A firm favourite of Collingwood locals and welcome explorers, Smithward is the brainchild of Graham Hill and his wife Georgina Russell.
Stepping into this venue, the focus is clear - wine. A long wooden bar immediately greets you when you enter dividing the seating area up front, from tables in the rear.
This chique fitout does not come at the expense of warmth, as Smithward exudes a welcoming atmosphere courtesy of the extensive use of rich timbers and the friendly and knowledgeable staff.
The wine selection has been thoughtfully curated and covers all bases, with a good mix of local Victorian wines on offer both by the glass and bottle. Graham and Georgina make regular road trips to all corners of the state to source undiscovered gems for Smithward’s unique, exclusively Victorian wine list.
They buy directly from wineries and have met the makers of each wine, as well as some of their dogs, sheep and kids! The team at Smithward love sharing the stories and passion of those winemakers with their customers. From Beechworth to Geelong, Gippsland to the Grampians, Smithward has already brought wines from more than 30 small Victorian wine producers to appreciative Melburnians in its first year.
Paired with the wine list is a selection of delicious charcuterie and cheese plates served with Graham's own sourdough bread to take you from a light bite to dinner if you are so inclined.
In the spirit of European small bars, Smithward also offers an ever-changing menu, made behind the bar in true Spanish style. Despite not having a kitchen, Graham whips up tasty bar food including tortilla and 5 hour French Onion Soup. We loved the grilled-to-order Raclette cheese melted over steaming hot potatoes. The cheeses on offer are similarly delicious. Smithward also offers a weekly Wednesday night special of a seasonal dish, with a glass of matched wine for $15.
Smithward is, quite simply, a wonderful place to enjoy wine. We cannot wait to return.
Location: Collingwood, 48 Smith St, Melbourne VIC 3066