list you come here for – it’s an adventure in unfamiliar regions and varietals, and focuses on biodynamic and sustainable drops.

  • The Sydney staple’s first Melbourne outpost is pouring wild ales, natural wines and sour Negronis. Come to the hybrid bottle shop and bar for beer-infused cocktails, Belgian lambics and a snack-driven menu.

  • A local couple worked at some of Melbourne’s top wine bars before opening this this laid-back, homey spot. Come for freshly shucked oysters, rotating pintxos, lesser-known wines and its eclectic record collection.

  • An eclectic, ’70s-inspired wine bar by the team behind La Cave, Melbourne’s only wine shop in a car park ticket booth. Nab the rotating tiger-print bed inside and enjoy lo-fi drops from boutique wineries with simple snacks.

  • This local wine bar, set on the inner north’s most neighbourly strips, doubles as a bottle-o. Choose from more than 300 wines, beers and spirits. Or stay for a bite (think ’roo skewers and pasta with Maltese sausage sauce).

  • One of the city’s most prolific bar owners is behind this pint-sized bar and bottle-o. Like a mini wine library, Bijou invites you to grab a table, peruse its floor-to-ceiling wine shelves and settle in to watch the world go by.