photo by Michael Engelmann
Stuart Knox, aka “the man with the red shoes,” opened his wine bar and restaurant in 2006 in the central business district (or CBD) after returning home from a stint in England. Fix St James reflects its energetic, clever owner with a cheerful feel and smart dining area and bar. This place offers one of the most diverse wine selections in Sydney. Whatever Knox finds that he likes to drink (be it more classic or orange/natural/biodynamic) goes on the list, and he’s skilled at finding unique, interesting wines from within Australia (favorites include Eden Road, Shobbrook and Ruggabellus). Once 60 percent foreign wines, the list now boasts 60 percent local producers. He is there every day happily chatting up customers about wine, sharing the story of why he chose something to go on the list and making recommendations. Sommeliers and winemakers come here to discover something fun and interesting to drink, as well as eat whatever specials the kitchen has on that day (do not miss the smoked eel soufflé if it is available). Along with Jason Hoy, Knox is credited with starting the first ever Summer of Riesling Down Under in 2011.