Wine Wonderland: Unearthing the Best Wine Bars in Potts Point
There are some fabulous wine bars in Potts Point but unless you are a local, you probably won’t have time to visit them all so today we present what we think are the top spots for when you are in the mood for a cheeky glass of red, crisp white or even some quality bubbles.
With their oak-lined streets and stunning Victorian and Art déco architectural marvels, the seaside suburbs of Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay are both popular picturesque destinations in the heart of the Sydney CBD. But there’s a lot more culture and wonder that’s ripe for experiencing here too, pun intended!
Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay also happen to have a rich culinary culture, with hidden gems of cafes, restaurants, and bars positioned in between all the picture-perfect terrace houses that dot these sun-kissed suburbs.
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If you’re a vinophile, then a trip to Potts Point and surrounding areas surely won’t disappoint. So where should you be going for a good glass of merlot or for some Australian Sauvignon Blanc?
Here’s our pick of the top 5 wine bars in Potts Point that you can visit during your time in Sydney.
Dear Sainte Eloise
In his memoir ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’, George Orwell penned a brief prayer to Saint Eloise that read: “Dear Sainte Eloise, if you exist, please send me some money. I don’t ask for much – just enough to buy some bread and a bottle of wine.”
This passionate request presents humankind’s basic needs for bread and wine as a unifier. All the world can sit down at a table to break bread and share a good bottle of wine with friends, no matter whether they’re a prince or a pauper. And if Dear Sainte Éloise can be praised for anything other than its impeccable and thoughtfully curated wine list, it’s for their warm and inviting atmosphere.
Self-described as ‘a place for wine and things to eat’, Dear Sainte Éloise certainly does provide a wine bar and kitchen for those who enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Their seasonal a la carte menu provides the perfect accompaniments for a range of your favourite bottles of vino, with favourites like locally sourced Murray cod, anchovy brioche, rich strip loin, and a variety of artisanal cheeses.
As for their drinks menu, you can enjoy Australian wine by the glass as well as Japanese sake, Mexican tequila, and some authentic French bottles so that you can immerse yourself in Orwell’s depictions of Paris from the 1930s.
Those who are walking through Potts Point in search of a good meal will be sure to have all their silent prayers answered during their visit to Dear Sainte Éloise.
Key Facts – Dear Sainte Éloise
Where: 5/29 Orwell St, Potts Point
When: Mon to Thurs 5pm-12am, Fri. 3pm – 12am, Sat.12pm – 12am, Sun 12pm – 10pm
Sister venue Love Tilly Devine in Darlinghurst is also worth a visit.
Located within Kings Cross and further in the action of the Sydney CBD, Bar Lucia provides a refreshing change of pace from some of Sydney’s more contemporary pubs and ‘hole in the wall bars.
For starters, Bar Lucia is gilded with European finery, its eggshell walls adorned with framed Romantic portraits and landscape paintings. Fine chandeliers hang from the ceiling, creating the illusion that you’re enjoying a fine meal and a glass of red right in the centre of an art gallery.
Bar Lucia’s wine list is also curated by renowned wine writer Kasia Sobiesiak, who uses her expert palate to provide a few insights into pairings along with her introductory descriptions for each and every bottle. Simply put, you won’t find a drinks list as detailed as Bar Lucia’s, making this Sydney wine spot a must-visit for serious oenophiles.
Bar Lucia’s unique Spanish-inspired menu, breathtaking interiors, and effortless melding of rustic Andalusian elements with elegant and stately Romantic architecture and decor also make this humble wine bar a top tier romantic date night spot in Sydney. Bring someone you love along to this wine spot in Potts Point if you want to watch them glow under the warm light of Lucia’s scintillating chandeliers.
Key Facts Bar Lucia
Where: 5 Kellett St, Potts Point
When: Tue-Thur 5pm-12am, Fri 5pm-1am, Sat 12pm-1am, Sun 12pm-10pm
Renowned for its Mediterranean-inspired dinner menu and air of European luxury, Bar Sopra is a popular haunt for many Potts Point locals and tourists alike. On the corner of Macleay Street and Challis Avenue, this particular wine spot is constantly bustling with life, and this energy and vigour are truly contagious.
If you’re looking for a vibrant bar to start off a lively evening in Sydney, then Potts Point Bar Sopra is certainly poised to be a worthy first stop.
Bar Sopra’s striking earthy toned interiors and palazzo marble bar work together to create an atmosphere that could very well feel you’re in the heart of Marrakech. And of course, Bar Sopra’s notable wine list is also just as eclectic as their interior decor, with a range of Australian and New Zealand-grown wines as well as some internationally sourced riojas, pinots, and some must-try authentic French cabernet Sauvignon.
Patrons at Bar Sopra can also enjoy a range of Mediterranean-inspired snacks, charcuterie dishes, and some local and international origin cheeses to enhance their selected bottles. But if you are looking to sample some of Sopra’s delectable snacks and mini eats, we recommend placing your reservation in advance, because this little Sydney wine bar fills up early, especially on weekends.
Key Facts Bar Sopra
Where: Shop 4/65 Macleay St, Potts Point
When: Mon, Wed-Fri – 4pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-Midnight, Sun 12pm-10pm
If you’ve been thinking that a lot of the wine spots on this list have been particularly fancy or high-brow then strap in for our exploration of Potts Point’s most vivacious bar! Known for its expansive events calendar alongside its superb offering of Australian-made wines, spirits, and craft beers, Grove Bar has been designed to be a space for sheer joy and celebration.
Grove Bar is also renowned for being an inclusive wine bar, with low alcohol and nonalcoholic drinks menus available as well as plenty of plant-based menu items for vegans and vegetarians to enjoy.
They also offers ‘Happy Hours’ daily from opening till 7pm, so arrive early to enjoy $7 house spirits, bubbly, house wines, and even a selection of craft tinnies for non-wine drinkers.
But back to their wine list, because there’s lots to talk about! Grove Bar believes in maintaining a seasonal menu for both their kitchen and their bar, so you can expect their flavours to change with the weather. But their cellar offerings are largely evergreen, so it’s well worth sampling some of the locally sourced Australian wines that they have on offer here.
Grove Bar also does their sommelier research in a major way by specifying whether wines on their list are sustainably produced, organic, and even vegan (i.e. no animals were harmed in the winemaking process). With this abundance of information at your fingertips, having a tipple at Grove Bar is guaranteed to be nothing short of enriching and immersive.
Key facts: Grove Bar
Where: 68 Darlinghurst Rd, Potts Point
When: Weds-Thurs 6pm – Late Fri-Sun 3pm – Late
Chester White Cured Diner
Let’s conclude this little list with another salt of the earth establishment that’s sure to bring plenty of cheer for all you more casual wine and food connoisseurs.
Located at the corner of Orwell Street and Earl Street and just to the east of Woolloomooloo, you’ll find the modest entrance to Chester White Cured Diner, a wine spot that’s renowned for its selection of expertly cured meats, seafood, and pasta offerings alongside its passionately curated drinks menu.
Chester White originally opened its doors in Potts Point as a wine and house-cured charcuterie bar before expanding their menu to include locally sourced seafood and hearty pasta dishes. This expanded range of dinner offerings inspired a similar dynamic evolution of Chester White’s wine list and wider drinks menu. Patrons can enjoy wines sourced from all over the world, including from South America, Europe, and from right here in Oceania.
Despite possessing a meat-heavy dinner menu, the team at the Chester White Cured Diner also offers a range of vegan and vegetarian-friendly menu options, ensuring that there’s a little of something for all of their patrons to enjoy. Their seasonal salads and hand-rolled gnocchi are particular favourites amongst their low- and no-meat dinner guests.
The diner itself is a terrace house that’s been converted into a cosy little bar and restaurant. The final result of this conversion is an undeniably warm and welcoming local haunt with both indoor and outdoor seating. Those who are looking to feel present in Potts Point rather than transported elsewhere will find lots to love at this cute little wine spot.
Key Facts Chester White Diner
Where: 3 Orwell St, Potts Point
When: Tue-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-11pm
Next time you find yourself in Potts Point, try adding a visit to any of these top-rated wine bars to your itinerary. Chances are you’ll get to enjoy a delectable meal and wine pairing as well as a unique ambience and atmosphere no matter where you go.
Discover more of Potts Point
Once you have seen the best bars in the area, take our walking tour of Potts Point to discover the iconic art déco buildings.
Take a small bar tour with Local Sauce to discover more great places to drink in Sydney.
About the author: Paula Morgan, a born-and-bred Sydney resident, has been sharing this city and its secret spots for over 15 years. She’s not just about the iconic landmarks; she’s all about the hidden alleys adorned with street art, and the joy of discovering a new café or a fabulous restaurant tucked away in a corner you never knew existed and weekends away exploring regional NSW.