15 Jan 2024

On cloud wine: The best wine menus in The Rocks

Will you accept this rosé? Take an afternoon or an evening to wander around the charming cobblestone laneways of The Rocks and sample the precinct’s best wine menus.

There’s nothing quite like a glass of cab sav next to a crackling fire, or a flute of Champagne in the sun, by the sea. The right drop can elevate any moment, signal a celebration or even inspire a little romance. 

To help you find those perfect moments and those delicious drops we’ve rounded up the 7 best wine menus in The Rocks. 

1. Château Tanunda

Our wine recommendation: The Everest Shiraz

In 1890 at a unique site in the Barossa Valley some of the region’s first vines were planted. 130 years later and Château Tanunda has won international recognition for producing some of the best wines in the world including an incredibly complex ‘100 year old vine shiraz’. Their cellar door at The Rocks, in a 1860s sandstone building, is a gateway to the Barossa Valley, stocking all the iconic winery’s best drops - including the pinnacle of their selection, the Everest Shiraz. 

2. Altitude

Our wine recommendation: Glaetzer-Dixon La Judith Pinot Noir

Perched on level 36 of the Shangri-La, with panoramic views across the glittering Sydney Harbour, you’ll find Altitude - a fine dining restaurant that won four awards at the 2022 wine list of the year (including best listing of Australian wine). Here you’ll find 17 pages of wine, curated by an experienced sommelier team, with a particular focus on Australian wine. Our go to is the Glaetzer-Dixon La Judith Pinot Noir 2015, a brooding and complex Tasmanian pinot noir that wine critic Stuart McCloskey rated a near perfect 98/100. 

3. Mode Kitchen & Bar

Our wine recommendation: Rippon Mature Vine riesling

Mode Kitchen & Bar is a hatted restaurant that serves simple yet elevated, seasonal cuisine courtesy of an immensely talented team in the kitchen. Their wine menu is curated by a sommelier with a deep passion for wine, and includes 16+ pages of Australian drops from key growing regions, plus the best from all over the world. We’d usually pick an Australian vino, but we can’t go past the Rippon Mature Vine riesling, a tart delight from the shores of Lake Wanaka - a stunning alpine town in New Zealand’s deep south.

4. Pony Dining

Our wine recommendation: Fabien Jouves Orange

Pony Dining cooks almost every item on their menu in a blazing woodfire, adding charred flavour to the finest Australian produce. Their wine menu compliments their rustic but elevated cuisine perfectly. Our favourite drop on their stellar list is the Fabien Jouves Orange - a wine that is literally orange in colour after the grape skins are fermented in open tanks with the wine, giving it a unique flavour of peaches, herbs and cinnamon. 

5. Luna Lu

Our wine recommendation: Handpicked Prosecco DOP

Luna Lu serves sophisticated Chinese cuisine, elevated by premium Australian produce, in elegant surrounds. They’ve also got a cracking wine list, which is sorted into flavour profiles and food matches (e.g. lighter, lifted reds, Asian cuisine whites). We’d recommend a magnum of the ‘Handpicked Italian prosecco’, a lively drop that’s surprisingly affordable. 

6. Whalebridge

Our wine recommendation: NV Laurent-Perrier Brut

Whalebridge is the ultimate summer spot, serving luxurious French Bistro cuisine a ripple away from Sydney Harbour. Their expertly chosen wine list features the perfect tipple for every occasion, including a selection of non-vintage Champagne that feels just right for the setting. Our personal favourite is the NV Laurent-Perrier Brut - a bright Chardonnay forward wine that tastes of lemon sherbet and sunshine. 

7. 6HEAD

Our wine recommendation: Zema 'Family Selection' Cabernet Sauvignon

6HEAD is one of Sydney’s best steak restaurants with stunning views across the Sydney Harbour from its waterfront position. We think it’s criminal not to pair perfectly cooked Australian red meat with a rich Australian red wine - our favourite on their list is the Zema Family Selection Cabernet Sauvignon. Produced by a family vineyard in South Australia, this robust red bursts with flavours of blackberry and vanilla.