Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards were established in 1994 by Tucker Seabrook, Sydney’s first Wine and Spirit Merchant (established 1838).
The aim of the Awards is to recognise and reward the enormous investment by restaurant owners, managers and sommeliers in the time, skill and resources that go into developing the best quality wine lists and cellars. At the same time the Awards pay tribute to the dedication and talent of those individuals who create these lists for Australia’s best restaurants, hotels, clubs, wine bars, pubs and cafes – large and small.
Still the most prestigious such national awards in their field, the awards have played a major part in lifting the standard of Australia’s wine lists over the past three decades. Chairman of Judges for the first 11 years (1994 – 2004) Huon Hooke, commented on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Awards. ‘Standards have improved out of sight since 1994 and each year the bar keeps rising.’
Importantly, the awards have also had an impact on the public’s interest in fine wine generally and have improved their appreciation of those establishments which have participated in the Awards over the years and been celebrated.
Since 2016, Drinks Association have been the official Awards Trade Communications Partner, and from 2008-2020 Gourmet Traveller WINE, were the Awards Consumer Media Partner.
Peter Forrestal, currently enjoying his thirteenth year as Chairman of Judges and a member of the judging panel since 1994, endorses Huon’s comments and salutes the rise to prominence of Australia’s sommeliers over the past 20 years. ‘Not only does Australia now boast an abundance of sommeliers but those we have are as well educated and as experienced as those of any country in the world. They have been fortunate to have a vigorous and enthusiastic industry body in Sommeliers Australia and strong support from international organisations such as the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.’
An excellent compilation with the focus on paths less trodden. That does not mean that quality producers like Clonakilla, Yalumba, Mt Mary, Henri Bonneau and many others are not littered throughout, but there are many more obscure producers which have also earnt their positions here. Excellent by the glass, aperitifs, digestifs and more. A list which will thrill the adventurous wine explorer – Sparkling Sake, anyone?
19 Apr 2021
With unsurpassed spectacular views of the Coral Sea, real Cairns Cuisine showcasing local produce, an extensive Natural Wine list, and a friendly team who always offer heartfelt welcoming service, HB&K provides the perfect place to eat, drink and enjoy the stunning daytime and moonlit panoramas. Best Sake List – sponsored by, Deja vu Wine Co, Sake […]
18 Apr 2021
Tasmania on a plate – that’s Black Cow Bistro’s claim and goes hand in hand with winning Best Wine List TAS at the 2020 Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards. All entering establishments are automatically entered in their applicable State or Territory so the competition is fierce! Judges comments:Diners can take confidence in the highly […]
18 Apr 2021
With sweeping views of the Brisbane River, from the Story Bridge down to the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Bravo to Blackbird as all QLD establishments who have entered the Wine List Awards are automatically entered to win this award which this year was sponsored by Craggy Range. Judges comments: One could just enjoy relaxing and reading the […]
18 Apr 2021
A light-filled bar and brasserie overlooking Pittwater and the grounds of The Newport, Bert’s Bar & Brasserie has again taken out Best Hotel Restaurant Wine List. Formerly ‘Best International Hotel Restaurant Wine List’, this award which is sponsored by South Australia’s Henschke Wines is open to boutique and major hotels alike. Judges comments: Unbelievable. Bert’s boasts an […]