It’s very fitting, isn’t it, that Brisbane’s Bacchus Bar and Restaurant offers a remarkable 47 wines by the glass. Bacchus was the Roman god of agriculture, wine and fertility, with a little bit of drama and revelry on the side. It’s a fair bet that if Bacchus was around to avail himself of the wine list at Rydges South Bank hotel, he’d be very happy.
In all, there are 670 wines on the list, available to both bar and restaurant guests. For the first time, the bar has its own dedicated dining menu, with walk-ins welcome. The bar sits adjacent to Bacchus Restaurant, sharing the same deep mahogany, tobacco and teal décor.
We haven’t experienced Bacchus under head chef Isaia Dal Fiume. When we stayed at Rydges South Bank in the first half of 2022, the restaurant was closed early in the week. But we have great memories of dining there when Massimo Speroni was at the helm. It’s always been an elegant space doing refined, thoughtful food.
Bacchus bar menu
Introducing a bar menu allows the venue to be experienced in a more casual way. Wine Director and Food and Beverage Manager, Kevin Puglisevich, who together with Sommelier and Restaurant Manager, Christie Lawler, manages the wine experience, says there’s a glass of wine for every palate and budget.
Most range from $12 to $40 a glass, with – take a deep breath –three rare gems priced between $65 and $150 a glass. Bacchus uses Coravin to make so many wines available by the glass (the technology allows it to keep bottles open for longer). Puglisevich says it allows for a heightened experience as guests can explore styles and flavours they may have never considered before. “Of course, there is always a sommelier here to guide and offer insights and great background.”
Among the bar dishes for sharing are blinis, bresaola, and a classic tagliatelle ragout, which Puglisevich recommends pairing with a glass of Marchesi Antinori Chianti. Although he finds it hard to pick a favourite wine, he has a soft spot for Vouvray, a Chenin Blanc from Loire. “It is a passionate wine, with conflict between the sweet and dry, where neither engulfs the other, though with age the sweet will prevail,” he says. “There will always be a Vouvray by the glass at Bacchus.”
If you go:
Level 1, Rydges South Bank
9 Glenelg Street, South Brisbane
Tel: +61 (0)7 3364 0837