From basement cellars to tiny taverns, Melbourne has the wine bar experience on tap. You’ll find your favourite tipple in this cherry-picked selection.
An entirely vegetarian wine bar has opened its stunning Art Deco doors near the Vic Market. Elevated veggie dishes are each inspired by wine regions. Feast on the fanciest empanadas this side of Spain. Then rendezvous in Greece for a leek and Kefalograviera cheese pie. Finish on liquid desserts like the rhubarb sorbetto with sparkling wine. Visit during Apero Hour for half price cocktails every night from 5pm to 6pm.
The Melbourne Cellar Door
You’re spoiled for choice at the Melbourne Cellar Door, with more than 60 wines served by the glass. Beer-lovers take heart: there are over 130 craft beers in the fridge. Whatever your drinks preference, the globetrotting food menu is designed to be shared. How about a Spanish platter, Moroccan skewers and crispy chicken bao? With Sicilian cannoli to finish.
From the team behind Heartattack and Vine comes a cute new cafe and wine bar. Find Sunhands on an iconic sun-soaked Carlton corner and make it your new local. Swing by during aperitivo hour to sample the local wine list. Or start your day with coffee and a breakfast plate and throwback to simpler times with comforting dippy eggs.
No.100 Flinders Lane
A cosy new wine bar has popped up on Flinders Lane. Part deli, part restaurant, No.100 is a chic 20-seater with a cracking wine list. Fresh squid noodles with silverbeet and nduja are the star of the menu. Until you try the gorgeous rum baba with white chocolate and rhubarb, that is.
Strawberry and yoghurt negronis, espresso martinis on the rocks and yuzu and green tea margaritas. The cocktails at Jayda hit different. A sister venue to Shane Delia’s restaurant Maha, this new cocktail bar is moody and sophisticated. The Middle Eastern bar snacks menu takes more than just inspiration from its neighbour. The ‘after service sandwich’ is a must try, with Maha's famous slow-cooked lamb shoulder and jus for dunking.
Tiny but mighty, Gracie is the coolest new laneway bar on Hardware. With high ceilings and stunning interiors, it’s the perfect place for post-dinner drinks or a romantic first date. Try house cocktails with yuzu, dragon fruit or Chrysanthemum. The sake flights pair very nicely with Izakaya-style bar snacks, too.
Wednesday to Friday, teeny Cathedral Coffee morphs into a convivial late-opener. So swap your latte for standout food and wine, and pull up a chair under Cathedral Arcade’s Art Deco ceiling. Bar snacks are inventive, featuring top locally grown seasonal veggies. Who can resist white asparagus and green tomatoes? Natural wines are sourced from around the country.
Willows & Wine
What goes better with wine than cheese? A good book! You get the trifecta at Willows & Wine, a West Melbourne favourite. Potent and virgin cocktails also join the menu, along with beer. Books can be purchased, board games are available, and bites include mushroom pâté and feta with lavosh. Small or large shareboards come with cheese and/or salumi.
V Wine Salon
Part boutique wine bar, part provedore. V Wine Salon is a French-inspired wine and cheese haven with a firm focus on sustainability. Pick your favourite bottle from the wall to take home, or sit and savour it in the bar. Add a plate of charcuterie from small-scale producers and make a date with the cheese trolley. Choose from a curated selection of gourmet fromage, perfectly paired with wines from around the globe.
Enjoy Australian wines paired with native produce in a warm and inviting space at Myrtle Wine Bar. A newcomer to Warburton Lane, the two-storey space is beautifully rustic. To eat there’s aniseed myrtle and saltbush spiced squid. Sardine fingers with whipped Murray cod. Buttermilk damper. And oh-so nostalgic chip shop potato cakes, elevated to gourmet status with salmon roe and cultured cream.
With its underground location and European touch, Juliet can’t help feel romantic and a tad clandestine. Relax on the sofa or at a lantern-lit table, and savour wines produced by female winemakers. Enjoy with items from the seasonal, artisan-led menu of bar bites. Maybe herb focaccia, cod fritters or Wagyu tartare. Pride of place goes to local oysters and prime charcuterie.
Atmospheric bottle store Bijou serves wine by the glass until the wee hours. The candlelit shelves are laden with boutique labels from near and far. Ease the imbibing with delectable morsels on hand. Soak up sardines and port parfait with chunks of baguette, or a slice of farmhouse terrine. Before you know it, you’ll be best friends with your neighbours in this intimate drinking den.
Life's Too Short Bar
Wander down a hidden East Melbourne arcade to discover this delightful date night spot. Starting its life as a cellar in 1854, Life's Too Short has since grown into a sweet little bar serving vintage wines, bespoke cocktails and global cheese selections. The venue hosts regular events, drink-pairing sessions, wine tastings and even a boutique alcohol distillery on premises. See what's coming up at Life's Too Short.
Handpicked Wines Cellar Door
Try before you buy with a guided wine tasting at Handpicked’s urban cellar door. They promote Australia’s best regional wines. For the full experience, order a flight in the Sensory Bar to learn about cheese and wine pairing from the experts. Choose a cheese and charcuterie platter or raise the bar with a canapé package. It includes caviar, oysters and chocolate-truffle gnocchi.
Hemingway’s Wine Room
Cosy up on the leafy side of town at Hemingway’s. Bar shelves lined with bottles and books lend a bohemian vibe, while the brasserie’s red leather banquettes are pure Paris. The wine list is indulgent and extensive, with drops from Japan, France, Spain and Italy. Closer to home you'll find the best of the Clare Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Gippsland. All of which pair delightfully well with delights from the roaming cheese trolley.
Settle in at the bar and admire Agostino’s line-up of Italian wines. From your barstool perch, sip on prosecco from the Veneto or rosy-red Tuscan chianti. Pair with pizza-bread nibbles, salami or frites. To linger longer, order a bowl of calamari fritti or spinach tortellini. Browse the full wine list to take home something special from the on-site bottle shop.
City Wine Shop
At the City Wine Shop, you choose a bottle from the wall of wines, then drink it at the bar. Or outside at a pavement table from noon to midnight. Food is brought in from the European next door, and crosses several borders as you’d expect. Start in Greece with saganaki, then jump to London for St John’s bone marrow. Or stay in Italy with salumi and gnocchi pomodoro.
More romantic Melbourne wine bars
Hide away for a few hours at Dessous and soak up the best of Melbourne’s wine-bar culture.
Last updated on Tue 4 Jul 2023
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