If you’ve just finished your last beer or wine and desperately need more, there are plenty of online bottle shops focused on same-day or even same-hour delivery. These hyper-convenient services tend to have pretty standard ranges, is the only thing.

If you’re after something more special, check out these passionate independents. Some do offer same-day delivery in Sydney, but if not, there are rewards for your patience. In addition to selling quirky small-batch wines, limited-edition beers and craft spirits, many of these stores have developed their own exclusive, in-house products.

Start at the top if you’re looking for a generalist shop with a bit of everything. Towards the bottom, you’ll find a more concise list of specialists that might focus on a single spirit or wine from a single country. Happy browsing.

P&V Wine & Liquor Merchants

Good for?
European and Australian natural wine, easy-drinking lagers, offbeat spirits and liqueurs.

Shipping?
Free same-day delivery to the CBD, eastern suburbs and the inner west for orders of $100 or more placed before 12pm Monday to Friday.

Subscriptions?
Yes. For $150, P&V will send you six different bottles of wine on the first Friday of every month.

Mike Bennie is one of Australia’s most respected drinks journalists and writes Broadsheet’s “Unwined” series, offering quick, no-bullshit drink recommendations. He also co-founded Rootstock Sydney and Drink Easy. Newtown-based P&V, which he runs with Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham (founders of Mary’s) and their former employee Lou Dowling, is one of the most exciting bottle-os in the country, with an online store to match. The extensive range of Australian pét-nat, red, white and skin-contact wines are presented on colourful geometric backgrounds, accompanied by Bennie’s typically evocative tasting notes. P&V makes its own value-for-money “session” red and white wines at Margaret River’s Blind Corner and has a real soft spot for thirst-crushing, uncomplicated beers. It also sells gift certificates, small snacks and interesting non-alcoholic drinks.

The Oak Barrel

Good for?
Everything. Online or offline, this is probably the most well-rounded bottle shop in the country.

Shipping?
A flat $10 rate to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Same-day delivery is available in Sydney.

Subscriptions?
No.

The Oak Barrel was established in 1956 and has kept up with the times admirably. Of its 800 or so wines, about 300 are natural. The remainder, while very occasionally going for as much as $800 a bottle, are more concerned with affordability than prestige or rarity. In the spirits section you’ll find 100 gins, 100 rums and 500 whiskies from around the world, including Australia. Finally, there are 700 beers, the vast majority made at local breweries. This isn’t the easiest store to navigate, but the wealth of everything means it’s worth persisting with.

Drnks

Good for?
Australian and European natural wines.

Shipping?
Same-day delivery is available Monday to Saturday within 15 kilometres of Sydney’s CBD. Orders of $100 or more are shipped free Australia-wide (excluding the Northern Territory).

Subscriptions?
No.

This vowel-averse store started in 2014, after founder Joel Amos couldn’t find anyone else online selling the type of wine he liked to drink. Drnks still feels like a personal passion project in this sense: the range is tightly curated, with about 50 reds and 50 whites on the site, laid out in a particularly clean, easy-to-navigate way. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by other online bottle shops, Drnks could be the simple solution you need. Gift cards are available, as well as mixed packs such as “Intro to Natural Wine” ($80) and “House Party” ($120). Look out for natural wines from hot European labels such as Radikon and Chateau Cambon.

Different Drop

Good for?
Progressive Australian wine that’s not necessarily “natural”.

Shipping?
Express delivery is available for $10 in the Sydney metro area.

Subscriptions?
Yes – $175.

As this list illustrates, most bottle shops tend to stock young, natural-ish wines or well-known classics, but not both. Different Drop straddles both worlds in a way that makes sense. It stocks bottles from established-yet-progressive (or regressive, depending on your point of view) wineries such as Cullen and Giaconda, plus a plethora from newer labels that buy into many aspects of natural winemaking without being too dogmatic about it.

Good Pair Days

Good for?
People who are new to wine and want to learn more, and people who prefer not to spend time shopping online for wine.

Shipping?
National.

Subscriptions?
Yes. Good Pair Days is a subscription service first, and a bottle shop second. Subscriptions start from as low as $50.

Good Pair Days has a unique model: new customers fill out a clever quiz describing which flavours they do and don’t like, then begin receiving regular shipments of wine tailored to their individual tastes. Customers rate each bottle on an app, further refining their profile and informing future shipments. If this sounds a bit like getting help from a sommelier at a restaurant, that’s because it is. Good Pair Days was co-founded by former Attica sommelier Banjo Harris Plane, who manages the range. You can buy bottles individually, but that’s perhaps missing the point.

Bucket Boys

Good for?
International and Australian beer.

Shipping?
1–2 business days. Rates varying depending on weight.

Subscriptions?
Yes – starting at $89.

This Marrickville bar and bottle shop has been a primo destination for beer since 2016, thanks to owners Clint Elvin and Johnathan Hepner’s insistence on casting the net wide. In addition to repping fine local breweries such as Batch, Yulli’s, Young Henrys, Grifter, Philter and Sauce, Bucket Boys stocks an impressive range from Europe, America and New Zealand, including Garage Project, 8 Wired, Oskar Blues, Cloudwater, Jester King, Alesmith, Firestone Walker, Rodenbach, Dupont and more. If you can’t find your kind of beer here, you won’t find it anywhere.

Others around Sydney

Beer Cartel
Like Bucket Boys, this Artarmon-based store sells a huge number of beers – around 1000. Local and international breweries are equally well-represented. Subscriptions available. Allow 1–2 working days for delivery.

Black Market Sake
The country’s premiere sake importer, trading exclusively in junmai sake (pure rice, no additives). Allow 2–3 working days for delivery.

Craft Cartel
Fairly similar to Bucket Boys and Beer Cartel, but with a more local focus. Also offers subscriptions. Allow 7 working days for delivery.

Gin Society
A subscription service that delivers a new bottle of gin every two months.

Giorgio De Maria Fun Wines
This business, from the co-founder of Rootstock Sydney, imports nothing but beautiful natural wines from Italy, including 3-litre “fancy goons”. Allow 5 working days for delivery.

Kent Street Cellars
Like The Oak Barrel, this is an incredibly well-rounded store, albeit much easier to navigate. The clean, gridded pages hold a wealth of beers, wines and whiskies. Delivery is free for orders over $100.

Notwasted
A small, focused selection of natural wine, much like Drnks. Same-day delivery in Sydney from Monday to Saturday.

The Borough Box
A subscription service that delivers six new natural wines a month.

The Bottle Shop
Merivale’s delivery service offers mixed packs of wine for one-off purchase or as part of a subscription. Allow 3 business days for delivery.

Sake Shop
An excellent source of sake, shochu and umeshu. Allow 2–3 days for delivery.

Veno (Annandale Cellars)
Pinot noir is the speciality here, but whisky, beer and natural wine drinkers are also well catered for.

Whisky Loot
A subscription service that decants whisky into 60-millilitre bottles. For $59 each month, members receive three of these tasting-size bottles at their door.

Winona Wine
Another tightly curated natural wine store, with less than a hundred bottles in stock. Same-day shipping is free for selected northern beaches suburbs for orders of $90 or more.

World of Whisky
Australia’s top whisky store, rivalled only by Nicks Wines in Melbourne. Allow 5 working days for delivery.

Others around Australia (all ship nationally)

Big Easy Drinks, Adelaide

Blackhearts & Sparrows, Melbourne

Campbell Burton Wines, Melbourne

Carwyn Cellars, Melbourne

Clos Cachet, Melbourne

East End Cellars, Adelaide

Harvest Liquor, Adelaide

Prince Wine Store, Melbourne

Nicks Wine Merchants, Melbourne

Mr West, Melbourne

Purvis Beer, Melbourne

Wine Theory, Melbourne

Wise Child, Perth