The sound of popping corks and the calm air of thousands of bottles gently resting….the sense of anticipation….the smell of Sangiovese in the air….whatever it is that sets you off, there is something magical about a well-stocked wine store.
Here’s our list of the shops with the best range and the most knowledgable service in Sydney.
The Oak Barrel
152 Elizabeth St, Sydney NSW 2000
Proudly proclaiming to be ‘independent since 1956’, the Oak Barrel has long been towards the top of the tree of Sydney bottle stores.
With an incredible range of craft beers in one section of the shop, a vast selection of single malt whiskeys right near the entrance and a special ‘Vault Room’ that you need a special key to enter, this shop really takes its selection seriously. The staff are seriously clued up as well, and always on hand to deliver some knowledge bombs or a handy recommendation.
91 Crown St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Best Cellars is the original member of what has become a Triangle of Wine at this address – the back lane entrance houses epic Sydney wine bar Love, Tilly Devine and above Best Cellars sits the HQ of wine importer and distributor Wholebunch Wines.
The selection here is tight and constantly changing. They always have the latest vintages of a great selection of French classics, plus a brilliant collection of Aussie legends.
Ask what’s new from Wholebunch wines – the staff have their finger on the pulse and are quick with a suggestion.
Bel & Brio
T3 01/300 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo NSW 2000
Barangaroo has come along in leaps and bounds in the past few years, with a slew of bars and restaurants popping up and creating a new dining precinct in a matter of months.
Bel & Brio is an important piece of the Barangaroo puzzle – not only a dining destination as well as food emporium, but their bottle shop, simply named ‘Cellars’ is one of Sydney’s best.
Headed up by wine retail legend Jon Osbeiston, who ran the now defunct Ultimo Wine Centre for a number of years, the selection here is deep and varied. From Albarino to Zinfandel, and all over the world, there’s wines here to suit every palate.
Five Ways Cellars
4 Heeley St, Paddington NSW 2021
A local legend, Five Ways Cellars in Paddington has been around for over 30 years, headed up by wine boffin, bon vivant and all round friendly fellow Ian Cook.
A snug, intimate shop, it pays to ask for advice, as some of the gems are often hidden behind other bottles.
For the ultimate splurge, as to head up the tight staircase to the tasting room where the best bottles are laid out, often gently overlain with dust.
Look out for great, informative tastings held in this room as well.
A real treasure trove.
64 Enmore Rd, Newtown NSW 2042
The new kid on the block, P&V only opened late last year, but to much fanfare. A collaborative effort between the crew behind Mary’s Burgers in Newtown and local wine writer Mike Bennie, P&V is the wine shop for the next generation.
Plenty of Australian wine adorns the shelves, but pretty much all of it is from small, unsung heroes of the industry.
A great selection of beer and spirits is here as well, plus oysters and ready made meals, cheekily labeled as TV Dinners.
Irreverent, on point and a whole lot of fun.
Now if you’d rather dip your toe into the world of wine from
home, we can sort you out with a palate profile. Go check out our fun palate profile quiz here and we’ll recommend three bottles that we think you'll love according to your results!