Court of Master Sommeliers – New Certified Exam announced - Wed 26/5
Embargoed till 6:00pm AEST. Mon 28 July 2014
For the first time in its 20 year history, there has been a tie for the top awards in Australia’s Wine List of the Year. Presenting partners, premium wine distributor Fine Wine Partners and leading magazine Gourmet Traveller WINE have announced that Lake House at Daylesford in country Victoria and Rockpool Bar & Grill, Perth are joint winners of Australia’s Wine List of the Year in 2014.
Sommeliers Stacey-Lee Edwards at Lake House and Ian Baverstock of Rockpool Bar & Grill, Perth, both receive the Judy Hirst Award for the professionalism they have shown in developing and managing these award-winning lists.
According to Chairman of Judges, Peter Forrestal, scores throughout the counting for this year were incredibly close. “The winner is chosen by the 30 members of the International Jury who rank the seven finalists. With the votes of three judges to be counted, four points separated the top three lists. Remarkably, two outstanding restaurants ended up with an equal score.”
Established in 1994, Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards has an impressive local and international panel to maintain integrity and independence. Headed by leading wine commentator Peter Forrestal, the longterm panel of 30 includes industry figures such as Brian Julyan MS – CEO The Court of Master Sommeliers, Gerard Basset MBE, MW MS MBA, Evan Goldstein MS, Toni Paterson MW, Bob Campbell MW, James Lawther MW, Andrew Caillard MW, Huon Hooke, Jeni Port, Mike Bennie and Peter Bourne to name a few.
Over 370 restaurants, clubs, pubs, hotels and brasseries, entered this year’s awards with 94 achieving the highest rating of 3 glasses, 149 were awarded 2 glasses and 121 achieved 1 glass.
Fine Wine Partner Chairman, Rob Hirst congratulated all entrants for the quality of this year’s lists. He commented on the extraordinary growth in the Best Listing of Australian Wines category with 63% more entries this year. “This is great news for Australian wine producers and interestingly this came with a significant increase in the Best Food and Wine Matching entries, which were up 25%.”
Other trends noted by Judy Sarris, Editor, Gourmet Traveller WINE included the rise of wines by the glass listing and an increase in listing of spirits. “Wines by the glass are on the increase and spirit lists are more exciting than ever with many showcasing the new raft of spirits from Australian producers. Overall lists are showing better balance with due support being given to Aussie winemakers and it’s pleasing to see regional restaurants sourcing local wines to marry with the local ingredients used in their kitchens.”
As always, winning wine lists came from the length and breadth of the country with Victoria strongly represented including Wine List of the Year – Lake House, Best Club Restaurant Wine List – RACV City Club, Best Pub Restaurant Wine List – The Botanical, Best Wine Bar List and The Tony Hitchin Best New List – Harry & Frankie, Best Small Wine List (50 Wines) – Merricote, Best Listing Of A Region’s Wine – Quince Dining, Healesville Hotel, Best Food & Wine Matching – Dandelion, Best Beer List – Vue Grand.
New South Wales achieved a good tally with Best Hotel Wine List – The Century, Best Small Wine List (100 Wines) – Chiswick, Best List Of Wines By The Glass and Best Aperitif List – Sepia, and Gourmet Traveller WINE Readers’ Choice Award going to Glass.
Winners in West Australia included Wine List of the Year and Best City Restaurant Wine List – Rockpool Bar & Grill Perth, Best Digestif List – Print Hall. fermentAsian was a star performer for South Australia winning Best Country Restaurant Wine List and Aria, Brisbane took out Best Listing of Australian Wines.
Top lists in each state were won by Aubergine – ACT, Char Restaurant – NT, Aria, Brisbane – Qld, fermentAsian – SA, The Source at MONA – Tas, Rockpool Bar & Grill, Perth – WA, Bentley Restaurant & Bar – NSW and Lake House – Vic.
New Award – 2014 sees an inaugural award, Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards – Hall of Fame – Individual Award, recognising an outstanding individual contribution to education and the service of fine wine within the Australian Hospitality and Tourism Industries over recent times. The significant improvement in the standards of Australia’s wine lists through the years has not happened by chance, but through the extraordinary commitment of passionate individuals – some of whom contribute above and beyond all others. The inaugural winner of this prestigious Award is Franck Moreau MS, President of Sommeliers NSW and Group Sommelier at Merivale.
Winners will be listed at winelistoftheyear.com.au on July 29.
Full results and entrant reviews will be published in Aug/Sept 2014 Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine on sale July 30 and after at gourmetravellerwine.com.au.
Editor’s Note: Restaurants are only listed in the Hall of Fame if they enter their list each year for review to maintain currency of Australia’s Wine List of the Year recommendations.