Best Casual Dining Wineries in Victoria
Casual dining is often the way to go when it comes to visiting wineries. We just want to sit back and relax and enjoy a casual setting sometimes, rather than a more formal expression.
Here are our favourite casual dining wineries in Victoria:
Merricks Creek Winery - Mornington Peninsula
Merricks Creek Winery is a compelling casual dining destination. This fabulous winery features gourmet share plates that are incredibly reasonable in price (around $15). What we love is that the whole menu is casual but gourmet. While some wineries offer plain almost boring selections that are predictable, Merricks Creek steps it up with dishes that pair perfectly with wine and are delicious and interesting. It's all about the little touches. At time of writing they even use Riedel glasses for their wine at cellar door - can't say we know too many wineries that do that. You can tell Merricks Creek love what they do and this is reflected in the food and wine experience.
As we say this is casual dining but with a gourmet flair. No tablecloths in sight but sit down at a wooden table in a stunning vineyard setting and enjoy dishes such as a cheese plate featuring Main Ridge Dairy: Fresh goat curd, tomatoes, beetroot & warm baguette. Take the warm baguette and dip a piece into the goats curd. This is our kind of dining at a winery; we rarely go for the stuffy formal experience.
Or order the Grilled raclette cheese, hot potatoes, cornichons & cocktail onions. Who doesn't love raclette? Bubbling piping cheesy goodness with caramelised crust. So good. For us this is a gourmet touch without breaking the bank.
A modern cellar door experience with standout wines featuring close planted Pinot Noir and Estate Chardonnay, as well as other funky wines.
Merricks Creek is one of the best places we know to relax in any season, with several welcoming fireplaces in operation over the colder months.
For us to sit on the deck with a sensational French style pate and fine wine is a joyous experience. A great example isFree range chicken liver pate with a carrot & diakon pickle.
This is the sort of food and wine experience we are looking for. Plus we love the service at the family run winery with Dr Peter Parker often behind the counter at cellar door and wife Georgina heading up the kitchen.
You can never have enough double cream French style cheese in your life! Nor enough French style terrine! Double cream cheese (Fromagerie Guilloteau: d'Affinois Campagnier), with Duck and brandy prune terrine behind.
Merricks Creek also serves up larger share plates such as this popular 6 hour braised lamb shoulder with smashed mint peas. Or check out the Osso Buco and the Pork and Fennel Meatballs.
Relaxation central at Merricks Creek with a gourmet touch. Highly recommended.
Meletos - Yarra Valley
Meletos brings a top notch dining experience to Yarra Valley without the formalities. We love this place because it is approachable and accessible in terms of giving you the best of local produce at a reasonable price. With s plethora of dining options you can craft your own experience your way.
Freshly shucked oysters go down a treat.
Casual dining but with a ton of class. And stunning views from the large windows.
Meletos is known for its wood oven pizzas which are superb, but remember there's so much more here. These pizzas are gourmet with standout produce. Not just meat but also vegetarian.
Fries are important as everyone knows.
The wine list is fabulous featuring the best of the region.
Zonzo Estate - Yarra Valley
Zonzo Estate is another crowd pleaser for those who are on the hunt for a rewarding casual dining experience. Again, pizza is the name of the game but it's not just about pizza. The Italian style is conducive to relaxed casual rustic dining in an exceptional winery environment.
Arancini balls and fine wine; a delightful combination.
No tablecloths but we do appreciate these napkins.
Pizza heaven at Zonzo Estate and perfect to share.
Radicchio salad has always been compelling at Zonzo Estate.
And don't underestimate the desserts. Panna Cotta brilliance.
Tuck's Ridge - Mornington Peninsula
Tucks Ridge has been a revelation since it was taken over by Montalto. It has gone to another level with casual but compelling food and wine options. Tucks Ridge won't break your budget and you will walk away feeling it's a great value casual dining experience.
Cellar door is a great place to start with various levels of wine; top notch and the range is surprising.
Mouthfuls of Tuck's Ridge Pinot Noir is a great place to start. The "Now" range offers top notch wines also at excellent prices.
When we say casual we mean casual. Recline like a Roan Emperor and take in the views. The dining spaces are also attractive; you are literally dining immersed in a vineyard setting or dine inside the modern facility.
Rotisserie menu is the way to go here. Charcoal half chicken is a sensational dish, with the mash a fabulous component.
Equally we are impressed with the Hot Salmon.
Salads like this are to be celebrated, especially when they come from the property garden!
While we said the Rotisserie menu was the way to go the smaller plates are spot on. Arguably the best Charcuterie plate on the Peninsula.
Tuck's Ridge is a popular destination on the Peninsula and delivers in spades with its simple but gourmet food offerings and its affordable quality range of wines.