Oenophiles, it’s time to raise your glasses to the myriad ways Perth celebrates wine – whether its horse-drawn wine tours, basement wine bars or day trips to one of the country’s oldest wine regions. Chin-chin!
Full Bottle (www.fullbottle.net.au) | Run from the Wine Education Centre in the Claremont Showgrounds, Full Bottle offers Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses of varying levels, as well as themed tastings and courses.
School of Wine (www.schoolofwine.com.au) | Offers independent, ‘snob-free’ wine classes and socials held at bars and restaurants around Perth, as well as corporate and private events at one’s home or choice of venue.
Must Winebar (must.com.au) | Wine education masterclasses with Must wine buyer and consultant Paul McArdle, as well as dinners
with renowned winemakers.
Steves Fine Wine & Food (steves.com.au) | Masterclasses featuring different regions of the wine world as well as other themed tastings.
Top 5 Wine Tours
1. d’Vine Wine Tours
Run by energetic young couple Ewen Lawrie and Breana Agnello, this Swan Valley tour is a little cooler than most, and is perfect for those who want to focus more on wine education and less on getting pissed. dvinetours.com.au.
2. Bickley Valley Horse Tours
What better way to see the Perth Hills’ Bickley Valley than on horseback? The Cellar Door Tour is a three-hour jaunt to some of the region’s top wineries. Wines purchased can be collected back at base. bickleyvalleyhorsetours.com.
3. Swan Valley Wagon Trails
If you’re more comfortable being pulled by a horse than riding on one, this tour is for you. An afternoon in a Clydesdale-drawn, weatherproof wagon includes stops at local wineries, as well as olive oil, honey, and ice-cream producers. swanvalleywa.com.
4. Burgundy Wine Tours
Only 20 minutes from Perth’s CBD, the lush Chittering Valley Wine Trail offers a more off-the-beaten-track, intimate experience where you’ll get to speak to the winemakers/owners in small groups. burgundywinetours.com.au.
5. Taste Bud Tours
Unleash the wino and foodie in you by participating in a Speed Grazing tour of wineries, breweries, coffee houses, chocolate makers and a lavender farm, all in the Swan Valley. tastebudtours.com.au.
Perth's 10 Best Wine Bars
Andaluz Bar and Tapas, CBD
What do you get when Spain collides with Australia? A list of mostly Spanish wines, plus tapas with a contemporary twist in a sleek, historic setting.
Best for Wooing a corporate client.
Bad Apples Bar, Ardross
Wine-tasting machines allow you to swap your credit card for a tasting card and go nuts. Worry about the bill later.
Best for The indecisive among us.
It’s small plates of authentic Spanish fare and a mostly Iberian wine list at Perth’s original tapas bar.
Best for Kickstarting the night.
A tiny, unpretentious, tucked-away gem showcasing local artwork, seasonal produce, and constantly rotating, unusual wines scribbled on a chalkboard.
Best for Impressing a first date.
Lalla Rookh Wine Store, CBD
Weird and wonderful small batch, mostly ‘natural’ wines, down-to-earth staff, and Italian comfort food.
Best for After-work drinks.
Must Winebar, Highgate
Hard-to-find wines from around the world. Buy a bottle to take home or have it delivered to your door.
Best for Date night.
The Precinct, East Victoria Park
A small but perfectly formed list comprises wines from small-scale, über-cool producers. Excellent by-the-glass options.
Best for Weeknight tipple.
Print Hall Bar, CBD
One of the best wines lists in all of Australia, from ancient icons to the hottest new producers. Ask for recommendations and get adventurous.
Best for Impressing a visitor.
Steves Fine Wine and Food, Nedlands
A mammoth cellar stocked with gems, wine-friendly European bistro food, tasting machines, and a plethora of wine events.
Best for Unleashing your inner wine geek.
The Wine Store + Kitchen, East Fremantle
This cosy-yet-classy local watering hole serves up mostly artisan wines with shared plates of Argentine-inspired goodness.
Best for Chillaxing with friends.
A perfect day in the Swan Valley
We are super lucky to have one of Australia’s oldest wine regions on our city’s doorstep. In under 30 minutes, even the slickest of city-dwellers can dirty their hands amongst 180-year-old vines. Here are our tips for a top day out in the Swan Valley.
Who doesn’t love wine for breakfast? Start your day at Pinelli Winery sipping its newly released vermentino. From there, head to Sandalford for a behind-the-scenes tour, or, if you feel like playing Winemaker for a Day, participate in one of its Saturday workshops and blend your own wine. You’ll be getting peckish by this point, so swing by Jane Brook Estate and nibble on one of the colourful seasonal platters, or if it’s the first Sunday of the month, indulge in an All Fired Up Feast of slow cooked meats, soups and salads. Alternatively, lunch at Sittella Winery is a more upscale affair, with stunning views of the vineyards and food to match. Pair its sparkling Blanc de Blancs with, well, everything. Next stop is Talijancich, a historic family-run winery that, true to the valley’s roots, makes some of the best fortified wines and liqueurs around. For a very personal experience, swing by Entopia Wines for a walk in the vineyards with the winemakers, or participate in a Wine 101 class at Upper Reach Winery. Nearby is Faber, the well-reputed winery whose verdelho, the flagship white grape of the region, is not to miss. Finally, on your way home, stop for a tasting at Mandoon Estate, the most awarded winery in WA, and the perfect end to a wine-filled day in the Valley.
Indie wine shops
Steer clear of the booze barns! Perth’s independent wine shops are where to head when in search of quality, not quantity.
- The Wine Store 48 George Street, East Fremantle (08) 6424 9500
- La Vigna Liquor 302 Walcott Street, Menora (08) 9271 1179?
- Old Bridge Cellars 221 Queen Victoria Street, North Fremantle (08) 9335 2702
- Lalla Rookh Wine Store 77 St Georges Terrace, Perth (08) 9325 7077
- Steve’s Fine Wine 30 The Avenue, Nedlands (08) 9386 3336
- Subi Liquor Store Crossways Shopping Centre, Rokeby Road, Subiaco (08) 9381 3845
- Lamont’s Wine Store 12 Station Street, Cottesloe (08) 9385 0666
- Re Store 231 Oxford Street, Leederville (08) 9444 9644
- West Coast Liquor 30 Ainsbury Parade, Clarkson (08) 9305 8976
- De Vine Cellars 911 Beaufort Street, Inglewood (08) 9271 9197
- Liquor Barons Mt Lawley 654 Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley (08) 9271 0886
- Your Shout Liquor 49 Guildford Road, Mt Lawley (08) 9271 1047
A glass of wine with…
Dan Wegener, beverage director and head sommelier at Print Hall
What is the most expensive bottle
on Print Hall’s wine list?
1990 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, at $19,500 a bottle. It’s also the most expensive piece of real estate on the planet!
What is your favourite WA wine?
This very second, I love Woodlands Unoaked Cabernet Franc. It’s a real masterpiece.
What would be your desert island wine?
1990 Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Musigny (Grand Cru Burgundy).
If you could have a glass of wine with any celebrity, who would it be, and what would you drink?
Seeing as I’m going grey, I would say George Clooney. Since he has a house in Bellagio [Italy] we’d be drinking nebbiolo from nearby Valtellina.
Pair a wine with this song: I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Frank Sinatra
Jacques Selosse Champagne! [Anselme] Selosse is so in tune with every barrel, each one is like a child to him.