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Food

The Top 5 BYO Restaurants in Melbourne

Get set to bring that favourite bottle out of the cellar as we present the best BYO restaurants in Melbourne.

SCOPRI

Ask any Melburnian with an Italian leaning where they would take an aged Barolo, and it’s always Scopri. $15 per bottle corkage will get you glassware and a smooth Italian waiter.

Recommended Wine: What grows together, goes together. Think Italians reds like Barolo or Montepulciano and VermentinoFiano and Pinot Grigio for whites.

Corkage: $15 per bottle

191 Nicholson St, Carlton

Visit the Scopri website

Mamak

Inexpensive and delicious with corkage at just $2 per head so you can focus on the delicious Malaysian fare – don’t forget the Roti bread.

Recommended Wine: Reds with medium tannins like GSM or Merlot are a good choice for spicy cuisine. So too are light and aromatic whites such as Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Corkage: $2 per person

366 Lonsdale St, Melbourne

Visit the Mamak website

LADRO

You want pizza in Prahran or fettucine in Fitzroy? You got it. On Mondays, you can bring your own and enjoy a slice of the action with the $5 corkage going to two amazing local charities.

Recommended Wine: Bring along a good Italian red variety like a Montepulciano or Nebbiolo. For whites, think VermentinoPinot Grigio or Fiano.

Corkage: $5 every Monday with all proceeds going to Vinnies Vannies and the Prahran Mission. BYO also available at $15 per bottle Tuesday to Sunday at the Fitzroy Ladro.

Ladro @ 224 Gertrude St, Fitzroy and Ladro TAP @ 162 Greville St, Prahran

Find out more about the Ladro charity BYO

VICASIA

Some call this the best Asian BYO in the city and it already has a three glass rated wine list, but for $15, you can pair dumplings with your own Riesling.

Recommended Wine: Gewürztraminer is a great choice as it is similar to Riesling, but has more rose petal and lychee flavours that match well with Ken Yuen’s modern Chinese cuisine. For red wine, we recommend a medium-bodied Pinot Noir from the Yarra or Mornington or a subtle Hunter Valley Shiraz.

Corkage: $15 per bottle

95 Victoria Ave, Albert Park

Visit the VicAsia website

FRANCE-SOIR

The original and best, for over 30 years, Jean-Paul Prunetti’s bistro has been a leading light in Melbourne’s restaurant scene. Marry your best French bottles to some of the classiest French food in the city.

Recommended Wine: Bring along your favourite french import, or your best ChardonnayCab Sav or Pinot Noir.

Corkage: $15 every day except Saturdays

11-13 Toorak Rd, South Yarra

Visit the France-Soir website:

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Food
The Essential Beef and Wine Pairing Guide 2019
With Wine Selectors, it’s never been simpler to find great pairings of beef and wine. When you think of winter food, what comes to mind? For us, it’s slow cooked meals, hearty and rich; it’s simple-to-prepare comfort foods, or big bold pastas and meaty pies. Nourishing and full-flavoured, beef becomes a star-performer over the winter months, both for its versatility and how readily it matches with a variety of wines, both red and white.  Where’s the beef? We know how much impact the fat content or type of cut can have on the palate when it comes to the wine. This handy guide has taken all the hard work out of worrying which cut to choose and what impact it will have on your palate. Instead, we’ve focused on getting you all set with these top flavour matches. Let’s get started! BEEF TACOS Good Mexican food is so hard to beat. Easy to prepare, fresh, exciting flavours, and a very good match for a diverse range of wines. Beef tacos in particular are a street food classic bursting with flavour and crunchy textures, and can be enjoyed with medium to fuller white varieties, Rosé, or light-to-medium reds. We’d advise avoiding the heavy reds, as they’ll likely overpower the flavour of your tacos. Wine Match : Rosé Or: Chardonnay or Pinot Noir BEEF RENDANG A classic, fragrant curry from West Sumatra with deep flavour that’s cooked together with spice paste and coconut milk until tender, before being fried to caramelise the beef for coating of epic flavour. We’ve always found that Shiraz proves an excellent all-rounder for when the heat factor ramps up a bit, but a Merlot would also be a worthy match as well. Wine Match : Shiraz Or: Merlot or GSM blends BEEF BOURGUIGNON Few things can beat the fragrance of a pot of garlic and wine-infused beef, simmering away on the stove for hours. A perennial favourite, this delicious, slow-cooked French classic shows deep and complex flavours best paired with a wine that shows similar attributes. For this reason, we like it with Pinot Noir , in order to create a flavour combination that’s more than the sum of its parts. Wine Match: Pinot Noir Or: Chardonnay or Nero d’Avola CLASSIC BOLOGNESE This staple of Italian cuisine is a firm household favourite for a very good reason. Humble but deeply satisfying, this saucy meat-based dish is best enjoyed with a juicy, mid-weight red. So why not keep it in the famiglia by choosing one of Australia’s rising Italian varieties, Barbera ? Wine Match: Barbera Or: Sangiovese or Tempranillo BEEF, PEPPER AND MUSHROOM PIE Another winner for families across Australia, whether baked at home in an oversized dish or held in the hand while watching the big game the ubiquitous beef pie is hard to beat… unless it’s matched with a fleshy red – say, a GSM blend - to bring out its deep flavours, enhancing its savoury richness. Wine match: GSM blends Or: Shiraz or Merlot BARBEQUED OR ROASTED BEEF With chefs like Heston ever seeking ways to improve upon perfection , it’s clear that the x-factor of the crispy outer ‘bark’ created by grills, ovens and barbeques continues to fascinate our lust for flavour. Beyond the char, the tender meat inside lends itself to a red variety with robust tannins – especially if using fattier cuts like ribs. Wine match: Malbec Or: Cabernet or Durif Now, with all that said, everyone has their own preferences. In fact, one of life’s great joys is self-discovery! These are merely our suggestions, so feel free to experiment with your own flavour combinations to develop a sense of what you like and what you don’t. Not only will you learn a lot about how to pair wines with your own beef recipes, you’ll have a delicious journey along the way! Looking for more inspired pairings? Try our Essential Tapas and Wine Pairing Guide , for a hit of Spanish flavours. We’ve even got you covered with essential guides to wine and salad pairings , seafood and wine pairings , vino and veggie matches , and even the top wines to pair with pizza or chocolate !  So, what are you waiting for? Plate up, pour a glass, and enjoy!
Life
Food worth fighting for
Words by Jackie Macdonald on 19 Jun 2019
There were murmurs around the table as the votes were cast. Would it be the first course – dry aged snapper with last season’s birch fermented tomatoes and preserved lemon – a gorgeously light start to the menu? Or would it be course two – nduja with peas and black olive – the notoriously spicy spreadable salami leaving a hot impression? Perhaps course three deserved the tick – roast and braised lamb with garlic and Jerusalem artichoke – melt-in-your-mouth morsels with perfectly paired accompaniments? Or would it be dessert – milk parfait with macadamia, honey and thyme – a delightful finale whose sweetness was tempered by that touch of thyme? These were the contenders in the 10 th annual Hunter Culinary Association Food Fight where four of Australia’s best up-and-coming chefs went head-to-head in the kitchen. The competing chefs were Eilish Maloney (formerly Saint Peter, Paddington), Thomas Boyd (Margan), Troy Crisante (Quay Restaurant) and George Mirosevich (Restaurant Mason) and the judges were the 320 guests. Kitchen stars Each of these culinary stars had spent time in the kitchen of legendary chef Brett Graham – a former Novocastrian – at his Michelin-starred restaurant The Ledbury in London, one of the world’s 50 best restaurants. In between courses, guests were asked to dig deep for an auction of incredible prizes, including a trip to London to spend time with Brett, with proceeds helping to fund a worthy cause. As HCA Chairman, Gus Maher described, “What’s extra special about this event is that it not only gives chefs a forum to showcase their talents, but the Food Fight auction we hold on the day also raises money for our range of scholarships. The Brett Graham scholarship is one of those, providing a young chef the opportunity to work with Brett Graham at The Ledbury – an incredible experience shared by each of today’s chefs.” Members and guests proved incredibly generous, for which Gus was extremely grateful, saying, “Once again, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of members and guests at the event which will change the course of an aspiring chef’s career by giving them the opportunity of a lifetime.” The verdict With the room well and truly satiated, the chefs were introduced as the votes were counted. It was Eilish behind the snapper, Troy created the njuga course, George made the lamb, while the dessert was Thomas’s handiwork. Each chef was given a raucous reception, but there could only be one winner. Drum roll, please. Congratulations Thomas Boyd from Margan for his delectable dessert! 
Wine
How much sugar is in wine?
In the world of wine, there’s long been a divide between those who ‘don’t know much about wine, but know what I like’, and those who dismiss sweeter drops as only ‘for the inexperienced wine drinker’, believing that more rarefied, dry wines are representative of a grape’s true character. What such attitudes overlook is that many world-class dry and semi-dry wines carry an intrinsic natural richness attributable to their residual sugar – and that a growing number of collectors are recognising the consistency and quality of well-crafted sweet wines as indicators of a quality vineyard and a winemaker’s skill. Where does the sugar in wine come from? Residual sugars primarily emerge from fruit sugars in the wine grapes themselves: sucrose, fructose and glucose. These are vital ingredients in the process of alcoholic fermentation, and typically determine how sweet or dry the wine that reaches your table will be. As wine is being made, yeast will consume these fruit sugars to produce the ethanol that gives wine its alcohol content. If all the sugars are consumed in the process, a dry wine is the result. After fermentation has finished, the natural grape sugars left over in a wine are known as Residual Sugars, and are measured in grams per litre (g/L). They vary greatly across different types of wine. As a rule, the riper the grapes, the more sugar there is to metabolise – and the higher the potential alcohol content. How much sugar is in red, white, sparkling wine? From a bone-dry Sauvignon Blanc or Grigio to the super-sweet dessert wines, Wine Selectors is here with an at-a-glance scale of just how much sugar is in your serving of wine. Sugar content factors The level of sugar in your wine is determined by a number of factors, including: The type(s) of grape used; The ripeness of the grape at harvesting; The alcohol content of the wine; and The type of wine produced. Artificial sweetener or natural flavour? Naturally sweet wines occur when the yeast is prevented from consuming the sugar content, most often by chilling or filtering the fermentation, or when there is too much sugar for the yeast to consume. At the bottom end of the market, wine producers may add sugar or grape concentrate in order to mask the lower quality ingredients present in their wines. There is another reason winemakers might add sugar however. And it plays a big role in the creation of some of the country’s favourite celebratory drinks. Bringing a sparkle to your glass For sparkling wines, which are naturally dry, the dosage of residual sugar plays a crucial role bin achieving a balanced acidity. Sugar may also be added to encourage secondary or bottle fermentation to produce carbon dioxide – ordinarily released during regular fermentation -to create the ‘bubbly’ aspect so beloved of many wine drinkers. Ultimately, whatever the wine, residual sugars are an essential by-product of their composition. As you might expect, it’s all a delicate balancing act of acidity and sweetness; many sweet wines can actually taste dry due to higher acidity, while a dry wine can taste sweet if it has a higher alcohol level. Getting that balance right is the key to a great wine experience. What’s the difference between dry, sweet and semi-sweet wines? These terms simply refer to how much residual sugar is in a wine. Dry wines have had all or almost all their sugar converted to alcohol during fermentation. Sweet wines typically retain high levels of their residual sugar - as much as 230g/L in some instances. Semi-sweet wines, however, have a mildly perceptible sweetness, with moderate levels of residual sugar from around 12g/L and up. A few facts about sweet wines For the sweetest wine, the Ancient Romans would harvest the grapes as late as possible, while the Greeks would harvest early, preserving acidity, before leaving them in the sun to shrivel, thereby concentrating the sugar. There are a variety of techniques for establishing the approximate sugar content of wines: Clinitest® method A rapid test kit method with minimal requirements. Reaction/Titration A more involved approach requiring flasks and flame-burners. Enzymatic Assay A dilution kit method utilising a UV spectrophotometer   High Performance Liquid Chromatography Also known as HPLC, a high-performance technique known for its precision, speed and cost. Some of the world’s most highly-regarded wines are sweet, such as German late-harvest Rieslings. Sweet wines also have an ability to match food that can’t always be found in dry wines. Sweet or dry, explore the diverse flavours of wine If there’s one thing that differing views on residual sugars reveals, it’s that wine-making is as diverse – and even divisive – as ever! At Wine Selectors, we believe the world is big enough to accommodate a huge diversity of tastes and preferences, which is why our mixed selections continue to prove so popular. So whether your go-to is a dry red or a sweet, sweet white, we have something that will make your palate sing. Explore our range for yourself at our Wine Shop , or continue learning about the endlessly fascinating character of wine with more articles in our Wine 101 series . And if you have any questions, make sure to get in touch!

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Food
Massimo Bottura - Nourishing the soul
Words by Interview Lyndey Milan Words Mark Hughes on 12 Dec 2017
In the process of trying to recreate a food memory, chef Massimo Bottura started a movement that was designed to fight food waste, but has grown into a social triumph. In the opening to his latest book, Bread is Gold , Italian chef Massimo Bottura tells the story of how every morning he would fight with his brothers for the leftover bread from the previous night’s dinner to dip in warm milk with a splash of coffee and a liberal pouring of sugar. It is one of his fondest memories, reminding him of delicious food, but also time with his family and his dearly departed mother. A few years ago, he thought about recreating the recipe, and trying to recapture that glorious memory. It was the catalyst that evolved into a concept that evolved into social change. But more on that later. In essence, taking old food memories and recreating them is what has made Massimo famous and seen him reach the very top of the chef world. For the last few years his restaurant, Osteria Francescana in Modena on the northern outskirts of Milan, has been ranked in the top three in the world, last year, No.1, this year just behind New York’s Eleven Madison. A culinary renaissance
At Francescana, Massimo has taken Italian classics, memories and culinary ideas and transported them into the modern world. Combing his love of art and music with his culinary talent to create dishes titled Memories of a Mortadella Sandwich, The Crunchy Part of Lasagne, and his signature Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano. It’s been a culinary renaissance. Of course, messing with traditional Italian cooking created quite a stir in Italy and for that measure, it is understandable that he gained recognition internationally before he was eventually praised at home. And while Massimo has explored plenty of Italian history for his dishes, he insists he still has a wealth of heritage for future culinary inspirations, for the rest of his life, at the very least. “Maybe for 10 lives,” he says when chatting with Lyndey Milan at a special event organised by Italian coffee company Lavazza in Sydney earlier this year. “We have centuries of tradition that we can reinterpret and rediscover. “For instance, last autumn we created this dish detailed by a philosopher from Rome, Petronius, in a book of his. Over three pages he described an amazing dish with a beautiful big bird filled with another bird, filled with another bird, and then many small birds and then dates and figs – for me, that’s Italy. “So this is what I say to Italian chefs when they look for the next trend. Let’s be honest. Let’s go deep into our history and try to bring the best from the past into the future, not in a nostalgic way, but in a critical way.” A chance to make a change These days, Massimo is lauded for his ideas and for returning Italian cuisine to the top of the culinary world. He has used his time in the spotlight to full advantage. During Expo 2015 in Milan, Massimo was invited to cook for dignitaries. Instead, he used the opportunity to make a statement about food waste. His initial idea was to do a short-term pop-up at the city’s central train station and invite the world’s best chefs to cook leftover food for the homeless. But then, apparently, the Pope got involved. His holiness heard the chef’s idea, but thought it could be something done long term. Through the Catholic charity Caritas, an abandoned theatre in the poorest suburb of Milan was made available for Massimo’s ‘community kitchen’. He took the opportunity. Not wanting it to be a regular soup kitchen, he recruited well-known artists and designers to help transform the venue into a warm, inviting space, a restaurant for those who most likely have never even seen inside a Michelin-starred venue. It was named, Refettorio Ambrosiano, a Refettorio being a place where monks and nuns would eat their daily meals. “In a world where one third of the food we produce is thrown away, we need to ask ourselves: Could food wastage and hunger be an expression of the same problem? We believe so,” Massimo asks in Bread is Gold, a diary and collection of recipes from the Refettorio Ambrosiano project. Over the following months, more than 65 chefs turned surplus ingredients collected from the exhibition’s pavilions into nutritious meals served to the homeless and people in need in the area. Names like Ferran Adria, Rene Redzepi, Ana Ros and Alain Ducasse used their creative powers to turn discarded food into delicious dishes. “It was challenging and rewarding to be a chef in that kitchen. It brought out the best in everyone,” says Massimo. “And it’s important to show that chefs in 2017 are not just the sum of their recipes, we are much more than that. People need to know we are social agents and we can give to the people, to the world an example.” Nourishing the soul
Following this initial success, Massimo and his wife, Lara established Food for Soul, a non-profit organisation dedicated to nourishing the underprivileged. The Social Tables project in Bologna followed, then Refettorio Gastromotiva in Rio, converting surplus food from the Olympic Games into healthy meals. Refettorio Felix opened in London in June and there’s plans for projects in Berlin and the United States. “Food for Soul is not a charity project but a cultural one. Sharing a meal is not just a source of nourishment, but a gesture of inclusion,” says Massimo. “In looking for solutions to fight food waste, we found a wider impact. We became aware that a good meal in a beautiful and welcoming environment can change a community. “Will the role of chefs define the future of food? I am an optimist and I believe that we are already making positive change. A recipe, after all, is a solution to a problem. Choose to be part of the solution by cooking and sharing a meal around a table. It might be the most revolutionary thing you do all day.”
Food
The Top 5 BYO Restaurants in Sydney
Words by Ben Hallinan & Patrick Haddock on 27 Mar 2017
Here are the best BYO restaurants in Sydney and the wines you should bring along with you. GOLDEN CENTURY Not only does this Chinatown landmark have a stellar list, but they also allow you to bring top Pinot to pair with duck. Open till 2 am. Recommended Wine: Aromatic dry whites like  Gewürztraminer  or  Riesling  are a great match for Chinese cuisine. However, why not try a savoury low tannin red like a Yarra Valley  Pinot Noir  or Hunter Valley  Shiraz , which match perfectly with duck and sweet pork dishes. Corkage: $8 per person 393-399 Sussex St, Sydney Visit the Golden Century website SEAN’S PANAROMA
A Bondi institution where two hatted food can be easily paired with your perennial favourites. Recommended Wine:  Vermentino ,  Pinot Grigio or  Sauvignon Blanc  match perfectly with the Mediterranean inspired menu and seaside setting. But, if your main targets on the menu are their fresh seafood dishes, then  Semillon  is the classic seafood match. For red wine purists, an excellent  GSM or  Merlot is a good option. Corkage: $25 per bottle 270 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach Visit Sean’s Panaroma website TETSUYA’S
Still the original temple of gastronomy that allows you to bring favoured and special bottles. Recommended Wine: Crisp, dry whites such as an off-dry  Riesling ,  Gewürztraminer  or Semillon match perfectly with the French inspired, Japanese cuisine on offer. Tetsuya’s is one of Sydney’s top foodie destinations, so don’t be afraid to bring out the big guns with that aged bottle of  Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon  you’ve been saving. Corkage: BYO by prior arrangement at the time of booking. $30 for the first bottle, $45 for subsequent bottles. 529 Kent St, Sydney Visit the Tetsuya’s website BAR REGGIO
Possibly the cheapest yet well loved BYO in Sydney where industry folk pair Grand Cru Burgundy with pizza. Recommended Wine: When thinking of Italian food and wine, always consider ‘what grows together, goes together’. That means  Sangiovese ,  Nebbiolo , Montepulciano and Nero d’Avola for reds and  Vermentino , Fiano or  Pinot Grigio  for whites. Corkage: $2.50 per person 135 Crown St, Darlinghurst Visit Bar Reggio website ONE PENNY RED
Offers superb modern Australian food, and once a month they tailor a four-course dinner to match wines from your cellar. Recommended Wine: A savoury  Tempranillo  would be a good choice. But, just bring that special bottle you’ve been saving and see what the chefs come up with. Corkage: $80 per person inclusive of BYO and 4 course custom menu. Minimum 4 people. Last Tuesday of every month. Bookings essential 2 Moonbie St, Summer Hill Find out more about the One Penny Red raid your cellar door dinners
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