Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards

Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards

Australia's Wine List of the Year Awards

It's official, Australia's Best Wine List is to be found at Victorian restaurant, Taxi Dining, a sleek Japanese fusion restaurant perched high over Melbourne's, Federation Square. Lincoln Riley, Taxi's sommelier has been named the Judy Hirst Sommelier of the Year. Taxi was declared the best of the best at the 2008 Australia's Wine List of the Year Awards presented at the Art Gallery of NSW last night by key partners, Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine and Fine Wine Partners. Since their inception in 1994 these Awards set the benchmark nationally and seek to reward the tremendous time and resources invested by restaurants to develop quality wine lists.

According to Chief of Judges, wine writer Peter Forrestal, who presided over a prestigious panel of local and international judges, the standard was very high. "The panel was extremely impressed and our international colleagues felt the top lists were all world class. Sydney and Melbourne dominated the Awards, but there were excellent lists submitted from all parts of Australia." The awards for Victoria's top wine lists included Bistro Thierry, Melbourne Supper Club, Healesville Hotel and the Lake House. While winning lists in New South Wales were Marque, Berowra Waters, Pilu at Freshwater, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and Glass Brasserie.

State winners included; Rockpool - NSW, Taxi - VIC, Isis - QLD, Must - WA, Appellation - SA, The Ginger Room, ACT, Terrace - TAS, The Ginger Room - ACT. Past winners Aria, Forty One, Asiana, Circa,the Prince, Syracuse, Walters Wine Bar and Friends were all entered into the 2008 Hall of Fame.

Fittingly, guests at the presentation were offered an exceptional 'list' of beverages including wines from Henschke, Petaluma, Brokenwood, Villa Maria, Mitchelton, Wither Hills, Clover Hill, Rumball, Sandalford, Bowen Estate, Coriole and Tatachilla with James Squire beer and Acqua Panna water.

Over 300 restaurants, brasseries, wine bars, clubs, pubs and international hotels entered their lists in this year's Australia's Wine List of the Year Awards and were rated with one, two and three glasses. According to Forrestal, there were more three glass ratings than ever, indicative of the enormous lift in the standards of the industry. The results will be published in a booklet that will be published with the Aug/Sept 2008 issue of Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine on sale August 6.

The full list of winners:

Best New List, The Tony Hitchin Award: Berowra Waters Inn, Berowra Waters, NSW
Best Regional List: Pilu at Freshwater, Freshwater, Sydney
Best Food and Wine Matching: Marque, Surry Hills, Sydney
Best International Hotel Restaurant List: Glass Brasserie, Sydney
Best Club List: Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Kirribilli, Sydney
State Winner NSW: Rockpool, Sydney
Hall of Fame: Aria (National Winner 2003)
Hall of Fame: Forty One (National Winner 1998

Sommelier of the Year, The Judy Hirst Award: Lincoln Riley, Taxi Dining Room, Melbourne
Wine List of the Year: Taxi Dining Room, ,Melbourne
Best Restaurant List: Taxi Dining Room, Melbourne
Best Wine Bar List: The Melbourne Supper Club, Melbourne
Best Country Restaurant List: Lake House, Daylesford, VIC
Best Pub Restaurant List: Healesville Hotel, Healesville, VIC
Best Café/Brasserie List: Bistro Thierry, Toorak, VIC
State Winner VIC: Taxi Dining Room, Melbourne
Hall of Fame: Asiana, Melbourne (National Winner 2004)
Hall of Fame: Circa, the Prince, Melbourne (National Winner 2001)
Hall of Fame: Syracuse Wine Bar & Restaurant, Melbourne (National Winner 1999)
Hall of Fame: Walter's Wine Bar, Melbourne (National Winner 1996)

SA :
Best Small List: Fino, McLaren Vale, SA
State Winner SA: Appellation, Barossa Valley

State Winner WA: Must Winebar, Perth
Hall of Fame: Friends, Perth (State Winner WA three times)

State Winner QLD: Isis Brasserie, Brisbane

State Winner: The Ginger Room, Canberra

State Winner: The Terrace Restaurant, Launceston

Judging Criteria/Prizes
The judging criteria for Australia's Wine List of the Year consist of five parts: content, balance, pricing, suitability and presentation, with the quality of wines on the list being key to success. State and Category winners were presented with ice buckets from France and framed Award Certificates. The winner of the Wine List of the Year will receive a return trip to Europe for two with the opportunity to visit some of the world's most famous wine and spirit houses.

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