Australia’s 50 Hottest Places for Wine in 2020
As voted on by over 100 of the leading sommeliers, winemakers, tastemakers and journalists, this is the ultimate guide to Australia’s best wine venues.
With New South Wales and Victoria emerging from lockdown hungry, thirsty and ready for action, there’s no better time to be celebrating the industry we all love so much.
It’s been hard keeping this list under wraps, but with normality returning, we’re ready to release the annual Wineslinger list of top venues from across the country.
As voted on by over 150 of the country’s leading sommeliers, winemakers, hospitality tastemakers and journalists, Wineslinger is the ultimate guru’s guide to Australia’s best wine haunts.
“We’ve all had it tough in 2021. It’s been like Groundhog Day,” said Wineslinger Founder Rory Kent. “But now that hospitality in Victoria and New South Wales has reopened, and interstate borders are about to do the same, it’s time to get back to doing the things we love, in the places we love.”
“While we’ve historically announced a Top 50 each year,” said Kent. “In our fourth year of the annual awards, we’re announcing Australia’s Top 100 places for wine fun. It provides more great places for wine lovers to experience, and hopefully gives our beloved hospitality industry a deserving boost, too.”
This year’s Top 100 includes Top 20 lists in Sydney and Melbourne, Top 10 lists in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, and Top 5 lists in Canberra and Tasmania, with regional locations around the country rounding out the numbers.
The Top 100 Wineslinger 2021 has it all, from well-kitted restaurants obsessed with wine, to wine shops working with a sandwich press and chopping board to keep you fed. There are pubs, bars that verge on being clubs, inner-city wine bars and those a short stroll to the beach. There are venues focused on classic wines and those tilting to the lo-fi, while others that take all in their stride.
From a temple to both hip hop and artisan Italian food and wine, which parties into the wee hours, to a genre-shattering venue that combines four-day ferment pizza, natural wine and a chilled, sun-splashed vibe that gets engagingly hectic as DJs spin while the day surrenders into night.
It’s not all new school, though. Established players, like a 35-year veteran with over 3,000 wines has never looked better, while another will give you access to over 4,500 wines for a modest corkage, and you can pair that with some of the finest Euro-leaning bistro food.
There’s a legendary pub that serves Krug in beer glasses, and another that’s licensed for 800 where there are almost as many wine listings as potential patrons, and yet another with one of the best views in country, where organic wine is matched with top-flight organic gastro-pub fare.
Take a drive to the country and find one of Australia’s best collections of local and international lo-fi gems, which can be drunk for a little more than retail cost out of top stemware and with advice from one of the country’s best sommeliers. Or kick back on the veranda in wine country while digging out Italian and French rarities to drink for retail prices while brushing shoulders with winemakers, viticulturists and wine scribes.
Try some of the country’s best pasta in a 20-seat bolthole while trying to guess the mystery wine, or eat classic Roman fare while marvelling at verticals of the greats that tunnel back deep into the mid-20th century…
It’s a fantastically mixed bunch, but one thing they all have in common is they love wine, and they want to share that love with you. Whether you’re in for the long haul or a quick drink and a snack, these Wineslingers just want to see you, and to share what they know, share what they love.
Venues have bounced back from various lockdowns reshaped but fighting fit and ready for action, menus are fine-tuned, wine selections polished, and eager professionals are ready for wine-fuelled fun.
And with the doors open again, it’s the perfect time to remind yourself how much you love your regular wine-focused venues by both paying them a visit and getting your vote in for the People’s Choice. The Young Gun of Wine website also has detailed profiles on all the Wineslingers, with everything you need to know to find your next favourite haunt.
This year’s Wineslinger trophies include top spot ‘Wineslinger’, ‘Best New Haunt’, the ‘Maverick’, which recognises a venue pushing the boundaries of possibility, and the publicly voted ‘People’s Choice’.
Everyone that votes in the ‘People’s Choice’ can go into the draw to win a host of amazing prizes, including a Liebherr wine cabinet, a year’s supply of wine from younggunofwine.com, and gift packs from Cullen, Henschke, Ocean Eight and Swinney. People’s Choice voting is now live online via younggunofwine.com/wineslinger. Voting closes on Monday 3 December at 12:00pm.
The 2021 Wineslinger trophy winners will be announced on evening of Monday 6 December.