In Food + Drink

Sommeliers On Their Favourite By-The-Glass Wine Lists In Perth

By-the-glass wine lists tend to pale in comparison to heavy weight full bottle lists. These Perth bars buck the norm, offering exciting pours, one glass at a time.

One of the greatest pleasures of group dining is the ability to deep dive into restaurant’s wine list and try a number of bottles. Arguably, the wines by-the-glass list tends to hold fewer treasures and more commercially proven pours (here’s looking at you, New Zealand sauvignon blanc). For wine connoisseurs, a by-the-glass list that lets you weave from interesting textural whites to elegant syrahs sans bottle commitment is a wonderful thing.

These Perth restaurants go above and beyond with their by-the-glass selections, as recommended by leading sommeliers Rachael Niall of Budburst Small Bar and wine consultant Emma Farrelly.

Lalla Rookh

A small selection from Piedmont. Photo: Lalla Rookh

With high praise from local sommeliers, Lalla Rookh is a favourite within the Perth hospitality industry. Highly recommended by Farrelly for their by-the-glass wine list, it also makes the cut as one of Niall’s favourite CBD wine lists.

“A world-class venue with an Italian-focused list. I like to find a quiet corner in the wine room, and lose an afternoon tasting a heap of intriguing wines, with a big bowl of pasta,” Niall says.

“I don’t often let anyone choose wine for me, but here I’m in safe hands with sommelier team and will be happy for them to guide and pour whatever they like. Being able to buy a few bottles to take home is really handy…and dangerous.”

Lalla Rookh has two by-the-glass wine lists (yes, two), providing patrons with ample styles and price points to select from. If you are after something really special, their premium wine list allows you to sample some of the greatest wines, from the best wine making regions of the world.

This list pours by the glass or half glass, and can range in price from $28-$70 a glass. At times, they even pour Rousseau – the oldest and greatest domaine in Burgundy, and a favourite of Farrelly.

“They always manages to have something on the pour I’ve never heard of before which keeps me on my toes. So many good Italians, and they have olives wrapped in meat. Need I say more?,” she says.

Lower Ground, 77 St Georges Terrace, Perth 

Mayfair Lane

At Mayfair, the by-the-glass wine list outnumbers the bottled and tap beers available. Photo: Mayfair Lane

Bordering the CBD and Subiaco, Mayfair Lane is another of Niall’s recommendations for a great by-the-glass selection.

Although technically classed as a pub, Mayfair lane puts forward a larger number of wines by the glass than it does beers (both tap and bottle). The 40 wines available for purchase by glass may seem remarkable, but it pales in comparison to the full six-page wine list.

This wine list comes courtesy of Foni Pollitt, owner and wine enthusiast. After years of travelling the world and learning all that there is to learn about wine, Foni and her husband Chris have channeled their knowledge in to the epic food and wine menu at Mayfair Lane.

“Foni is one of the best in the business when it comes to wine and the list here is proof. She and her husband Chris make you feel very welcome in their beautifully renovated pub, which I most enjoy going to for a lazy Sunday lunch,” Niall says.

“There are actually two wine lists here (one bar, one restaurant) so there are a lot of wines by the glass to choose from, ranging from a fresh Assyrtiko from Greece to an aged Cabernet from Margaret River.”

77 Outram St, Perth 

Budburst Small Bar

As a sommelier herself, it goes without saying that Niall’s own bar, the Mt Hawthorn-based Budburst Small Bar, has one of Perth’s most impressive by-the-glass wine lists. In 2016, Budburst was named as a finalist in the ‘Best New Wine List in Australia’ category of the Gourmet Traveller WINE awards.

It’s also a firm favourite Farrelly’s.

“Budburst has the exact feel of what I want out from a neighborhood bar. It’s super friendly and cosy, and Rach has put together a beautiful little list. Plus, she always has a Pet Nat on the pour which I love,” she says.

Niall puts the spotlight on lesser known wines; and enjoys putting both established and up and coming wine producers from all over the world, side by side. Curated with food in mind, the selection heroes medium bodied reds, and lively whites.

Budburst’s wine list also favours natural wines. By the glass, there is a great selection of wines made with as little intervention as possible – the BK Wines Pètillant Naturale being one of Farrelly and Niall’s favourite inclusions.

Petition Wine Bar and Merchant

Have a glass of wine in the bar, and then grab a bottle to take home. Photo: Petition/Facebook

It would be remiss of us not to include one of Farrelly’s own wine lists. As head sommelier and beverage manager for all venues within the State Buildings, she looks after Petition Wine Bar and Merchant, a cosy wine bar and store in the city’s State Buildings.

Farrelly has Australia well represented in wines by the glass, with a few Italian, Spanish, Austrian and Argentinian wines also making the cut. There’s no typical bold Australian Shiraz here; instead, a range of less familiar varietals and regions are put on show, including an alglianico and slankamenka bela, and a citrusy, spicy gruner veltliner from Austria.

While their by-the-glass wine list rates highly, their picture perfect library of bottles (complete with sliding ladder) is even more highly celebrated. You can browse and purchase from the selection on the shelves, then enjoy it in the space, or take it home for later.

Cnr Georges Tce and Barrack St, Perth 

Il Lido

The dining room, complete with ‘wine wall’ to one side. Photo: Stephen Nicholls/Il Lido

Named Best Wine List in Western Australia by the Gourmet Traveller WINE Awards for 2018, it’s fair to say that Il Lido also boasts one of Perth’s best by-the-glass wine lists.

Il Lido has always been a firm favourite in the Perth dining scene. Their picturesque beachside location and an Italian menu catering to the more discerning diner solidified them as one of Perth’s favourite eateries. Since a change in management in 2015, their revamped wine bar has made its mark too.

Expertly curated by head sommelier Dan Wegener, Il Lido’s impressive wine list of 450 bottles showcases wines that aren’t necessarily within the confines of the current trends, offering guests something new and interesting to try, with a heavy focus on Italian pours. With a large presence of lesser known varietals on the 35 strong by-the-glass wine list, the sommeliers at Il Lido are well versed in making recommendations for an expert meal pairing.

88 Marine Parade, Cottesloe 

The by-the-glass wine lists at these notable Perth venues changes regularly, so it is always worth calling in every now and then to see what new and exciting wine is on rotation.

(Lead image: Budburst Small Bar)

Published 14 August, 2017