15 Jan 2024

The vinophile’s guide to the Rocks: Venues as vinos

The Rocks is a microcosm of Sydney with dozens of venues of all shades, shapes and sizes in charming heritage buildings - from labyrinth wine bars, to subterranean whiskey joints.

With all this choice it can be hard to decide on a spot for your next drink, so on the eve of The Rocks wine month, we’ve decided to try something a little different for the vinophiles. These are venues as vinos - the best bars in The Rocks described as our favourite wine varietals. 

Doss House - Shiraz

The Doss House is a subterranean whiskey bar where leather booths and shelves of antique books are lit by dim candlelight. A drink here is a little like savouring a serious Australian shiraz - dark, moody and intense in the best possible way. 

Alice - Pinot Noir

Alice is an exclusive cocktail bar with a sultry, velveteen vibe that reminds us of the smooth, smoky pinot noirs that come from New Zealand’s famous Central Otago winemaking region. 

Bar Lulu - Huangjiu, or yellow wine

Huangjiu or yellow wine is a Chinese wine made with glutinous rice with a rich, sherry-like flavour. It’s utterly delicious with a slightly unexpected flavour that pairs perfectly with the creative Chinese cuisine at Bar Lulu. 

Blu Bar on 36 - French Champagne

Visiting Blu Bar makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. The service is effervescent and the venue incomparable - being here feels a little like sipping a glass of the finest French champagne. 

Endeavour Tap Rooms - Piquette

Endeavour Tap Rooms is the perfect place to try something new, from hazy IPAs to hard ginger beers - all brewed on site. It’s unique and a little unexpected, just like piquette - a mid-strength wine (3-8%) made by refermenting leftover grapes. 

Fortune of War Hotel - Muscat of Alexandria

Muscat of Alexandria is considered to be one of the oldest grape vines in the world, originating at the Western edge of the Nile Delta in Egypt. Similarly, the Fortune of War is Sydney’s oldest bar - you can even feel the history here. 

The Keel - Merlot

This rum bar and ex-sailor’s home is all dark wood, mystery and sophistication - a little like a drop of bold, muscular merlot from the McLaren Vale.

Frank Macs - Sauvignon Blanc

Just like a glass of chilled sav, heritage gin bar Frank Macs is a dependably good time, and can get a little zesty later in the evenings. 

Hickson House Distilling Co - Riesling

Hickson House Distilling Co’s award winning housemade gins are all packed with botanicals, including refreshing citrus notes. A G&T here feels just as good as sipping a dry riesling in the sunshine. 

Le Foote - Orange wine

Le Foote is a labyrinth venue with wall murals, servers brimming with quirky character and hidden nooks and crannies. It’s exciting, unexpected and a little weird - just like the intriguing orange wines they have on their menu. 

Maybe Sammy - Chardonnay

Sometimes you can’t beat the classics. That goes for classic cocktail bars like Maybe Sammy that mix some of Sydney’s best tipples, and wine varietals like Chardonnay, which never get old. 

The Argyle - Prosecco

A night at the Argyle feels how a glass of prosecco tastes. It’s bubbly, it’s fun and it won’t cost you the world.

The Glenmore Hotel - Rosé

Sometimes you can’t beat simple pleasures. Like sipping a glass of fruity, chilled rosé in the sun - preferably on the roof of the Glenmore Hotel, where big yellow is always shining and the rosé is always flowing. 

The Push - Riesling

Riesling is an old school drop with sophistication and a tangy flavour that speaks of good times and long nights. Just like The Rocks most vibey cocktail bar, The Push.