Adelaide boasts a wonderful selection of wine bars offering the best local drops and international stars alongside tantalising food.
Did you know that wine is slowly becoming Australia’s favourite alcoholic drink? As Australians sip less alcohol overall, wine looks to overtake the traditional favourite of beer. This factoid is a no-brainer in Adelaide, a city wedged between so many world-class wine regions. Sitting beside the inimitable Barossa Valley, McLaren vale and the Adelaide Hills, with even more spiralling out across South Australia, Adelaide is a nirvana for wine-lovers.
Nothing demonstrates Adelaide’s wine culture or caters to our growing taste for the vine better than the recent emergence of fantastic wine bars across the city. With a range of boutique locales all over town, there are more than enough options to keep your glass full, plus show off the best wines SA and the world have to offer.
Tucked away behind Rundle Street, Mother Vine is the perfect spot to enjoy a local or imported wine along with some delicious tapas style dining amid gorgeous modern design.
A couple dozen wines are always on selection at Mother Vine, with most coming from South Australian regions like the Adelaide Hills and Eden Valley, along with a few rarities from international vino powerhouses like France, Italy, Greece and Spain. Food-wise, the hot tip is to grab the Motherboard; a typically Mediterranean collection of charcuterie, cheeses, nuts and olives.
THE TASTING ROOM
Literally just across the road from Mother Vine you will find the Tasting Room as part of the East End Cellars. This gem pairs the joy of tasting wines with purchasing them.
Customers can happily wander into the Tasting Room’s breezy surrounds to taste that particular week’s featured wines along with nibbles and reputedly the best toasted sandwiches in Adelaide. Then, you can pop next door to the Cellars to pick up whatever you fancy to enjoy a drink on the terrace or at home.
Cantina Sociale is one of Adelaide’s truly special wine bars. There is no other place in the city where one can buy their wine straight from the barrel.
This unique spot on Sturt Street possesses a gorgeous stack of barrels containing an ever-changing roster of premium local wines, and watching the sweet nectar spill forth from those taps is a fine form of theatre indeed. A range of delicious rustic cuisine also accompanies the wines at Cantina Sociale, with meats, cheeses, terrines and tasty arancini on the menu.
LOFT OYSTER AND WINE BAR
Set a floor above the bustling foodie heaven that is Gouger St, the smartly sophisticated Loft Oyster and Wine Bar sits in a repurposed ballroom and serves wine alongside a stunning seafood menu.
The wines cover a broad swathe of styles and points of origin, from German Riesling to New Zealand Pinot Noir to the obligatory South Australian Shiraz. These are best enjoyed while sucking down a few fresh oysters and appreciating the view, both inside and over the balcony.
Proof, yet another hidden treasure of Adelaide’s small bar scene, lies on Anster Street just off Waymouth, and specialises in top notch service, wonderful local and international wines, small plates and cocktails.
Set in warm and wooden surrounds, Proof has multiple levels, including a top storey terrace. With a variety of seating areas on offer and high level service, Proof is an ideal location to head with a loved one or a celebrating group.
LA BUVETTE DRINKERY
Hiding away off Hindley on Gresham Street is a little slice of Paris in La Buvette Drinkery.
Step into this classically decorated small bar and you’ll feel as though you just disembarked the Metro for a night of drinking avec des amis. Stocking a solid range of natural and organic wines from SA and France, La Buvette Drinkery also specialises in aperitif and bites of French cuisine.
The little bull that could, Bar Torino is a trendy spinoff from its neighbour Chianti, and proudly proclaims itself as a vermouth bar.
This speciality wine bar merges Chianti’s Italian tradition with a Spanish one, serving up a variety of the fortified wine that is vermouth, laced with curious varietals and brilliant history to boot. Of course, Bar Torino is known for its brilliant modern cuisine and cocktails too.
Photos: Jonathan VDK, Andre Castellucci