As autumn kicks in, it’s time to put light summer foods and chilled cocktails aside, and embrace wine and cheese. Cosy up at these great bars.
The General Assembly
With a Six Degrees Architects fit-out and street art by Blender Studios, The General Assembly brings contemporary smarts to boozy, cheesy indulgence. Will you go the board of blue, camembert and manchego, or the box baked camembert with honey, thyme and walnut bread? Choose some wine, which is mostly from Victoria, SA and Europe, and enjoy the South Wharf views.
Melbourne Supper Club
Among the city’s classiest bars for 20 years now, the Melbourne Supper Club has the gracious air of a private English club. The obscure entrance leads to a wood-panelled space filled with big armchairs and couches perfect for settling in with wine and cheese. It’s got one of the most impressive wine lists in town, and is open until the wee hours, so take your time.
Milk the Cow
Milk the Cow Licensed Fromagerie – Australia’s first – is where wine-and-cheese dreams come true. Choose from more than 180 cheeses from around the world, or numerous cheesy dishes, from three kinds of fondue to boozy gelato. It gets better, with events like Champagne and cheese masterclasses and a monthly foodie trivia night.
One of Melbourne’s original cool bars, Punch Lane now has a little sister down in the basement, Juliet Melbourne. She’s also a sophisticated lady focused on fine wine and food, but her style is more retro-industrial. Think whitewashed brick walls, exposed pipes and 60s leather sofas. Then think about that menu of superior cheeses and small plates, including gooey raclette with jamon, cornichons, taters, house mustard and sourdough. Strictly a late-week-evening venue, with live jazz on Thursdays.
Bohemian Wine Bar
South Wharf’s Bohemian Wine Bar has a tasty trifecta of European cheeses to choose from, as well as some comforting cheesy dishes. Fancy mac and cheese croquettes or a mini fondue with sourdough baguette? Whatever you decide, its perfect match awaits on the wine list.
One of Melbourne’s best cocktail bars, 1806 also holds its own when it comes to wine and cheese. There are six mostly imported cheeses, as well as haloumi fries and camembert decadently baked with garlic and rosemary. Wines are mostly Aussie, but when it comes to bubbles they go to the source. A bottle of Laurent-Perrier brut from France turns wine-and-cheese night into a fancy date night in a flash.
Willows & Wine
Go west and discover the relaxed pleasures of Willows & Wine. Quality drinks and snacks are this cute West Melbourne bar’s cake; shelves of pre-loved books and classic boardgames are the icing. Curl up with a glass of red, a cheeseboard and classic novel. Get serious about a game of Monopoly with a few of their excellent cheeses and some dessert wine. That’s right, it’s your home away from home.