The Christmas issue

Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 28th December, 2016 for your chance to win a share of $50,000!

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Top 35 recipes of 2016

2016 was all about slow-roasting, fresh pasta and comfort food. These are the recipes you clicked on most this year, counting back to number one.

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

Decadent chocolate dessert recipes for Christmas

13 of our most decadent chocolate recipes to indulge guests with this Christmas.

What the GT team is cooking on Christmas Day

We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.

Best travel destinations in 2017

We're thinking big for travelling in 2017 - and so should you. Will we see you sunrise at Java's 9th-century Borobudur Buddhist temple, across the table at Reykjavik's newest restaurants or swimming side-by-side with humpback whales off Western Australia's coast?

Christmas vegetarian recipes

The versatility of vegetarian dishes means they can be served alongside meat and seafood, or enjoyed simply as they are. With Christmas just around the corner, we’ve put together some of our favourite vegetarian recipes to appease both herbivores and carnivores alike.

Sydney's best dishes 2016

For our 50th anniversary issue in 2016, we scoured Australia asking two questions: What dishes are making waves right now? What flavours will take us into the next half-century? Sydney provided 16 answers.

Summer feta recipes

Whether in a fresh salad or seasonal seafood dish, feta's creamy tang can be used to add interest to a variety of summer dishes.

Our favourite wine lists of 2016

We don't have an official Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide Wine List of the Year Hall of Fame. But if we did, it'd look a lot like this.

Cookie, in Melbourne's CBD, is a self-styled "beer hall, eating house and disco" and loudly lives up to that description - so when you manage to find a seat among the crowded tables you don't expect to be handed a quirkily illustrated, information-rich 90-page book, chock-full of affordable bottles from all around the world. And then find the brilliant selection of wines accompanied by Cookie's general manager and list-compiler Gus Braidotti's handy and hilarious tips on "wine, life and friendship" such as drink your red wine a little cooler and your white a little warmer; visit your mum more often; try something new; and "make a point of watching Paris, Texas at least once a year".

It's this personal touch that, for me, has long made Cookie's list special - something I find common to all great lists: a tangible sense of the all-consuming love of wine that inspires a sommelier to create something more entertaining, more engaging, more enthralling than just a catalogue of bottles. That's certainly what I'm looking for when I pore over a list.

I've been poring over the nation's wine lists for the GT Restaurant Guide for more than a decade. There's no doubt the sheer number of very good lists out there continues to grow. But some, like Cookie's, have soaked their way more persuasively into my affections than others. These, for me, set the standard for breadth, depth, passion, presentation and personality; I could drink from them every day and not get bored.

We don't have an official Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide Wine List of the Year Hall of Fame.

But if we did, it'd look a lot like this.

As well as romping in as the latest Wine List of the Year, the vibrant, beautifully illustrated, mouth-watering selection at Restaurant Hubert in Sydney has nestled immediately into my rollcall of all-time favourites.

There's just such an irrepressible sense of joie-du-vin to be found in its 40 pages. It's a boisterous approach that's notably different from my other, more well-established fave Sydney lists: Aria, with its cool, smart design, rare wines by the glass offered through the Coravin preservation system, and emphasis on old Australian bottles; and Nick Hildebrandt's seriously impressive and influential list at Bentley with its effortless balance of classic and cutting-edge - the list, perhaps, by which many other serious wannabe Sydney somms' efforts are judged.

In Melbourne two of the top lists are found a few hairdressing salons away from each other on Toorak Road: the enormous offering of often good-value wines at France-Soir would be at home in the very best Parisian bistros, let alone downtown South Yarra, while the level of detail - evocative and educational descriptions for every wine - in the beautifully laid-out list at Sardinian gem Da Noi is exemplary, as is the all-Italian selection of wines.

Regional Victoria boasts many stunning wine lists, but the ones I most like to immerse myself in are at Ten Minutes by Tractor on the Mornington Peninsula and at the Royal Mail Hotel in the Grampians. I just love the former's staggeringly in-depth and informative text and richly appropriate emphasis (given the region) on chardonnay, pinot and Burgundy; and the latter's staggeringly broad and deep selection of international and local bottles at almost unbelievably fair prices - not to mention its unparalleled collection of red Bordeaux.

In Brisbane, the list that consistently blows me away is at 1889 Enoteca. One of the first Australian establishments to champion natural wines, this place is still doing a great job of introducing locals to new and unusual wines, predominantly from Italy, in an exciting and accessible way; the selection kicks off, for instance, with a bunch of delicious oddities for under $70 a bottle. And in the Barossa Valley winemaking town of Tanunda you'll find one of the finest lists of them all.

FermentAsian is famous for chef Tuoi Do's exquisite Vietnamese food, matched by partner Grant Dickson's extraordinary passion for wine: 90 pages of wines from near and far, cutting-edge and classic, each with an in-depth description, most offered at remarkably reasonable prices. Dickson describes it, perfectly, as "a beacon to pilgrims of the palate whose questing brings them to the Barossa in search of vinous exploration, evocation and education, and a valuable resource for the local wine fraternity".

The clincher? Despite having one of the best lists in the country, FermentAsian accepts BYO wine at midweek dinners and all lunches. That is truly love.

Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Christmas Boutique is now open

The smallgoods, homewares, art and more from the pages of GT are now all under one roof, ready to take their place under the tree.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

The Galley Room’s Herbie Hancock

Watermelon. Honey. Lemon. Gin. Just add summer.

1806’s Eros Gin Fizz

Yoghurt drinks are coming at you thick and fast.

The Den’s 20th Century

An uptown classic from a downstairs favourite.

Romeo Lane’s Fortunato

Bourbon meets the complexity of sweet and dry Sherry in The ...

Cocktails by the batch

Did the cocktail game just get easier? We look at why more a...

Tony Starr’s Kitten Club’s Mexican Divorce

This is one D.I.V.O.R.C.E. that’s easy on the palate and the...

Mama Baba’s Amaretto Sour

Go Greco-Italo retro with George Calombaris, some almond-fla...

Bar Americano’s Rock and Rye Collins

An old-school DIY favourite, ripe for a spring fling.

Whisky & Alement’s Hot Brick

The thinking person’s cure for seasonal affective disorder. ...

Bar Economico's Poco Loco Ti Punch

A smoky take on the classic precursor to the Daiquiri.

Elk Room's Whisky Freezer

Fresh as it may be, this drink comes with a pedigree.

Brooks’ Grassy Knoll

Shooting to thrill with a hint of the wild Aubrac.

Signature drink

A not-so-soft drink from the deeper recesses of the cocktail...

Bar Exuberante preview

Matt Bax gives us the inside scoop on his new Melbourne bar.

Bar Exuberante's Champagne Crusta

It’s a rum business when the classic fizz gets the Crusta tr...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.