The Wine Library

The sassiest library this side of the Eastern Distributor. If you like wine, you'll love it here.
Victoria Haschka and Alec Jones
Published on February 20, 2011
Updated on March 27, 2024


Once upon a time Woollhara was heavy on pub grub of varying quality, then the team of The Wine Library opened an Oxford Street space. Tucked in a very unassuming shop for this legendary street, The Wine Library melds a high-top bar at the front, nooky intimacy out the back and a trim courtyard in the middle.

At 7pm you'd be hard-pressed to swing a kitten. There's a queue that snakes out the door as locals and blow-ins from across the bridge cram in for their share of prosecco and a selection of small bites or a bottle of Super Tuscan and some delectable pasta dishes.

Working backwards around the clock, at 5pm The Wine Library is civility defined. There's room to crook your elbows and make your way through a wine list pregnant with hundreds of options. There's Spanish pink that's dangerously affable, and the wines by the glass come in two-sized pours.

For a Friday or Saturday lunch, it's just right. There's plenty of room to breathe and time to ponder the clipboard menu, which takes a jolly tour all over the world. Grab some edamame or gruyere croquettes to start, work your way to burrata with yellow peach, basil and truffle oil or tiger prawns with garlic, butter and herbs; upgrade to crumbed market fish with peas and beurre blanc or ricotta and spinach cannelloni with Napoli sugo and pesto.

If you can't resolve a meal without something sweet, you shouldn't miss the lemon tart paired with creamy Jersey milk ice cream. Perfect to share and pick at with a moscato. Otherwise, take refuge with an affogato, with or without liqueur — all in all, pretty heavenly.

Updated March 2024

Images: Byron Martin for PADDO(Collective)


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