Warm up with a cheeky bev
Get out of the cold this winter and sample Victorian wines, cocktail creations, fine spirits and local brews at our state’s top regional bars. From luxe vintage furnishings to ambient lighting and bar eats that will warm your soul, these bars have the best winter vibes.
Wine novices and oenophiles alike can quench their thirst with local Victorian wines or international classics at Victoria’s cosiest wine bars.
In Ballarat, you can sample regional wines accompanied by a cheese platter at RJM’s Wine Bar, savour the flavour of deep reds on your palate at Pencilmark Wine Room, or get a taste of Europe in an art deco space at Ellington’s Wine Bar & Rooftop.
Head to Geelong and the Bellarine to explore the regional hub’s emerging wine scene. Some notable influences are Union Street Wine, an intimate space with affable hospitality and unparalleled wine expertise, and The Covenant Wine Bar, where you can taste and purchase the country’s best cool-climate wines by the bottle. Further down the coast in Torquay, lounge back in a leather armchair with a charcuterie board and glass of Australia’s finest at Mr Archer Wine Bar.
Get spirited in regional Victoria with a tasting paddle of locally-produced gin or a carefully curated cocktail made with our state’s finest spirits.
Visit the Great Ocean Road Gin Kitchen in Aireys Inlet and get comfy in this warm and inviting space, which is described as modern industrial meets the coast. Situated right next to the Great Ocean Road Tasting Room, this is the best of both worlds, with gin produced along our picturesque coast as well as a food menu inspired by South-East Asian influences.
For an elegant gin cocktail experience, spend the evening at Naught Distilling in Eltham. Sit back in the moody interior and sip classic cocktails or house specials worthy of a Hollywood soiree.
Step back to the era of luxe leather lounges, swanky interiors and shelves lined with the finest liquors at a vintage bar.
Travel below the iconic smokestack at the Federal Mills in Geelong for tasty tapas and a sommelier on hand to curate your drinks experience at 1915. Head to the up and coming foodie destination, Little Malop Street, and experience the speakeasies of New York and Chicago during prohibition at The 18th Amendment Bar.
Embark on a journey that starts with a drink, leads to a meal and leaves you wanting to come back for more at Roy Hammond in central Ballarat. Think Korean-inspired dishes and signature cocktails like ‘The Orient Express’, a tasty combo of Bass and Flinders Orient Gin, Strangelove Coastal Tonic and a dash of lemon and thyme.
At William Walker Whisky and Wine Bar in Bright you can warm your soul after a big day on the slopes with an Irish whisky or High Country Wine, while at the San Remo Hotel Motel you can watch the footy with a beer in hand at the sports bar or dine on fine cuisine in the restaurant.
Drinks with a tasty side
Winter means comfort food, so treat yourself to a night in the regions filled with hearty seasonal food and tasty drink pairings. The beachfront in Dromana is home to Deadwood Dromana, a quirky saloon bar and restaurant with creative cocktails, craft beer and American food, while Hop Temple in Ballarat has a fun industrial vibe with more than 220 craft beers and ciders on offer.
Looking for a gluten free option? Check out Recess Bar and Eats in the heart of Geelong, a bubbly bar with expert bartenders who can whip up whatever your heart desires and a menu loaded with all your favourite winter dishes, from pan fried gnocchi to slow cooked beef cheek. A food coma has never sounded so good.