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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.


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


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


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


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


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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Take Out Tastings: Your Go-To Guide For Pairing Wine And Indian
The vibrant, exotic and delicious world of Indian food has found an ever-increasing fan base in Australia, and we all have our favourite local Indian restaurant with its menu of must-have favourite dishes. With its fantastic spices and countless variations, Indian cuisine can be a little difficult to match with wine and often people simply opt for a cooling beer when things get a bit too spicy. So, to help you get the most of out of your next Indian takeout order, we’ve put together this handy guide for pairing wine with some Australia’s most-loved Indian dishes. SAAG PANEER (Spinach with Indian Cheese) Light and aromatic whites work well with this vegetarian dish with its spinach base, cottage cheese and mild spices. Pairing Wine with Saag Paneer Matching wine styles : Light and aromatic or dry whites Pair with : Sauvignon Blanc /SSB blends, Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio , or Arneis   FISH CURRY Wonderfully fragrant and with an interesting texture, fish curry calls for white wines that are also aromatic and deliver lovely texture.   Pairing Wine with Fish Curry Matching wine styles : Light and aromatic or dry whites Pair with : Riesling , Grüner Veltliner, Gewürztraminer or Verdelho   BUTTER CHICKEN Creamy, rich, full of flavour and with a delicious mix of spices, this popular dish calls for a medium weight white wine with good acidity.   Pairing Wine with Butter Chicken Matching wine styles : Medium weight and textural whites Pair with : Chardonnay , aged Riesling or Semillon   TANDOORI CHICKEN Tandoori chicken is aromatic and quite smokey and often tastes almost beefy, so a light to medium weight and savoury red is the best red wine pairing. For white wine lovers, a good Riesling is also an option.   Pairing Wine with Tandoori Chicken Matching wine styles : Light to medium weight and savoury reds Pair with : Pinot Noir , Grenache /GSM blends, or Nero d’Avola   BEEF VINDALOO Sitting at the higher end of the spice-o-meter, Vindaloo is fiery and rich dish so avoid red wines with rich tannins as tannins will accentuate the heat.   Pairing Wine with Beef Vindaloo Matching wine styles : Fruit driven medium weight reds Pair with : Off dry Rosé , Merlot and Barbera   RULE OF THUMB In general, when it comes to matching wine with Indian food, white drinkers are safe with a dry, savoury style like Riesling for its universal appeal, while Rosé is also another great multi-purpose option. For the red drinkers out there, light to medium weight and savoury reds are a good choice, with Merlot working well with dishes that have a bit of heat.   Our final bit of advice when it comes to choosing wines to go with Indian food is to avoid overly tannic reds such as Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo or Montepulciano, which will accentuate any chilli heat or bitterness within the dish.   LEARN MORE For more great food and wine combinations, be sure to check out our dedicated Food and Wine Pairing pages.
Wine Icon: Seppeltsfield
Words by Paul Diamond on 8 Jun 2018
In 1970, Joni Mitchell released a song called Big Yellow Taxi. Do you remember it? It was a catchy, folky tune about the march of progress with little regard for the natural environment. “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot,” she lamented. Joni’s song reflected growing social concern, and like most great artists, she made her point through simple, relatable sentiment. In this case, it was, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.” Barossa’s Seppeltsfield and its stable of fortified treasures is one such rare bird that, without the bravery and foresight of a small few, could have easily slipped away forever.
Seppeltsfield’s significance Seppeltsfield’s importance to Australian wine goes beyond the historical and reflects much of what has defined Australia’s short history. The story, like many great Australian narratives, started with emigration when Joseph Ernst and Johanna Seppelt fled Prussia in 1849.   They came to the Barossa and started farming wheat, but Joseph soon saw an opportunity to supply the gold rush with fortified wine and spirits. He decided to have a go, planted grapes and began producing Tawny Port, Brandy, Gin and Vermouth. Seppeltsfield soon grew to be a big brand and a place defined by rows of date palms, that give it the look and feel of an oasis. This wine oasis went on to define what was possible in Australia and eventually grew to contain a massive gravity-fed winery, miles of wine infrastructure, 200 hectares of vines, a distillery, homesteads, stables and an imposing family mausoleum. Over the next 60+ years, the Seppelt family empire quadrupled and spread into Victoria to become a true wine powerhouse. Holdings included the iconic Seppelt’s Great Western estate and cellars in the Grampians, Mt Ida and Coppermine at Heathcote and the ground-breaking Drumborg vineyards at Henty. The output wines that the family produces soon began to define the taste and flavour of Australian wine.  
Gravity fed goodness In 1867, Joseph started production on a large-scale winery designed by his son Oscar ‘Benno’. The winery was built into the side of a hill as rows of open-topped fermenters, terraced down the hill to take advantage of gravity to move the fruit, without pumping, through the process of turning grape into wine. Ironically, this practical approach is now aspired to as a ‘minimalist’ winemaking practice as the gentle handling of the fruit is seen to yield the best results for texture and flavour. Sadly, Joseph died in 1878, so did not get to see the completion of this project. The winery was finished 11 years later and operated for nearly a century as a working symbol of vision, ingenuity and determination.  
A Para past A year before construction on the winery began, Benno began work on a cellar to age and store Seppeltsfield wines. The cellars took 12 years to build and were finished the year Joseph died. To honour his father, Benno began the yearly tradition of laying down a barrel of the finest Seppeltsfield Tawny with instructions that it was not to be bottled for at least 100 years. That first 1878 barrel still lives in the Seppeltsfield Centennial Cellar as part of the world’s only uninterrupted, drinkable timeline. This 140-barrel vinous time capsule is without doubt Australia’s greatest wine asset. Just like his father, Benno didn’t get to see the grandeur of his vision, but the collection he created spawned a range of Seppeltsfield wines under the coveted ‘Para’ label. There have been 400 Seppeltsfield Para variants released since 1922 and today’s Para Centennial, Para Vintage, Para Liqueur, Para Grand and Para Rare are part of Australia’s longest standing, continuous wine label in production. That first vintage is no longer sold but you can pick up a 100ml bottle of 1879 Para Tawny for $9700 plus tax.  
Progress bumps In the 50s and 60s, the dominance of fortifieds faded with the increased popularity of table wine. Fortifieds sales plummeted from 86 percent to only two percent of all wine sold in Australia. Over the next 20 years, Seppeltsfield became a corporate football as ownership passed from SA Brewing, to Penfolds Wine Group, to Southcorp Wines and from Fosters to Treasury Wine Estates. Multinationals generally value profit over heritage and the wine market is not immune: when the market shifts and share prices drop, assets get broken down and sold off to recoup investment. As fortified sales bottomed and the business moved from company to company, the future of Seppeltsfield became tenuous. The gravity fed winery was mothballed and parts of the operation fell into disrepair with no plans to restore. Fortuitously, the precious wine stocks and base materials during this period were under the guardianship of James Godfrey. As one of Australia’s fortified wine experts, James understood the value of what was in barrel and preserved the unbroken line of Seppeltsfield treasures.  
  A spirited rebirth Then in 2007, something changed; Janet Holmes à Court, Greg Paramor, Nathan Waks and Bruce Baudinet formed the Seppeltsfield Estate Trust and took over majority shares. Life started to pump back through Seppeltsfield’s veins, but things sped up two years later when Warren Randall, ex-winemaker for Seppelt Great Western, bought 50 percent of the shares. Warren hired Fiona Donald as Chief Winemaker and kick-started started a full refurb of the gravity fed winery. Four years later, Warren acquired 96 percent of the business and began renovations across the whole estate. The rejuvenation of Seppeltsfield is now almost complete with the establishment of FINO as the cellar door restaurant and the addition of the Jam Factory: a craft and design collective featuring ceramics, glass, furniture and jewellery, as well as a highly skilled Damascus cutler.  
A strong future The rebirth of Seppeltsfield is in full swing and visitation is tipped to reach 200,000 this year. The winery is in full production mode, FINO is seen as the best cellar door restaurant in the Barossa and a new range of table wines with fresh labelling has recently been released. Seppeltsfield is now humming and with Chief Winemaker Fiona Donald taking care of the wines, it is clear that wine quality across the entire fortified range is going to get better and better. While fortifieds still represents less than three percent of sales in Australia, things are looking up. International sales are growing and as cellar door visitation grows, more discover and gain an appreciation for these wines with immense complexity, depth and flavour. It’s a warming thought that this wine paradise is not going to be pulled down for a parking lot any time soon.

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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
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 .
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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