Looking for somewhere new to enjoy your next drop of wine? Melbourne might be the land of great coffee, gourmet food, and top-notch restaurants, but it's also home to some amazing wine bars. Whether you're after a relaxed and casual setting for an afternoon drink or something a little more polished for a special occasion - there's a vibe (and a wine list) to suit even the most discerning wine lover. Here are our picks.
South Press: South Yarra
South Press is both a wine bar and bottle shop located in the cosmopolitan suburb of South Yarra — a vibrant hotspot for young professionals with a penchant for good food and wine. With a revolving door of locals and those in the know, this quintessential wine bar specializes in serving both local and international varietals alongside a refined selection of cheeses, charcuterie, and predominantly European share-style dishes. Grab a seat in the bar or head on out the back to the gorgeous courtyard and choose from a handful of carefully selected wines from the ever-changing menu. South Press is the perfect spot for a first date, a special occasion or an afternoon catch-up with friends.
Milk the Cow: St Kilda & Carlton
Wine and cheese is perhaps one of the greatest pairings of all time and thanks to Milk the Cow, a licensed fromagerie, you can have it perfectly paired whenever you like! Visit MTC for a selection of artisanal cheeses teamed with a boutique wine flight prepared by the in-house cheesemonger, or grab your own cheese board and bottle of wine recommended by the staff. With a stack of local and imported wines to choose from as well as around 150 cheeses including melty varieties like Swiss raclette and fondue, there's more than enough wine and cheese to go around.
Cumulus Up: CBD
This restaurant/wine bar located Flinders Lane in the heart of the city boasts a tempting wine list and a delicious menu curated by highly prestigious chef Andrew McConnell. Visit for a romantic pre-dinner drink before making your way downstairs to Cumulus Inc. for dinner or make Cumulus Up your destination for the night. With stunning wines sourced from winery regions throughout the Victoria countryside to those located in Italy and France, there are loads of wines to quench that thirst! Lap up the cozy atmosphere with some freshly shucked oysters or a delicious cheese board, or choose something more hearty from the main menu. With an on-hand sommelier to recommend the ideal drop and a sophisticated setting, this is the place to go when you want to impress.
Ugly Duckling: Richmond
For a night out with friends or a romantic date with someone special, The Ugly Duckling is the picture perfect place to be. Head on over to Swan Street in Richmond to soak up the stylish vibe and prepare yourself for one of the finest local and international wine lists going around. Pick something from the menu or take advantage of the daily "from the cellar" special for when you’re feeling really adventurous. Order some share dishes to enjoy with your crew and settle in for a relaxing night of good food and company. And, if you just happen to buy a bottle of wine on a Sunday, you'll get a complimentary cheese board — how’s that for service?
Henry Sugar: Carlton
Carlton North's newest bar, Henry Sugar, proves it can do wine just as well as it can cocktails. The ethos centers on minimal intervention—nothing added, nothing taken with a focus on sustainable producers —something that doesn't seem too hard to get behind! Sip on a Riesling sourced from the Adelaide Hills or pair your Nebbiolo from the Pyrenees with something from the shared menu. The crew at Henry Sugar are only too happy to recommend what goes with what, so don't be shy — you might learn a thing or two!