Torquay Wine Store

Top Wine Bars Etc
  • Wine glass icon
    80 wines, including 20+ by the glass. Beer on tap and an extensive cocktail offering.
  • Fork icon
    Contemporary Australian - snacking and grazing style Table service, professional but unpretentious.
  • Dollar icon
    Snacks, share plates and grazing: $5-$25. Cheese and Charcuterie: $20-$65
  • Music notes icon
    A mix of different background music, with occasional live music or DJ
  • Folding chair icon
    Outside seating: 18 Inside tables: 28 Bar seating: 18
  • Wine list icon
    Drinks menu
  • Food menu icon
    Food menu

The lowdown

The Surf Coast flaunts some serious wine credentials at the Torquay Wine Store, with the combined shop and bar offering more than 400 bottles, from bargains to expensive Burgundy and Barolo.

The regular’s tip

On Friday and Saturday nights, Torquay Wine Store is the best bet to grab a good bottle late at night, being licensed to sell take-away until 11pm.

Mick and Sarah Dowling moved to Torquay with their two daughters in 2015 and have seen great change and growth – which encouraged them to act on their serious interest in wine and open the Torquay Wine Store in 2022. They modelled this venture on their favourite places to eat and drink in Melbourne, which combined a bottle shop and wine bar, where everything on the shelf was available to either take away or drink in.

“We created a space that we’d like to hang out in. Polished concrete floors, refurbished timber surfaces, big open windows at the front, local artists displayed on the walls and comfy bar stools.”

Having previously been a distributor selling wine to bars, restaurants and retailers, Mick now provides the largest wine list on Victoria’s Surf Coast with more than 400 wines in the shop, all of which are available to drink in, and with at least 20 by-the-glass options. Ranging in price from $15 to $1500, the wines include an extensive range of iconic Australian wines, augmented by selections from Burgundy, Barolo, German Riesling, Champagne, Bordeaux and more. There are also at least 80 beers, ciders and seltzers available.

There’s solid wine knowledge among the service team, with Mick and Sarah Dowling supported by Hannah Day (a Sommelier turned winemaker) and French-born winemaker Elise Bonon, who has her own wine label, Vivra Verra Wines. “We combine wine knowledge with old-school hospitality and great service. This is an unpretentious place where you could talk as much wine talk as you want or just settle in and enjoy a great glass of wine and good cheese. We want our customers to enjoy a sophisticated wine and food experience without all the fuss.”

Informal dining choices involve lots of grazing dishes and small plates that sit comfortably with wine, including French cheeses, freshly sliced charcuterie, croquettes, meatballs, saganaki and warm focaccia. “We don’t take bookings but we very rarely turn anyone away, even when we’re humming. So, if you come in after a day on the beach, we’ll always find you a spot, sometimes at a communal table – and that’s a great way to make new friends.”

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