Perhaps more so than ever in recent memory, New South Wales wine producers need help.
Unfortunately for them though restaurants and other resellers in metropolitan areas are atrocious at selling NSW Wine.
Out of all the major wine producing states, Sydney is by far the worst at selling its own local wines, with around 11 per cent NSW wines featured on top restaurant lists.
For comparison Melbourne features well over 50 per cent Victorian wines and Perth a massive 70 per cent plus representation from Western Australia's wine producing regions.
Sydney's top tier restaurants predominately look to add international benchmarks to what they claim is a cosmopolitan market.
While there is nothing wrong with having international standouts on a Sydney based wine list, listing 50 French Pinots and German Rieslings but no examples from local wineries is not only arrogant and lazy, it's irresponsible.
Quality is far from the issue, with the state having many of the nation's top iconic producers and some of the most collected wines by vino enthusiast.
Tyrrells, Clonakilla, Lake's Folly and Lowe Wines are almost compulsory inclusions for Sydney's litany of hatted restaurants.
Yet you'll spend your time scrawling a list with unfamiliar producers from other countries that hardly make you feel comfortable when the asking price is a couple of hundred dollars.
Try and ask the sommelier for help and you may get an eye roll to highlight your ignorance at best.
It's not all doom and gloom in metropolitan areas however, a few clever venues have realised the clear lack of 'drinking local' support and are starting to do something about it.
Bibo Wine Bar, Double Bay
Nested away in one of Sydney's most notoriously prestigious suburbs is Portuguese themed Bibo and its headed up by local girl Louella Matthews.
The former Racine Restaurant and Rockpool alumni has shot to sommelier superstardom with a clear focus on Portugal but astutely mixing in Australian classics, some edgy new wave producers and importantly a wonderful nod to NSW wines.
Watch the venue for special events especially those themed around some of our own local producers.
Black Bar & Grill, Pyrmont
Nestled in Star City is celebrity chef Teague Ezard's Black.
Centred around high-end beef cuts the venue is lushly appointed and visited by tourists from all the world.
Addy Lam has been at the helm of the wine list for several years now, creating one of Australia's best wine cellars and a spirit selection that is perhaps only rivalled by four or five other restaurants in the country.
Addy though loves NSW and he has even been seen pushing our very own Swift Cuvee on the casino high rollers before they tackle their grade 9 Wagyu.
I cannot forget to mention Simon Evans and his Australiana, bush tucker themed restaurant in Wollongong, the hatted Caveau.
An extraordinary venue using indigenous ingredients that are as stunning as they are imaginative, amplified by a wonderful Welshman, Simon, who has adopted Australia as his own.
His wine list is Australian in theme, but he has worked hard to explore the far corners of NSW to include almost absolutely every region the state has to offer.
A must visit in Wollongong.
The Newcastle Club, Newcastle
Arrogantly last year, I almost thought that there was no way that another NSW venue had put together a better representation of NSW wines than Charred.
I had been chasing the best listing of NSW Wines for three years at the Gourmet Traveller Wine List of the Year Awards.
The restaurant had been a finalist each year, losing to Biota and Jonah's at Whale Beach respectively.
I thought 2019 was set to be our year.
Matt Underwood at the institutional Newcastle Club however had other ideas.
He had rightfully put together a better NSW's listing with tremendous depth and importantly wonderful information for the reader.
He has perhaps the best listing of Hunter Valley wines on the planet along with legendary examples of Australia's leading producers.
David Collins is the restaurant manager and sommelier at Charred, he has been studying wine and the wine industry for several years and will write a wine column for the Central Western Daily every second Saturday.
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