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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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The Panel’s Top 6 Wine Styles To Drink This Summer
With the summer sizzle not far off, now is the perfect time to discover the Tasting Panel’s top 6 wine styles to keep you refreshed, radiant and ready to enjoy everyone’s favourite season! Sparkling Summer in Australia is the season for celebrations! The festive period, the end of the year, the ringing in of the New Year, staff parties, street parties and perhaps a birthday or two – the reasons for celebrating are endless. Sparkling wines are synonymous with celebration and letting your hair down. The fact that Sparkling wines can be made in so many different styles and from a multitude of varieties means it can suit so many different occasions. Rosé Rosé is one of the most on-trend wine styles across the globe at the moment. The success comes down to a rethink on what the best style of Rosé should be – dry, fresh and savoury is now (and rightly so) the preferred style. There’s no better colour of wine to enjoy in the sunshine and it makes sense that so many people are pouring pink. Riesling Summer is hot, and if you read the news, it’s only going to get hotter. Refreshment is much sought after by all of us during the summer months and there is no white more than Riesling.  Its noted high acid backbone is the key to its refreshing nature and it’s also a fabulous match to the lighter styles of food we crave in the warm weather. Vermentino Vermentino hails from the coast and islands of the Mediterranean. Freshness and energy are in its DNA. It pairs naturally well with fish and seafood along with lighter styles of cuisine. It is almost by design that this white variety should accompany all types of summer activities – whether it’s picnics, long lunches or twilight drinks. Grenache Grenache is revered for its silken and smooth texture. In the warmer months we may look for lighter styles of reds that don’t sacrifice flavour and Grenache should become a go to! It offers black and red fruit flavours and lots of spice. The fact that it perfectly suits barbeque fare is an instant plus. When it’s really hot outside Grenache won’t mind a quick chill in the ice bucket or fridge, either. Cabernet Franc It may not be as well-known as Cabernet Sauvignon, but this style is worth checking –  there are a lot of exciting and very ‘drinkable’ wines being made with Cab Franc at the moment. It delivers all the black and red fruits that Cab Sav offers, but does so in a lighter bodied frame which is the key to offering summer refreshment. It can be chilled lightly too, which is a great bonus! For all things wine, head to our blog!

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Pacific Reef Fisheries Best of the Best RAS President's Medal
Words by Words Ed Halmagyi on 12 Jan 2017
Winner of the prestigious NSW Royal agricultural society president's medal, pacific reef fisheries are revolutionising aquaculture one luscious Cobia at a time. The rich alluvial plains that straddle Queensland's Burdekin River on the Whitsunday Coast are some of Australia's best agricultural land. Tomatoes, melons, capsicums and more find their way to markets all over the nation from here. But as the river nears the coast, salt-tinged air from the Coral Sea takes hold, making vegetable production less viable. Yet at Alva Beach an extraordinary story in Australian farming is unfolding. Nestled on the edge of the ocean, a vast series of deep 100m2 pools are laid out, each one teeming with life; swirling masses move below the surface, seen only by the way the water wrinkles in the sunlight. This unique farm is home to some of Australia's best seafood, for in these ponds, Pacific Reef Fisheries breed delicious tiger prawns, and one of the world's most impressive fish - the cobia. TROPICAL ORIGINS Australians usually refer to cobia as 'black kingfish', but this is misleading for the fish is actually a relative of remora, those sucker-fish seen attached to sharks in documentaries. Native to the world's tropical waters, it has an oil-rich pearl-white flesh, prized by chefs because that lush oil does not leach out when cooked - distinguishing cobia from other species. Cobia is also well-adapted to aquaculture, and the Alva Beach joint venture between  Pacific Reef Fisheries  and the Queensland Department of Primary Industries produces fish of unrivalled quality, plus the commercial, social and environmental standards under which it operates are world leading. For these reasons, Pacific Reef Fisheries was the recipient of the 2015 President's Medal from the NSW Royal Agricultural Society , Australia's top award for excellence in food. CONQUERING AQUACULTURE Two big challenges for aquaculture are inputs and outputs - feed and wastewater. Traditionally fishmeal has been made from vast quantities of trawled target species like pilchards and anchovies. While these fish are not currently under threat, that system is unsustainable as a growing aquaculture market will eventually pressure stock numbers. To this end, Pacific Reef are working with the CSIRO and other Australian businesses to replace wild fish with farmed sources. The effect is to create a positive net fish benefit - more fish come out than go in. As the fish are farmed in on-land ponds, as opposed to traditional sea cages, the quantity of feed input is more easily controlled, resulting in less waste and the elimination of localised pollution. Output water from the ponds can also be a problem, as it becomes nutrient-rich in a way that should not be simply returned to the ocean. To ensure it is as near to pure seawater as possible when it reaches the Coral Sea, the waste is filtered, then discharged through a purpose-planted mangrove system, enabling a second stage of filtration. It's an investment not only in the environment, but also in the business's commercial longevity. THE PRESIDENT'S MEDAL The RAS of NSW President's Medal recognises excellence in Australian produce. The 'best of the best' food and beverages from the Sydney Royal shows are nominated for the President's Medal. Finalists undergo a triple bottom line audit to assess social, economic and environmental impacts - making the President's Medal the most prestigious in the country. Find out more about the  President's medal in this recent article   ED HALMAGYI'S PAN-ROASTED COBIA WITH GARDEN PEAS AND OLIVES RECIPE
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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.
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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 .
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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