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Best Melbourne wine bars

Steve Webber, chief winemaker at De Bortoli Wines, picks the best wine bars to visit in Melbourne.

Best Melbourne wine bars

The wine and food scene in Melbourne has blossomed over the past 20 years. See these 11 top Melbourne wine bars:

1. Gerald’s Bar

The bar that the locals cross town for. Choose any wine from the list to have by the glass. Gerald and his right-and-left- hand man Mario, are Melbourne institutions. geraldsbar.com.au

2. Rydges, Exhibition Street

Not a glam luxury hotel or a boutique hotel. Not even an ‘art’ hotel, but a conveniently located one, and with good staff. From the lobby, five minutes’ walk will take you to bars and eateries like City Wine Shop, Longrain, Ombra, Bar Lourinhã, Lily Blacks, Flower Drum, Bottega, The Mess Hall, Hu Tong, and Leanne’s favourite bookstore, Hill of Content. rydges.com

3. City Wine Shop & Siglo

City Wine Shop is also a bar. Choose a bottle and drink it with a plate of food. Then head upstairs (through the Melbourne Supper Club) to Siglo, a rooftop bar where you can have a whisky with a cigar while gazing over at Parliament House. citywineshop.net.au

4. Ombra

Excellent pizza and crispy lamb ribs, plus an excellent selection of Aussie wines, including a decent range of made-for-the-house wines. Part of the Grossi empire, so service is spot-on. ombrabar.com.au

5. Bar Lourinhã

Primarily Iberian, this also embraces the broader Mediterranean and Levantine. Always fun and noisy with something delicious to eat and drink. Classics include spiced chickpeas and spinach, and yellow tail kingfish ‘pancetta’ with lemon oil. barlourinha.com.au

6. Pei Modern

Located at the drop-off area of the Sofitel Hotel in the famous, tree-lined Collins Street, this has both a casual as well as a marginally more formal area. The lovely wine list is well-priced, the tapas and shared plates are all fantastic. My current favourite. peimodern.com.au

7. Cumulus Inc & Cumulus Up

Modern Melbourne cuisine, showcasing chef Andrew McConnell’s vision. Excellent place for breakfast – if you can get in. Cumulus Up is a smart Melbourne wine bar. cumulusinc.com.au

8. MoVida Next Door

The second phase in the life of MoVida sits alongside the original (there’s also a third, Aqui, on the Law Courts side of town). Sit at the bar and watch them prepare delightful fish and seafood. Or watch passers-by on the historic, mile-long Flinders Street. movida.com.au

9. MCG

The G, one of the great sporting stadiums of the world. Football rules in autumn and winter; cricket rules in spring and summer. Adjacent to the Rod Laver Arena for the tennis, it’s just a 15-minute walk to MoVida Next Door, Bar Lourinhã and Cumulus. mcg.org.au

10. The National Gallery of Victoria

There’s always something of interest here. Australia’s oldest public art museum is within easy walking distance of the Melbourne business district, and is the perfect place to go to lose yourself for a few hours, particularly on a rainy day. ngv.vic.gov.au

11. Bellota & Prince Wine Store

The experts at the Prince Wine Store sell lots of fine wine of all origins, while the owners’ adjacent new bar, Bellota, offers great value and style. You can eat very well and choose wine from the list, or grab a bottle from the store to enjoy. Wines over AU$80 (£44) are sold at bottle-shop prices, while those below incur a far from princely AU$15 (£8.30) corkage. bellota.com.au

Steve Webber is chief winemaker and manager at De Bortoli Wines

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