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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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Know your variety – Rosé
Versatile, refreshing and absolutely delicious, there’s so much to love about Rosé! A style of wine rather than a variety, it’s come a long way since those sickly sweet wines of yesterday to emerge as an anytime, food-friendly tipple. Origins In the ancient world, wine was made by crushing red and white wines together. Even when the colours were eventually separated, the harsh tannins in the reds saw many still preferring lighter coloured wines – the first form of Rosé! Fast forward to 19th century southern France and Rosé was seen as a casual drink to quench the thirst with any tourist with half a fashion sense sipping it after a day chilling out on the beach. Unfortunately, in the mid-20th century, Mateus was created and this Portuguese style gave Rosé a reputation for being sickly sweet. Thankfully, the winemakers of today have refined Rosé and in Australia, it’s made in a mouth-wateringly dry style that’s a wonderful food match. It’s made from many different grapes, with some of the most common being Shiraz , Pinot Noir and Grenache . Tasting notes Given how many different varieties can be used to make Rosé, no two wines taste the same. However, they’re usually made in the same way with the biggest differences being variety, where it comes from, residual sugar and alcohol level. Click here to learn more about how Rosé is made. When a Rosé is made from Pinot Noir, the typical characters are plums, spice and a variety of savoury fruits. Sangiovese Rosé is typified by savoury fruits, while Cabernet Rosé is bright with berry flavours, sometimes with notes of leaf and herbs. When it’s a Grenache Rosé expect a wine full of raspberry, cranberry and spice. Food pairing For drier styles, go for salads, charcuterie and antipasto. For off-dry styles, go for spicy food or fruit-based dishes. Check out our deliciously refreshing range of Rosé  here . 
Wine
How To Keep Wine Cool
As summer heats up, it’s time to learn some nifty tricks to ensure your wine cools down quickly. When the occasion calls for a refreshing glass of vino, but you don’t have the time it takes for the fridge to do its thing, refer to our guide below. THE QUICK CHILL Ice ice baby It hardly needs saying, but popping a bottle of wine into a wine bucket or cooler with some ice and cold water should do the trick. If it’s really hot weather, you’ll need to top up the ice. Salt it If your wine is not chilling down quickly enough in its water bath, simply add some salt (to the water, of course). In theory, salt reduces water’s freezing point and makes the solution colder without turning to ice. Give it a spin Gently spinning the bottle in its water/ice bath every few minutes will keep the wine in the bottle moving, thus bringing it into contact with the cold glass, and cooling it quicker.  A general warning, this is for still wines only – try this with a bottle of Sparkling and you’ll be in for a nasty surprise when you release the cork. Wet it down Putting wine in the freezer will chill it relatively quickly, but to speed up the process, wet a clean dish towel and wrap it around the wine bottle before you pop it in. The dampness conducts and holds in cold better, and having the icy cold towel pressed against the bottle ensures that the entire surface of the bottle is being chilled. Balls For a quick way to chill an individual glass of wine, try some chill balls. Kept in your home freezer, these nifty little gadgets will cool your wine without watering it down. Grape fun An edible version of chill balls, frozen grapes will do the trick and you’ll also have a healthy snack on hand. Chill smaller amounts Pour the wine into individual glasses and pop them in the fridge or freezer making sure you put them on a tray so they don’t tip over. If you have space in your fridge you can also store some wine glasses in it, so next time you’re in need you’ll have a chilled vessel. Lakes & Fjords Even in the height of summer, if you happen to be in Northern Europe or Scandinavia, simply pop your wine in the nearest lake, fjord or river for an almost instant chill. THE LASTING CHILL When you’re out and about or entertaining outside, the simple and reliable method is the good old fashion esky with ice, thermal cooler bags with frozen packs and ice buckets. If any or all of these methods fail, just go for the ice in the wine option and drink faster! Cheers to summer!

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The taste of the Adelaide Hills
Words by Mark Hughes on 18 Jul 2017
We traipsed around the Adelaide Hills to discover the most divine food offerings in this picturesque wine region. Just 20 minutes drive from the centre of Adelaide you find yourself in the Adelaide Hills. The ascent from the city is 700 metres, making this a cool climate wine region boasting a range of award-winning wines such as  Pinot Noir ,  Chardonnay  and  Sparkling , as well as elegant  Shiraz , while it is arguably the home of  Australian Sauvignon Blanc . Alongside impressive wines, the  Adelaide Hills  has an array of sumptuous dining offerings. Here are some of the highlights recommended to me by locals during a recent trip to the region. CRAFERS The first village you come to in the Hills along the M1 from Adelaide is Crafers, and it is where you'll find the recently renovated Crafers Hotel. Retaining the 1830s heritage of the original structure, it offers a pub feel with a contemporary dining experience with dishes like beouf bourguignon and duck confit sitting alongside gourmet burgers. There's a range of craft beers on tap, but it is the wine list, or more appropriately, the wine cellar, that is something to truly behold. With an extensive range of local wines and South Australian gems, there's also some hard-to-find wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy. With boutique accommodation on site, you could be excused if you called in for lunch, but ended staying for the night. Crafers Hotel, 8 Main st, Crafers. Just up Mount Lofty Summit Road, is Mount Lofty House and the serious new addition to the Hills dining scene - Hardy's Verandah. A recent renovation has seen the long closed-in verandah opened up to become an exquisite dining space with breath-taking views across the Piccadilly Valley. The degustation menu from chef Wayne Brown is edgy and bold with a Japanese focus to local produce and a scintillating wine list curated by sommelier Patrick White. Hardy's Verandah 74 Mount Lofty Summit Rd, Crafers. SUMMERTOWN AND URAIDLA Follow Mount Lofty Summit Road and just a few enjoyable twists and turns up the hill you'll find yourself a culinary world away from Crafers at the Summertown Aristologist. This much-talked about venue is the collaboration of Aaron Fenwick, the former general manager at Restaurant Orana and winemakers Anton van Klopper (Lucy Margaux) and Jasper Button (Commone of Buttons). Housed in a former butcher shop, the vibe embodies a communal epicurean feel. Produce is sought from the kitchen garden or the community of farmers, while artisan bread is baked on premise. There is no set menu as the chef of the day chooses from what's available, but think grazing plates such as buckwheat, kombu and beets or artichoke, whey and ricotta matched with natural wines sourced primarily from the nearby Basket Range sub-region. Friday, Saturday and Sundays for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Summertown Aristologist, 1097 Greenhill road, Summertown . Keep the communal vibe going and follow Greenhill Road down into Uraidla, where winemaker of the moment, Taras Ochota from Ochota Barrels, has teamed up with a couple of mates to open Lost in a Forest - a wood oven/wine lounge in the beautifully remodelled St Stephens Anglican Church. Marco Pierre White called these 'the best pizzas he's ever eaten' courtesy of chef Nick Filsell's intriguing offerings such as cider braised pulled pork pizza with pickled vegetables, mozzarella and pork crackle, topped with housemade sriracha mayo. The bar features wines from nine Basket Range producers, as well as a range of exotic spirits. Lost in a Forest, 1203 Greenhill Rd, Uraidla. STIRLING If in Crafers you decided to get back on the M1 further into the Hills just a few minutes' drive you'll see the turn off for the impossibly beautiful town of Stirling. Its tree-lined main street features boutique shops and a number of cool eateries including The Locavore. As the name suggests, this intimate venue adheres to the 100 mile rule with all produce and wine sourced locally and used thoughtfully in Modern Australian tapas style offerings. The Locavore, 49 Mount Barker Rd, Stirling . Just down the road is the Stirling Hotel, a beautifully renovated pub with a fine dining bistro, grill and pizza bar. Not quite the level of a gastro pub, the food is wholesome and hearty with a substantial wine list. But the highlight is its Cellar & Patisserie. Located in separate premises behind the hotel, it serves a range of mouth-watering pastries, pies and breads and coffee from five different roasters. Stirling Hotel, 52 Mount Barker Rd, Stirling . BRIDGEWATER Just a few clicks up the M1 from Stirling (or along the more scenic route through Aldgate) you'll find an icon of the Adelaide Hills dining scene, the Bridgewater Mill. The former 1860s flour mill was turned into a fine dining restaurant in 1986 by wine industry legends Brian Croser and Len Evans. A few years ago, Seppeltsfield's Warren Randall bought the venue and gave it a major overhaul including a new wine bar and extending the outdoor deck. Local Hills chef Zac Ronayne delivers delicious seasonal offerings enjoyed by the fire in winter, or on the deck overlooking the huge working wheel in the summer. Bridgewater Mill, 386 Mount Barker Rd, Bridgewater . HAHNDORF The main strip of the historic village of Hahndorf is very touristy and you can find any number of German-inspired pubs where you can eat your weight in bratwurst, but there are two gems in Main Road as well. The Seasonal Garden Café celebrates local produce delivered as delicious wholesome meals such as salads, slow-roasted lamb as well as vegetarian options. Be sure to check out the delightful and relaxing kitchen garden out the back. Seasonal Garden Cafe, 79 Main Rd, Hahndorf Satisfy your sweet tooth at Chocolate @ Number 5. Famed for its waffles and exotic hot chocolates, there's also a range of decadent desserts, chocolate truffles and pralines and coffee sourced from a small batch roastery. Chocolate @ Number 5, 5 Main Rd, Hahndorf. Pay a visit to the iconic Beerenberg farm shop before taking the Balhannah Road north to the The Lane Vineyard and Restaurant, where you are greeted with sweeping views across the region. Chef James Brinklow has created delicious seasonal recipes and also offers the Lane Kitchen's Chef's Table experience - scores of dishes matched with wine across an indulgent three hour sitting. The Lane Vineyard and Restaurant, 5 Ravenswood Lane, Hahndorf . WOODSIDE Woodside Cheese features on many menus around the Hills. Being so close, take the Onkaparinga Valley Road and see artisan cheesemaker Kris Lloyd, winner of over 100 awards, including a Super Gold at the 2016 World Cheese Awards for her Anthill - a fresh goat cheese encrusted with green ants - she's been experimenting with a variation that includes lemon myrtle, as well as doing the country's first raw milk cheese. An innovator in the industry, she is a must-visit in the Adelaide Hills. Woodside Cheese Wrights, 22 Henry St, Woodside . A bit further along Onkaparinga Valley Road you'll find Bird in Hand winery. Everything about this place is impressive. Picturesque vineyards, incredible artwork and a top class restaurant, The Gallery. Carlos Astudillo has recently taken over as Chef de Cuisine and has introduced a farm-to-table rotation of dishes with produce sourced directly from local growers and Bird in Hand's kitchen garden. Open every day for lunch, take on one of the two lunchtime dining experiences, Signature Flight, a share-style menu or the more immersive Joy Flight - an exciting seasonal culinary journey that unfolds over three delectable hours, best enjoyed with matching Bird in Hand wines, of course. The Gallery, Corner of Bird in Hand & Pfeiffer Roads, Woodside . Another winery with a stellar restaurant is Howard Vineyard just 10 minutes drive back up the hill to Narnie.  MasterChef  alumni Heather Day has taken over the reins at the recently renovated Clover Restaurant and she's serving up some of the exotic, fresh flavours of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and China. The venue hosts acoustic Sunday Sessions and the lush green lawn outside the cellar door is the perfect spot to soak up some cool musical vibes and feast on Heather's delicious Asian dishes. Clover Restaurant, Howard Vineyard 53 Bald Hills Road, Nairne . VERDUN If you follow the signs from Woodside  back to Adelaide, you'll pass through Verdun, where there are three final additions to your Hills culinary journey. The Stanley Bridge Hotel is still an 'old school' pub, with a 1970s carpet and undulating floor. And that's its charm. With its cosy inside dining with dishes such as mushroom gnocchi and marinara linguine, it is finding favour with the hip crowds on the weekend who kick on out the back on the petanque rink and frequent the caravan-cum-bar. Stanley Bridge Tavern 41 Onkaparinga Valley Rd, Verdun . Only a couple of hundred metres up the road is the Walk the Talk Café. Housed in the old Verdun Post Office (locals still pop in to get their mail) chef/caterer Ali Seedsman and her partner Russell Marchant have opened a funky but unpretentious café. Ali's stellar pedigree (Bayswater Brasserie, Bathers Pavilion, Magill Estate) is evident on the menu - simple but sumptuous shared plates and housemade cakes and pastries. Walk the Talk Café, 25 Onkaparinga Valley Rd, Verdun . Still in Verdun, just before you get back on the M1 back to Adelaide, swing up the hill to Maximilian's, acknowledged as one of the best regional restaurants in the state. Casual shared plates, a la carte and chef's degustation journeys matched with wines from the on-site Sidewood Cellar Door. The venue also offers gorgeous views across the lake and vineyard. Maximilian's Restaurant 15 Onkaparinga Valley Rd, Verdun .
Food
The Top 5 BYO Restaurants in Perth
Words by Ben Hallinan on 9 Oct 2017
Here are the best BYO restaurants in Perth and the wines you should take along with you. Looking for the perfect restaurant to take your favourite wine to in Perth? To find out where you should enjoy your favourite drops, we asked a local Perth foodie and wine blogger, two of our favourite West Australian winemakers and Dave Mavor from the Wine Selectors Tasting Panel . Viet Hoa Could this be the best Vietnamese in Perth? Recommended by Ryan Gibbs, owner and viticulturist at Aylesbury Estate “Viet Hoa is one of those Perth icons that never disappoints. Pairing tasty, traditional Vietnamese with fast and friendly service is perfect for a casual dinner with a nice glass of Geographe wine . The Pho is great, as is the shaking beef salad, which is loaded with fresh herbs and lemongrass making it great with a crisp and citrussy Aylesbury Sauvignon Blanc .” Corkage: free Unit 1, 349 William St, Northbridge Visit the Viet Hoa website Dough Pizza
Inspired by the pizzerias in Naples, this Italian pizza shop in Northbridge serves up traditional wood fired pizza. Recommended by Casey, wine blogger at The Traveling Corkscrew “It's no surprise pizza is the specialty at Dough. I always like to take a nice bottle of Prosecco with me, as the refreshing crispness of the bubbles complement the thin, crispy wood-fired bases and the stringy mozzarella on the pizzas perfectly. If you are more of a fan of red, then a wine made from Sangiovese or Nero d’Avola would be a great choice. My philosophy when it comes to international cuisine and wine matching is to stick with their local wines (if possible), or wines made from grape varieties that originate from their shores to ensure a tasty match.” Corkage: $6.50 per bottle  434A William St, Perth 6000 Visit the Dough Pizza website Uncle Billy’s This Perth institution has served tasty Chinese until the early hours for many years and is the perfect place to bring along a crisp Western Australian Riesling . Recommended by Dave Mavor, Wine Selectors Tasting Panelist and Wine Show Judge “Whenever the Wine Selectors team is in town to run masterclasses at the Good Food & Wine Show , or to explore the many world class wine regions of WA, we always end up at Uncle Billy’s for late (sometimes very late) night Chinese. Often we have a few winemakers with us, who have brought their favourite Margaret River Chardonnay or Great Southern Riesling to pair with the great live seafood, congee or claypot dishes on the menu. While a crisp white wine is generally a good idea for Chinese food, lower tannin, fruit-focused reds like Pinot Noir , Merlot and Grenache can pair perfectly with richer, less spicy dishes like sweet & sour, chao zhou style duck and sizzling satay.” Corkage: $6.00 per bottle 9/66 Roe St, Northbridge Visit the Uncle Billy’s website Bistro Felix Wine
Charming French bistro and wine bar that hosts weekly BYO Cellar Nights. Recommended by Michael Ng, senior winemaker at Ironcloud Wines “Bistro Felix is a superb restaurant with quality food and impeccable service. They have an impressively large wine list sourced from around the world, but if you’d like to bring along a special bottle you’ve been saving for a special occasion, then their BYO Cellar Nights , held every Tuesday, are the perfect chance. I might be biased, but I think the Ironcloud Cabernet Malbec 201 4 is the perfect choice to go toe-to-toe with their rich, French inspired menu.” Corkage: $12 per bottle (Tuesday only) 118-120 Rokeby Rd, Subiaco Visit the Bistro Felix website Royal India 
A first class Indian restaurant with top notch service and food. Recommended by Casey, wine blogger at The Traveling Corkscrew “This West Perth curry house love their tandoori! I like to take a nice bottle of Pinot Noir with me when dining at Royal India, as the fruity and savoury elegance in the wine works well with the plentiful spices in the dishes. However, it you're more of a fan of white wine, then an off-dry Gewürztraminer , Riesling or Müller-Thurgau would be ideal choices. Corkage is more like a first-class wine service at Royal India – the staff will take care of pouring your vino (they'll make sure your glass is never empty!) and they use lovely Plumm glassware to ensure your wine is showing at its upmost best.” Corkage: $10 per bottle (Sunday to Thursday only) 1134 Hay St, West Perth 6005 Visit the Royal India website   For more Perth restaurant ideas make sure you visit Casey's very comprehensive Perth BYO restaurant list . Or, if you're heading to Melbourne or Sydney then check-out our Melbourne and Sydney BYO restaurant articles.
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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