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Melbourne is so spoilt for incredible dining and drinking options that to attempt a list of five of the best is almost too overwhelming a task. While it is indeed a tough job, we have valiantly sipped our way through a number of very memorable establishments to try and narrow your drinking options down. Here, then, is a list that barely touches the surface. To truly get the measure of Melbourne’s many, many outstanding wine bars, you will need a great deal of time and preferably someone else’s credit card.

Cumulus Up

Cumulus Up

Located upstairs (as the name would suggest) from highly acclaimed restaurant Cumulus Inc., this is a wine bar that doesn’t let the Cumulus brand down. An elegant, modern space with a European atmosphere welcomes you, and a wine list with an eclectic selection of the best of new and old world delights the taste buds. 

  • French, Italian, Spanish and Australian bottles are among those on offer from a leather-bound book, and there is a superb by-the-glass list at friendly prices that will not require an overdraft
  • The menu has been designed to complement the wine, and offers everything from scrumptious snacks to a full mouthwatering meal
  • The professional floor staff can help you navigate the wine list and the appropriate food pairings

It’s no great surprise that chef Andrew McConnell and the Cumulus Inc. team have created a very special wine bar that is worth ascending the stairs for.

45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
(03) 9650 1445)
Sunday – Thursday, 5pm - Late
Friday – Saturday, 4pm - Late

City Wine Shop

City Wine Shop

When it comes to eating and drinking options in Melbourne’s CBD, the streets are paved with gold, and any wine appreciation adventure should include a stop at City Wine Shop. Secure a prime spot at the bar and plan to stay a while. 

  • Choose a bottle from the wine shop to enjoy at the restaurant (and one to take home!), or sip a glass from the expertly curated list of local and European drops
  • Sate your hunger with nibbles to share from their ‘Wine food’ list, an exceptional portion or two of cheese, or opt for a more substantial counter meal
  • City Wine Shop is open for breakfast too but then you can’t try one of their amazing wines…unless you plan to settle in for the day, which would never be a bad idea

Staffed by genuine wine connoisseurs, their passion for fine wine is infectious and there are always fresh additions to the menu to try on each subsequent visit.

159 Spring Street, Melbourne
(03) 9654 6657
Monday – Sunday, morning till midnight

The Town Mouse

The Town Mouse

This is a venue so popular that you’ll need to make a booking, but you’ll be happy you made the effort once you take a seat at one of the barstools inside the smartly black-tiled space, or a seat in the backyard. Order yourself a glass of wine from the modern list, and a little something delicious to accompany it from the expertly executed menu. 

  • The wine list is updated weekly and features a diverse mix of wines, including natural, low intervention producers from Australia, as well as French, German and Spanish gems
  • The two page list won’t break the bank, with many of the labels available from $40 to $80
  • This is a wine bar that’s serious about its food too, with the chef demonstrating a deft hand in the smaller and bigger dishes on offer, along with cheeses and a small yet delectable dessert selection

Run by a team of very talented Kiwis, it’s fair to say that New Zealand’s loss is Melbourne’s gain, so put The Town Mouse on speed dial and secure a reservation as soon as humanly possible.

312 Drummond Street, Carlton
(03) 9347 3312
Monday – Thursday, 6pm – midnight
Friday – Sunday, midday - midnight

Kirk’s Wine Bar

Kirk’s Wine Bar

With the team from the European, City Wine Shop and Spring Street Grocer behind Kirk’s Wine Bar, you would quite reasonably expect something special from a visit here, and in this expectation you will not be disappointed. Kirk’s is a charming wine bar with a warm and welcoming buzz.

  • The wine list is an intelligently curated rendering of both old and new world wines, with a number of minimal-interventionist wines also available
  • A European-influenced menu tempts with a range of shared dishes, imported cheeses and tasty charcuterie boards
  • While the compact space can fill up quickly, the atmospheric below-ground wine cellar can seat up to 12 people, and there is outdoor seating on Hardware Lane too

With their combined years of experience in hospitality, Kirk’s Wine Bar is an assured choice the next time you find yourself in the city with a hankering for a quality drop and a tasty meal.

Corner Hardware Lane & Little Bourke, Melbourne
(03) 9600 4550
Monday – Friday, 7.30am – 11pm
Saturday – Sunday, 9am – 11pm 

Harry & Frankie

Harry & Frankie

Harry & Frankie is both a wine bar and a wine shop that celebrates small, family-owned producers from Australia and around the world. Take a seat under the vaulted, cork-clad ceiling with grape vine silhouettes and give thanks that this temple to fine wine exists.

  • There are more than 600 bottles to choose from, as well as wines on tap that have been made in collaboration with local wineries
  • Graze on tapas, toasties, charcuterie, cheeses, salami and salumi, and two ever-changing nightly main courses
  • Owned by John Tennent and Tom Hogan, the bar/shop is named after John’s son Harry and Tom’s daughter Frankie

Both John and Tom believe wine should be delicious, the cause and accompaniment to celebration, and help you discover the stories behind the producers, regions and grapes, and Harry & Frankie is the perfect place to put these philosophies into practice.

317 Bay Street, Port Melbourne
(03) 9645 4414
Monday, Wednesday & Thursday, 4pm – 11pm
Friday – Sunday, 11am – 11pm

Keep this list on hand to make your wine bar decision-making just that little bit easier, but you should also keep some quality bottles of wine on hand at home, which is where MoCU can help. Curating a selection of expertly crafted wines, as well as beers and ciders, MoCU delivers straight to your door. Many of the products featured on MoCU cannot be found anywhere else. Plus, you’ll enjoy free delivery to metro areas on orders over $50*.


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