Giorgio de Maria knows wine. Before starting his breezily named distribution and consultation company Giorgio de Maria Fun Wines, the Italian native organised such vino-centred events as Rootstock and That’s Amore
“Wine was always on the table when I was little,” says de Maria. “Then when I was 15, I started working in restaurants and it led to my career. Now I go see [other places] to support them and for work. It’s always interesting to see what’s going to happen.”
It’s this type of insider knowledge that inspired the launch of MyBroadsheet, a new feature that will add a layer of personalisation to your regular experience of Broadsheet. With it you can discover, document and save your favourite elements of the city through customisable lists and bookmarks. You’ll never be stuck for somewhere to eat, drink, shop or visit again.
We asked de Maria for his insider tips on where to enjoy wine in Sydney.
Where’s Nick – Marrickville
“It’s a relatively new place in Marrickville, where there is still not much of a scene for wine bars. They open at a pretty low budget – $12 to $16 by the glass – but the owners [Julian and Dominic Abouzeid] work really hard with the wines. They have a very good selection, and a very interesting way to display wines by the glass. They always keep an eye on sustainable wine, and something different and unique. They’re also very attentive to Australian wines. In terms of food, it’s quite a limited selection, but it’s a great place to go and drink if you’re in the area.”
Monopole – Potts Point
“It’s a sophisticated place, where you can go to find wines that are quite rare and some old vintages. They also have Bentley Bar in the city. Nick Hildebrandt is for sure one of the best sommeliers in Australia, and he’s got quite a good selection of wines. If you need a special wine for a special occasion, he’ll find it. Obviously the prices are higher, because all these vintages and special labels are quite pricey. But it’s also something you can’t find anywhere else.”
Dear Sainte Eloise – Potts Point
“This is also in Potts Point, but in a more pedestrian[-friendly] area. They have a really lovely outside area open until 10pm. Matt Swieboda is one of the top guys when it comes to wine. He’s always on the look out for Australian wine, and he works directly with some producers. He also works with European producers showcasing special bottles. It’s an especially great place to drink riesling – you find a love of great stuff there. It’s a bit more vibe-y and vibrant: there’s a lovely room inside, but often you end up having a glass of wine outside with a lot of familiar faces.”
Poly – Surry Hills
“These are the people from Ester. It’s a great spot to have a couple of nibbles before or after dinner, but for me it’s more of a wine bar. And the owner, Mat Lindsay, would say the same thing. There is a massive selection of wine. They have a bar area and also a lot of tables in the middle. I really enjoy sitting at the bar.”
Ode – Bondi
“This is a relatively new place. Four friends have opened it together. One of them literally built it, one of them is a chef, and the other two are basically front-of-house. They focus a lot on natural wine and low-intervention wine, a little bit from Australia but mostly from Europe. It’s a beautiful long bar with tables on the other side. Very cosy and casual, but delicious food. The staff are very relaxed and helpful. Everything has been built and designed in a very thoughtful way.”
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with MINI. MyBroadsheet – a layer of personalisation bringing a brighter lifestyle – will launch on May 1.