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?
26 May 2021
Applications are now open for a new Court of Master Sommeliers Oceania Certified Exam in September and positions are filling fast! Click HERE to read the full prospectus. A message from Brian K. Julyan MS Founder and President, Court of Master Sommeliers Europe – “Since our very first programs were held in Australia in 2008, […]
02 May 2021
Download media release HERE The Awards exciting new partnership in 2021 with QANTAS and Travel Insider presents an extraordinary opportunity for Australia’s best wine and beverage list creators – and the outstanding cellars behind them – to receive the recognition they so richly deserve for their continued pursuit of excellence, whilst at the same time […]
16 Mar 2021
Travellers will be able to learn about the Awards, the participants and the winners in the QANTAS magazine and its accompanying website, Travel Insider. At a time when the hospitality and tourism industries are suffering so significantly, this exciting new partnership represents an opportunity for the talented creators of Australia’s leading wine and beverage lists […]
23 Dec 2020