In the strictest sense, oenophilia describes a disciplined devotion to wine, accompanying uncompromising traditions of consumption and appreciation. In a general sense, however, oenophilia refers to the enjoyment of wine, similar to that of a wine aficionados or connoisseur. For oenophiles, wine is the very reason you dine, therefore where you dine is crucial.
Luckily, Australia is home to a huge number of restaurants that not only appreciate wine, but place it at the heart of their dining experience.
If it's good wine you're after, then look no further. Here is our guide to our favourite wine-friendly restaurants (which all happen to be places where you can enjoy using your Good Food Gift Card)…
The newly renovated Sfera's Park Suites and Convention Centre has launched its much anticipated 1877 Pasta and Wine Bar, which offers a unique dining experience and atmosphere. The remodelled restaurant features a new antipasto bar, encouraging locals to stop in for a drink and a light meal. For those wanting more, they can sit and enjoy exquisite homemade pastas and mains, created by Head Chef Michael, with his modern take on authentic Italian food.
As for the wine, the large collection of frizzante, bianco and rossos feature some stunning local and International wines. You can also ask for a "Wine Flight" to experience the Taste of Italy, an Adelaide Hills Experience, or the 1877 Experience.
Only ten minutes from Adelaide's city centre, you'll find the award-winning Lenzerheide Restaurant, known as the city's best fine dining eatery. The menu features a selection of traditional dishes that have stood the test of time, and focuses of fresh seasonal produce from the local area. Most grape growing regions of Australia are represented in the Lenzerheide's wine display, with many vintage and limited wines showcased.
The wine list is extensive, and whether you choose a four point rack of lamb or the trio of beef tenderloin, the sommelier will find you the perfect wine to match. All you have to do is soak up the warmth and historical elegance of this former residence.
Situated 100 km east of Melbourne, the Wild Dog Restaurant incorporates modern design with incredible views out to the surrounding vineyard and scenic Gippsland landscapes. The open-air feel makes for comfortable dining and whether enjoying a three course meal or a Gippsland cheese platter and wine on the deck, you'll love watching the comings and goings of a working vineyard. In the winter, book a table for a romantic night out and enjoy the warmth and glow of the spectacular open fireplace.
Locale is a popular dining place due to its picturesque surroundings and Italian-inspired cuisine. Sitting on top of a hill amongst the verdant vines, the restaurant overlooks the estate vineyards and surrounding hills.
Locale is where the family philosophy of sharing good food and wine come together in a magnificent setting. The recently changed menu encourages share platter dining with mixed salumi and tasty antipasto, plus rich risottos perfect with a glass of wine. Arrive early and visit the Cellar Door to sample some interesting wines, including Italian varieties such as Sangiovese and Nebbiolo Rosé.
Black Swan Wines' purpose-built restaurant offers scrumptious food and some of WA's best wines. The dining room features magnificent views over the vineyard, and an ambiance that's second to none. On Sundays, live music sets the scene for a fun afternoon in the sun, and the venue is ideal for those wanting good food in a laid-back environment. Experience the unique architecture, the mouthwatering food, and of course, the open invite into the Cellar Door.
Set in the Perth Hills, the delightful Darlington Estate Winery is a hidden gem packed with rustic beams and floor to ceiling glass walls. A popular spot for weddings and birthdays, Darlington Estate Winery offers amazing food that reflects a tantalising combination of Australian and European influences – and of course is complimented with premium quality wine. Lunch times are made easy being just 25 minutes out of the CBD, and at night, twinkly candles make the ideal setting for a touch of romance.
Bennelong excitedly creates food that celebrates Australian produce, from the rich truffle country in the west to the cool climate foods of Tasmania. Bennelong's menu reflects modern Australian cuisine in the best way possible, and puts a large emphasis on wine – the perfect accompaniment.
Bennelong proudly displays over 180 of the country's favourite and small scale labels from an eclectic collection of wine-makers. Russ Mills is one of Sydney's most influential sommeliers; well known around Sydney for his well-trimmed bushranger beard and prodigious wine knowledge.
The glass and pole construction of the beautiful Cellar Door/Restaurant means you can enjoy the views of the rolling hills from every point in the restaurant. Located high in the hills above Brisbane, the restaurant is always a few degrees cooler in summer, making it the perfect escape on long hot days. In winter you'll be treated to the warm glow of the open fire, and no matter what time of the year you can enjoy a wide range of wines to perfectly compliment the modern Australian cuisine.
Flint at Shaw Vineyard is situated on the picturesque and historic property of Shaw Vineyard Estate in Murrumbateman, a short drive from Canberra. The rustic restaurant makes the most of the cool climate, with diners enjoying intimate yet informal ambiance by the open fireplace in winter, and the cool breezes on the open outdoor terrace in summer. The wine makes the most of the climate too, and you'll be forgiven for mistaking that you might just be in France.
Flint is the perfect venue to escape from everyday life, enjoy a great wine, and tuck into some beautiful rustic food.