An intimate wine bar that’s almost too easy to like, bringing style and substance to Swanbourne in equal measure.

Judging by the queue forming at 6pm on a Friday evening, it’s safe to say the Western Suburbs set is thrilled to have Vinotto close at hand. And who could blame them? It’s a convivial local with cosmopolitan verve, one which sets a higher standard for trusty neighbourhood wine bars. The small space is airy and inviting, the tunes relaxed, and the 100-odd bottle list refreshingly approachable without sacrificing breadth or intrigue. If there’s a skew, it’s towards the heroes and rising stars of Australia’s flourishing small-producer scene, with no shortage of locals. But, more than anything, the overarching theme is drinkability.

Vinotto is a convivial local with cosmopolitan verve that sets a higher standard for trusty neighbourhood wine bars.

Staff work the floor with ease, eager to recommend favourites, offer tastes and talk you into ordering snacks. The open kitchen is no larger than a cupboard, but former Lulu La Delizia chef Justin Scarvaci uses the space to the fullest, coaxing big flavours from small plates. Ham and cheese croquettes are lusciously soft-centred, served with dusky Calabrese dipping sauce, while a refreshing take on peperonata makes the most of the season’s last heirloom tomatoes. Come for a glass, but know that it’s likely you’ll stay for a bottle.