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Introducing Australia's BEST OF THE BEST drinks of 2019!


The below forty finalists represent the best of the best and the combination of all 31 styles from each of our four categories, Wine, Beer + Cider, Spirits and for a global first; Non- alcoholics.


To form the overall best drinks list of Australia, our judges blindly judged and ranked each of the finalist 40 drinks.


We are very excited to present:


- Top 10 Overall Best Drinks in Australia

- Top 10 Best Wines in Australia

- Top 10 Best Beers + Ciders in Australia

- Top 10 Best Spirits in Australia

- Top 10 Best Non-alcoholic drinks in Australia

Please enjoy and remember; Drink well, drink smart.

*To view each drink's tasting note, please click on the drink*

Overall Best Drinks in Australia

  1. Wildflower — St Phoebe 2019 State: NSW  Category: Beer / Fruit-hybrid

    A pink hue in colour. On the nose stewed rhubarb, faint red berries, touch of hops/malt and a yeasty tang. Crisp and brisk, fresh acidity, with structure that makes you keep going back for more. There is so much detail here, texture too, an almost vinous expression of extreme complexity but deliciousness. Straight up visceral pleasure but married to drinkability and general appeal. What. A. Beer.

    See website.

  2. Oakridge Wines — 2019 Garden Gris - Pinot Gris State: VIC  Category: Skin-contact-orange-wine

    2019

    This is such an outstanding skin contact wine. Impressive in colour, detail in scent and flavour, wonderful and serious in texture. It offers drinkers the full flex of the variety with length, persistence and deliciousness on its side. It kicks off with cranberry, rhubarb and Campari scents while the palate drives long and deep with chalky texture bitter orange and cranberry flavours, licks of sour cherry fruit and a weave of puckering, Italianate tannins. Superb stuff.

    See website.

  3. Sullivans Cove XO Tasmanian Brandy — Double Cask Batch DCB01 State: TAS  Category: Brandy

    Amazingly bold and exciting drink here. It's a great standalone product that completely transcends the category. Is it even a brandy?

    See website.

  4. sin-ko-nah tonic syrup — original State: VIC  Category: Soft-drinks-mixers-shrubs-cordials

    A remarkable tonic. Complex and fresh, judiciously bitter and wildly appealing, a treat with still and sparkling water, but lock it in with a G&T and it's happy days. The quality is through the roof here - everything in the right place. A landmark product in its genre.

    See website.

  5. Koerner Wine — 2018 'Niellucccio' - Sangiovese State: SA  Category: Red-wine / Medium-bodied-textural-reds

    2018

    Bright, almost zesty nose, with great acid and structure, a tightly wound wine of intensity and vibrancy, good amount of grip holds the deep red fruit all the way through. This is quite a statement wine, brilliant and detailed, savoury and fruit driven at once. A modern Australian wine of its own voice.

    See website.

  6. Hobart Whisky — 19-002 - Ex-Bourbon Matured / French Oak Pinot Noir Finish State: TAS  Category: Whisky / Aged-2-years-whiskey

    Grown up butterscotch candies, while it begins a little austere and tightly wound, this whisky opens up beautifully. Classic. Aussie. Whisky. Excellent.

    See website.

  7. Mewstone — 2018 Riesling State: TAS  Category: White-wine / Light-refreshing-whites

    2018

    Pretty perfume, there's nice acidity holding it together with the palate tight and racy. As a drinker, you're sort of waiting for something to happen; a really exciting, slow-burner of a wine, delicate in style, finely detailed, and has super attractive fruit character. Lots of detail, lots of interest, texture and general excitement in understatement. Superb white wine.

    See website.

  8. Crittenden Estate — 2015 Cri de Coeur Savagnin State: VIC  Category: White-wine / Full-flavoured-whites

    2015

    What an incredible wine this is. So much detail, character and yet full thrust of charm. Saline, nutty, sherry-like in aromas with salty nutty character to taste across an epic length of flavour. It's Australia via Jura, a very special wine that nails the brief of freshness, power and concentration of fruit flavour, the saline personality of flor with general intrigue. Superb wine in any book.

    See website.

  9. The Suburban Brew — No. 2 Pale Ale State: SA  Category: Beer / Hop-driven

    Pleasant stone-fruit aroma, looks good too with a nice even haze and good foam retention. Well rounded mouthfeel, definitely more on the bitter side of life. Lots of detail yet lots of drinkability. Pitch-perfect play at hop-driven beer styles. Righteous stuff.

    See website.

  10. Pinche — Agave Tequilana State: NSW  Category: Alternate-experimental-spirits

    Bright nose of hops and peat (is this mezcal?!) on a super clean base, remarkable distillate and elevated botanicals of celery seed and cucumber. Beautiful smoky phenolic grip balanced by a persistent, but restrained sweet spice.

    See website.

Best Beers in Australia

  1. Wildflower — St Phoebe 2019 State: NSW  Category: Beer / Fruit-hybrid

    A pink hue in colour. On the nose stewed rhubarb, faint red berries, touch of hops/malt and a yeasty tang. Crisp and brisk, fresh acidity, with structure that makes you keep going back for more. There is so much detail here, texture too, an almost vinous expression of extreme complexity but deliciousness. Straight up visceral pleasure but married to drinkability and general appeal. What. A. Beer.

    See website.


  2. The Suburban Brew — No. 2 Pale Ale State: SA  Category: Beer / Hop-driven

    Pleasant stone-fruit aroma, looks good too with a nice even haze and good foam retention. Well rounded mouthfeel, definitely more on the bitter side of life. Lots of detail yet lots of drinkability. Pitch-perfect play at hop-driven beer styles. Righteous stuff.

    See website.

  3. Burnley Brewing — Coffee Brown Ale with These Days Coffee Roasting State: VIC  Category: Beer / Dark-malt-driven

    Beautiful, deep red colour with a really great malt-driven aroma. Very rich, toffee and caramel flavour and despite being a very full figured beer, these flavours aren't overly intense. There's a hint of spice or earthiness from the hops. An incredibly balenced and sexy looking beer. Would happily drink.

    See website.

  4. Young Henrys — Cloudy Cider State: NSW  Category: Cider / New-world-cider

    Cloudy, apple crumble aromas, vibrant green apple, notes of nashi pear and cinnamon. Has lively mouthfeel, pleasing soft-sourness coming through with a nice balance of relatively overt but pleasing sweetness. There's a good tartness/acid balance and interest here. A 'please all-comers' style with medium sweetness and easy drinking writ large.

    See website.

  5. Uraidla Brewery — Uraidla Brewery Helles Lager State: SA  Category: Beer / Crispy-lager

    Very floral - like a bouquet of jasmine. The hop flavour, malt flavour, yeast and bitterness all really well integrated. Great mouthfeel and carbonation. The kind of beer you could drink all afternoon. Excellent.

    See website.

  6. Rocky Ridge Brewing — DB State: WA  Category: Beer / Dark-malt-driven

    Big and delicious coffee aromas with an underlying chocolate milk sweetness. These flavours align perfectly with those aromas, it's rich (very rich), smooth, with roasted coffee flavours and that takes me back to a childhood of milkshakes and strawberry yogos. Brilliant.

    See website.

  7. Brick Lane Brewing — One Love Pale Ale State: VIC  Category: Beer / Crispy-ale

    Tropical fruit aroma - heavy pineapple & light passionfruit. Refreshing, light and dances around the palate. Very moreish as the bitterness cuts through the fruitiness, and by the time you know it, you're ready for another mouthful! A brilliant example of the style.

    See website.

  8. Yulli's Brews — Dolly Aldrin Honeydew Melon Berliner Weisse State: NSW  Category: Beer / Sour-farmhouse-wild-ferment

    Heaps of watermelon/rockmelon/green melon. Refreshing, crisp, tart, clean and bright; mouth-watering finish leaves you wanting more. Would drink the hell out of this. A striking, distinct and wonderful expression here.

    See website.

  9. Wildflower — Good as Gold State: NSW  Category: Beer / Sour-farmhouse-wild-ferment

    Everything you'd want in a barrel aged and blended sour - very delicately displayed. Very easy drinking. You'd start your afternoon with it, crack that baby and share it round. Righteous stuff.

    See website.

  10. Uraidla Brewery — Uraidla Brewery Third Eye Pale Ale State: SA  Category: Beer / Hop-driven

    Light gold in colour with a very slight haze. Great aroma of hop-driven tropical fruits. Well balanced bitterness that is long, and persistent without overpowering the fruity hop flavours. Lots to like here.

    See website.

Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks in Australia

  1. sin-ko-nah tonic syrup — original State: VIC  Category: Soft-drinks-mixers-shrubs-cordials

    A remarkable tonic. Complex and fresh, judiciously bitter and wildly appealing, a treat with still and sparkling water, but lock it in with a G&T and it's happy days. The quality is through the roof here - everything in the right place. A landmark product in its genre.

    See website.

  2. Lyre's — Italian Orange State: NSW  Category: Non-alcoholic-alcoholics

    Super enjoyable with something light and fizzy for bitter orange soda vibes, the perfect Italian summer in a glass, sans the booze.

    See website.

  3. Lyre's — Vermouth Rosso State: NSW  Category: Non-alcoholic-alcoholics

    Amaro vibes here, would definitely work well as a spritz. Lovely acidity, balanced bitterness, and citrus rind rounds this out to perfection.

    See website.

  4. Juice Culture — Circus State: VIC  Category: Soft-drinks-mixers-shrubs-cordials

    Like a rhubarb and strawberry compote, the perfect combo of sweetness and tartness. Not at all saccharine, the flavours are super natural tasting. So pretty! The taste of a sunny winter afternoon.

    See website.

  5. Two Boys Brew Kombucha — Silk Road State: VIC  Category: Kombucha-fermented

    This is great! The sweetness of caramel vs bold acidity maintains its clean balance, with a hint of funk that stops it from being too much of any one flavour. Strong contender here.

    See website.

  6. rok Kombucha — Berry Beats State: WA  Category: Kombucha-fermented

    This little number is ready to be paired. Duck pancakes? Yes. Tex Mex? Yes. Caribbean? Yes, yes, yes. It’s got the beautiful redness of rosehip hibiscus tea, and strong summer vibes. Ice it, drink a lot of it.

    See website.

  7. rok Kombucha — Classic Booch State: WA  Category: Kombucha-fermented

    A vibrant little drink, with summer florals leading into jammy, ripe, stone fruit. The apricot-y-ness is especially appealing. This is a lovely easy drinker, balanced and fresh.

    See website.

  8. Somersault — Lemon Squash & Matcha State: VIC  Category: Non-alcoholic-alcoholics

    What an impressive alcohol alternative! Really strong depth of character with a satisfyingly textual mouthfeel, backed up with a bold profile of citrus and acid. It would be very interesting to see what you could do with more applied technique - oak, perhaps, to increase floral notes and more specific varietal characteristics.

    See website.

  9. NON — Roasted Beetroot & Sansho State: VIC  Category: Non-alcoholic-alcoholics

    A really interesting, non alcoholic drink - the saltiness here lends huge potential as food-match beverage and the fructose yielded from the vegetable element balances well - little after-spice is a very pleasant way to round this out.

    See website.

  10. NON — Salted Raspberry & Chamomile State: VIC  Category: Non-alcoholic-alcoholics

    Comforting rooibos tea nose combined with generous use of spices and botanicals are rounded out with good raspberry acids. A summer slosher!

    See website.

Best Spirits in Australia

  1. Sullivans Cove XO Tasmanian Brandy — Double Cask Batch DCB01 State: TAS  Category: Brandy

    Amazingly bold and exciting drink here. It's a great standalone product that completely transcends the category. Is it even a brandy?

    See website.

  2. Hobart Whisky — 19-002 - Ex-Bourbon Matured / French Oak Pinot Noir Finish State: TAS  Category: Whisky / Aged-2-years-whiskey

    Grown up butterscotch candies, while it begins a little austere and tightly wound this whisky opens up beauitfully. Classic. Aussie. Whisky. Excellent.

    See website.

  3. Pinche — Agave Tequilana State: NSW  Category: Alternate-experimental-spirits

    Bright nose of hops and peat (is this mezcal?!) on a super clean base, remarkable distillate and elevated botanicals of celery seed and cucumber. Beautiful smoky phenolic grip balanced by a persistent, but restrained sweet spice.

    See website.

  4. Never Never — Triple Juniper Gin State: SA  Category: Gin

    This is a mature, well thought out and incredibly well executed - it's resolved, and accessable. Nothing about this gin is trying too hard, and why should it? It's already arrived. The all rounder.

    See website.

  5. Needle & Pin Spirits — Grappa Tradizionale State: SA  Category: Brandy

    Classic grappa profile. No-nonsense and super direct, it's crunchy and punchy and fiery without being harsh. Lots of personality, as you would expect. World-class.

    See website.

  6. Archie Rose — Archie Rose Rye Malt Whisky State: NSW  Category: Whisky

    At once both sweet and savoury, serious and gregarious. Willy Wonka's factory has been firebombed, and all the kids are dancing in the embers. Fun!

    See website.

  7. Reed & Co — Spirit Lab Gin & Juice (Mistelle) State: VIC  Category: Alternate-experimental-spirits

    Amazing citrus, floral and ginger spice aroma - immediately hinting at sweetness, resolved on the palate with a pristine clarity and pleasantly lifted acidiity and lingering bitterness. Great summertime aperitivo.

    See website.

  8. Sullivans Cove XO Tasmanian Brandy — Single Cask TDB0018 State: TAS  Category: Brandy

    Creme caramel and hard toffees, warm and creamy on the palate. It unfolds calmy and elegantly along the palate and remains consistent throughout the drinking experience. DELICIOUS.

    See website.

  9. Marionette — Dry Cassis State: VIC  Category: Liqueur

    Rich and elegant delivery of the delicious, sweet berry flavours. There's balance here too with bold savoury notes. A stunning colour, a stunning drink.

    See website.

  10. The Farmer's Wife Distillery — The Farmer's Wife Autumn Dry Gin State: NSW  Category: Gin

    Wild thyme with a smoky, dank intensity. Pleasant, bright finger lime, juniper and cassia aromatics. The density of the oils is beautiful, smooth and lingering all the way to the finish. Great execution of a difficult style with an amazing level of intrigue. Cool! This is yummy A.F.

    See website.

Best Wines in Australia

  1. Oakridge Wines — 2019 Garden Gris - Pinot Gris State: VIC  Category: Skin-contact-orange-wine

    2019

    This is such an outstanding skin contact wine. Impressive in colour, detail in scent and flavour, wonderful and serious in texture. It offers drinkers the full flex of the variety with length, persistence and deliciousness on its side. It kicks off with cranberry, rhubarb and Campari scents while the palate drives long and deep with chalky texture bitter orange and cranberry flavours, licks of sour cherry fruit and a weave of puckering, Italianate tannins. Superb stuff.

    See website.

  2. Koerner Wine — 2018 'Niellucccio' - Sangiovese State: SA  Category: Red-wine / Medium-bodied-textural-reds

    2018

    Bright, almost zesty nose, with great acid and structure, a tightly wound wine of intensity and vibrancy, good amount of grip holds the deep red fruit all the way through. This is quite a statement wine, brilliant and detailed, savoury and fruit driven at once. A modern Australian wine of its own voice.

    See website.

  3. Mewstone — 2018 Riesling State: TAS  Category: White-wine / Light-refreshing-whites

    2018

    Pretty perfume, there's nice acidity holding it together with the palate tight and racy. As a drinker, you're sort of waiting for something to happen, a really exciting, slow-burner of a wine, delicate in style, finely detailed, and has super attractive fruit character. Lots of detail, lots of interest, texture and general excitement in understatement. Superb white wine here.

    See website.

  4. Crittenden Estate — 2015 Cri de Coeur Savagnin State: VIC  Category: White-wine / Full-flavoured-whites

    2015

    What an incredible wine this is. So much detail, character and yet full thrust of charm. Saline, nutty, sherry-like in aromas with salty nutty character to taste across an epic length of flavour. It's Australia via Jura, a very special wine that nails the brief of freshness, power and concentration of fruit flavour, the saline personality of flor with general intrigue. Superb wine in any book.

    See website.

  5. Harkham Wineries — 2018 Aziza's Shiraz State: NSW  Category: Red-wine / Medium-bodied-textural-reds

    2018

    Saline oyster shell nose, salty, some berry fruits, earthy and smokey. Sits perfectly at medium weight, almost a little sloshy in texture though a smudge of dusty tannins chimes in. Moreish, soft, juicy and bright. Just so delicious.

    See website.

  6. Mallaluka — 2018 Sangiovese Rose State: ACT  Category: Sparkling-wine / Pet-nat

    2018 Sangiovese Rose

    Hugely charismatic rose wine here. Sour strawberries, watermelon, blood orange and faint nuttiness going 'round. The palate is slippery, textural, ends in a sour pucker and crunch. It's a wild-edged wine but gives drinkers of all ilks refreshment factor, fruitiness and pleasing dryness. Complex, complete, compelling.

    See website.

  7. Brave New Wine — 2019 Nat Daddy State: WA  Category: Sparkling-wine / Pet-nat

    2019

    Attractive red fruits on the nose, good tension on the palate. A refreshing and well crafted expression that delivers bright fruit, savouriness, zesty acidity and joyous bubbles. This is fun but also kind of serious, showing some real skill in getting so much interest and personality into this wild-edged drink. Bravo.

    See website.

  8. smallfry wines — 2019 Tangerine Dream State: SA  Category: Skin-contact-orange-wine

    2019

    A floral, fruit driven orange wine of just ripe stone fruit scents, floral notes, vermouth like lift. The palate is juicy then firmly puckering and dry. Shows tang of acidity for freshness and compelling trim of chalky-mineral charm. Great drinking here.

    See website.

  9. Maidenii — 2018 Maidenii Kina Quinquina State: VIC  Category: Vermouth-aromatised-wine

    2018

    Muscat flowers, neroli, curry leaf - really heady aroma. Really well-defined Wormwood - brilliant carry across the palate with exquisite balance between the acidity, sweetness, bitterness - on a very clean wine base. Utterly impressive.

    See website.

  10. NGERINGA — 2018 Uncultured Pinot Noir State: SA  Category: Red-wine / Light-refreshing-reds

    2018

    A beautiful wine from hello, offering a more subtle exchange between the floral, cherry fruited and savoury nose. Fine, refreshing acidity, building tannins are a feature. It drives with energy and freshness. It's a stunning wine.

    See website.