WINNERS

Best Wine Lists Category Winners 2020

Here are the winning wine lists around the country selected by our judges for the skill and creativity of restaurateurs, managers and sommeliers in sourcing and curating both wines and other beverages in lists large and small. See the winners for categories including wines by the glass, non-alcoholic drinks list, sparkling wine list, champagne list, beer list, aperitifs, digestifs, sake, food & wine matching, listing of a region’s wines as well as best listing of a state wines.

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NOBU - Southbank VIC

Best Wine Lists Category Winners 2020

Best Sake List

SPONSORED BY Deja Vu Wine Co
Best Sake List pic
Harbourside Bar & Kitchen, Cairns drink-glass

Best Sake List 2020

  • Cuisine: Tropical Interpretations of World Food
  • Sommelier: Chris Ford
  • Number of Wines: 940
  • Wines by the Glass: 26
  • Wine Price: $$
This is quite a remarkable wine list with a near total dedication to natural wine, though the spectrum under that banner will have you drinking from Bindi wines of Macedon Ranges to Chateau le Puy of Bordeaux and through to distinct wines of Jura, wonderfully chosen obscurities from Savoie, brilliant Friulian winemakers and Austrian cult producers. There's deep collections of Australian back vintage wine, horizontal selections of distinguished producers of Europe and a set of homage pages at the end of this lengthy menu that revel in cellared wines from Castagna, Domaine de la Romanee Conti and Giaconda. While the list touts itself as natural-focussed, those seeking the fine-wine paradigms and prestigious Burgundy, Champagne and Bordeaux wines that adorn all great wine lists, well, you're also very well catered for here. Outstanding selection, and one that surely is the prized jewel of northern Queensland.

Best Listing of NSW Wines

Best Listing of NSW Wines pic
Newcastle Club (The), Newcastle drink-glass

Best Listing of NSW Wines 2020

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Matt Underwood
  • Number of Wines: 607
  • Wines by the Glass: 17
  • Wine Price: $-$$$
The wine list at The Newcastle Club is exactly as one would expect it to be: impressive. It is a large list, but it manages to feel concise, turning our attention to Australian wines, and especially those from NSW. There is a comprehensive collection of NSW wines in fact. The list extends its hand to welcome wines from some of the greatest regions on earth: Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, Napa and more. At every corner and every turn, the wine selection is traditional, ticking off the 'greats', and the 'reliables', but just when you assume you know what is coming, there is a lick of modern brilliance. A wine included that highlights the passion and interest of the sommelier. This is no regular club list. It is brilliant. The selection of spirits, beers, and drinks other than wine are also as you would expect - extensively and abundantly available.

Best Aperitif List

Best Aperitif List pic
Banksii Vermouth Bar & Bistro, Barangaroo drink-glass

Best Aperitif List 2020

  • Cuisine: Australian
  • Sommelier: Rebecca Lines
  • Number of Wines: 165
  • Wines by the Glass: 22
An accomplished, up-to-the-minute wine list that is a bursting with bright, well-executed ideas that make for great reading, let alone drinking. Few wine lists are so well-rounded with the categories equally weighted. The diverse array of offerings also reflect the author's knowledge, depth and experience of beverages other than wine, and vermouth, for which Banksii is known. Tasteful champagne list also. The attention to detail is apparent, down to the grammar, presentation and clean lines that are so often lacking. It is the detailed content and finishing touches that set this list apart.

Best Beer List

SPONSORED BY Lord Nelson Brewery
Best Beer List pic
Avoca (The), Avoca drink-glass

Best Beer List 2020

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Ian Urquhart
  • Number of Wines: 274
  • Wines by the Glass: 20
  • Wine Price: $$
Fascinating array of sake leads into a proudly local list. Well priced regional wines are strewn across the ‘by the glass’ collection. The list is divided into ‘Local’ and ‘Not Local’, with those from further afield often from less well known varieties and regions, but quality wines, nonetheless. The value resides here locally.

Best Digestif List

Best Digestif List pic
Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney, Sydney drink-glass

Best Digestif List 2020

  • Cuisine: Steak House
  • Sommelier: Yuki Hirose
  • Number of Wines: 3600
  • Wines by the Glass: 53
  • Wine Price: $$$
One of the most complete and astonishing (not to mention, multi-award winning) wine lists in the country comes at you with a rush. The choice of wines by the glass, including rarities from Wendouree and By Farr, and top styles from some seven countries is mind blowing. But there's more. . . . a lot more. The Champagne listing kicks off a thorough immersion in the world's great wines. Making a choice could take some time, so be warned.

Best Listing of a Region’s Wine

SPONSORED BY Flowstone Wines
Best Listing of a Region’s Wine pic
Boat House (The), Barton drink-glass

Best Listing of a Region’s Wine 2020

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Kate Hibberson
  • Number of Wines: 205
  • Wines by the Glass: 19
  • Wine Price: $
The Boathouse, with it's modern design and impressive lakeside setting, delivers an equally well-executed wine list. The highlight is Kate Hibberson's emphasis on local makers, which is both fitting and encouraging to see, with mini-verticals of Helm, Mount Madjura and Clonakilla. Beyond that, the list is built around small, quality-driven producers from shores near and far, and some bigger and bolder Australian benchmark bottles so as not to alienate old school tastes. A sophisticated cocktail program, tidy selection of Australian craft beers, and vermouths and malts offer diversity. Altogether, this is an imaginative and thoughtfully composed wine program.

Best Listing of Australian Wines

SPONSORED BY St Hugo
Best Listing of Australian Wines pic
Bennelong, Sydney drink-glass

Best Listing of Australian Wines 2020

  • Cuisine: Australian
  • Sommelier: Seamus Brandt
  • Number of Wines: 500
  • Wines by the Glass: 46
  • Wine Price: $$$
A bold and distinct wine list with a near entire focus on Australian wine, a treatise to local product in Australia's most recognised architectural monument. The ambition could have faltered, but hasn't, this is a near encyclopaedic collection of Aussie wine with judicious inclusions of mature releases, vertical tranches of prestige wines, a good selection of zeitgeist wine styles and avant garde producers, alongside boutique offerings from some of Australia's hardest-to-source artisan vignerons. You could quibble that Champagne is the permitted non-Australian interloper, but wow, that section is so impressive it's almost a conversation in itself. By the glass does justice to the rest of this outstanding wine list with diversity and interest in the general listings and it all elevates with rarities, prestige wines and mature releases in the Coravin 'premium' selection. The pay off is realised here, a vision splendid and dedicated. This is so very impressive.

Best Listing of VIC Wines

SPONSORED BY Vintec
Best Listing of VIC Wines pic
Pt. Leo Estate, Merricks drink-glass

Best Listing of VIC Wines 2020

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Andrew Murch
  • Number of Wines: 180
  • Wines by the Glass: 16
  • Wine Price: $$$
Excellent selection of wines from their own estate and the entire Mornington Peninsula region, well supplemented with options from the rest of the State of Victoria. The list really comes to life with the magnificent array of spirits, of all kinds, but most especially whiskies.

Best Listing of SA Wines

Best Listing of SA Wines pic
2KW Bar & Restaurant, Adelaide drink-glass

Best Listing of SA Wines 2020

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Daniel McEvoy
  • Number of Wines: 759
  • Wines by the Glass: 34
  • Wine Price: $$$
Adelaide wine lovers flock to this rooftop bar for good reason: the food is great, the views spectacular and most importantly, the wine list is on-point. The list champions small local producers such as Deviation Road, Ashton Hills and S.C. Pannell, though there are also plenty of high-quality classic names like Penfolds, Henschke and Yalumba. From interstate, there are many top labels including Tolpuddle, Yarra Yering and Sailor Seeks Horse. The international selection is astute, with the classic regions of France well-represented as well as a good spread from Italy. It is a thoughtful, considered list and finds the perfect balance between the contemporary and the classic.

Vintec Sommeliers' Choice Award

SPONSORED BY Vintec
Vintec Sommeliers' Choice Award pic
bibo Wine Bar, Double Bay drink-glass

Vintec Sommeliers' Choice Award 2020

  • Cuisine: Traditional Portuguese with modern French cooking techniques
  • Sommelier: Louella Mathews
  • Number of Wines: 402
  • Wines by the Glass: 40
  • Wine Price: $$-$$$
Bibo Wine Bar has over 400 reasons to make a detour and drop in for a glass. The list is a formidable show of exciting, rare, hard to find, classic, emerging and established producers - it has it all. There are little snippets of information scattered throughout the list that serve to ground and locate us as drinkers, to bring us to the place that the sommelier, Louella Mathews was in when she brought those wines to that list. Louella has been there since the beginning, and it shows. This is a sensitive and well thought through list that leaves no vinous stone unturned. Of course, if wine isn't your thing, there are numerous options available by the glass, including local and boutique beer, aperitifs, non-alcoholic concoctions, cocktails, cider, bubbles and fortifieds. Bibo, Louella, fabulous work. This is an ever-evolving and exciting offering to the lucky customers in Sydney.

Best Listing of ACT Wines

Best Listing of ACT Wines pic
Boat House (The), Barton drink-glass

Best Listing of ACT Wines 2020

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Kate Hibberson
  • Number of Wines: 205
  • Wines by the Glass: 19
  • Wine Price: $
The Boathouse, with it's modern design and impressive lakeside setting, delivers an equally well-executed wine list. The highlight is Kate Hibberson's emphasis on local makers, which is both fitting and encouraging to see, with mini-verticals of Helm, Mount Madjura and Clonakilla. Beyond that, the list is built around small, quality-driven producers from shores near and far, and some bigger and bolder Australian benchmark bottles so as not to alienate old school tastes. A sophisticated cocktail program, tidy selection of Australian craft beers, and vermouths and malts offer diversity. Altogether, this is an imaginative and thoughtfully composed wine program.

Best Listing of QLD Wines

Best Listing of QLD Wines pic
Cru Bar + Cellar, Fortitude Valley drink-glass

Best Listing of QLD Wines 2020

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Chris Walker
  • Number of Wines: 1567
  • Wines by the Glass: 106
  • Wine Price: $$$
The wine list opens with a very tempting, diverse and excellent range of wines by the glass, all under coravin and in different pour sizes. There is enough here to satisfy anyone, but that is just the start and is followed by a very complete wine list covering all wine styles imaginable, a very good selection from the local Queensland producers and a particularly dizzying range of Champagnes if you are up for a celebration. From Arneis to Xinomavro you will be spoilt for choice here.

Best Sparkling List

Best Sparkling List pic
Reign at the QVB, Sydney drink-glass

Best Sparkling List 2020

  • Cuisine: contemporary
  • Sommelier: Fabio Nistrio
  • Number of Wines: 228
  • Wines by the Glass: 31
  • Wine Price: $$
A very impressive array of ‘by the glass’ champagnes, including a set from Veuve Clicquot are a great start to an extensive and exciting list. The Champagne collection is superb, matched by sparklings from home and beyond. There follows an excellent cellar from top regions and a very fine offering of spirits.

Best Champagne List

SPONSORED BY Bollinger
Best Champagne List pic
Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney, Sydney drink-glass

Best Champagne List 2020

  • Cuisine: Steak House
  • Sommelier: Yuki Hirose
  • Number of Wines: 3600
  • Wines by the Glass: 53
  • Wine Price: $$$
One of the most complete and astonishing (not to mention, multi-award winning) wine lists in the country comes at you with a rush. The choice of wines by the glass, including rarities from Wendouree and By Farr, and top styles from some seven countries is mind blowing. But there's more. . . . a lot more. The Champagne listing kicks off a thorough immersion in the world's great wines. Making a choice could take some time, so be warned.

Best Non-Alcoholic Drink List

Best Non-Alcoholic Drink List pic
Attica, Ripponlea drink-glass

Best Non-Alcoholic Drink List 2020

  • Cuisine: Australian
  • Sommelier: Dom Robinson, Jane Lopes
  • Number of Wines: 500
  • Wines by the Glass: 32
  • Wine Price: $$$
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?

Consumers Choice Award

Consumers Choice Award pic
Mitchell Harris Wines, Ballarat Central drink-glass

Consumers Choice Award 2020

  • Cuisine: Modern - multi-regional
  • Sommelier: John Harris (Wine), Lynden Barnes (Beers, Spirits & Cocktails)
  • Number of Wines: 283
  • Wines by the Glass: 27
  • Wine Price: $$
This is a fun, innovative wine list that feels as though its authors know how to have a good time. Things get off to a great start with several aged gems from the cellar being offered under Coravin, a great treat. Likewise the number of sparklings by the glass on offer. Naturally the list is peppered with Mitchell Harris Wines but with over 280 labels from which to choose, the guest is spoilt for choice. There is a fabulous selection of gin, and the cocktails are carefully curated. Australian wine, in particular Victorian, is also a strongly represented. Twenty years of wine collecting makes for a deep cellar, often with the luxury of bottle age. With prices to die for, this is a ripper wine program that presses the reader to put Ballarat on the bucket list.

Best Listing of TAS Wines

Best Listing of TAS Wines pic
Terrace Kitchen, Prospect Vale drink-glass

Best Listing of TAS Wines 2020

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Robyn McInerney
  • Number of Wines: 254
  • Wines by the Glass: 17
  • Wine Price: $$
The simple yet beautiful hand-drawn maps and the personal staff recommendations add an approachability, friendliness and gentle depth to this list which is clearly serious about all fine wines, though particularly those produced in Tasmania. Local wines are presented alongside interstate and global representatives. The result is a list which champions the local, though is also outward-looking and offers interesting wines to locals and alike who want to engage in the wide world of wine. Bravo.

Best Listing of WA Wines

Best Listing of WA Wines pic
Shorehouse (The), Swanbourne drink-glass

Best Listing of WA Wines 2020

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Nina Throsby, Aaron Commins
  • Number of Wines: 514
  • Wines by the Glass: 47
  • Wine Price: $$
There’s much to love at The Shorehouse, and the wine team’s passion leaps off the page. There is a youthful exuberance to the list, though also an earnest core showing that they take their wine seriously. The support for local wine is commendable, and they showcase Western Australian drops proudly alongside interstate labels and global icons. Quirky spotlights on Croatian wine and Domaine Rolet from the Jura add pleasing complexity and interest. The list has a lot of spunk, and the quirky labels, descriptions and quips will make you smile and serve as a reminder to all not to take wine, even the fancy stuff, too seriously.

Best Listing of Wines by the Glass

SPONSORED BY Coravin
Best Listing of Wines by the Glass pic
Cru Bar + Cellar, Fortitude Valley drink-glass

Best Listing of Wines by the Glass 2020

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Chris Walker
  • Number of Wines: 1567
  • Wines by the Glass: 106
  • Wine Price: $$$
The wine list opens with a very tempting, diverse and excellent range of wines by the glass, all under coravin and in different pour sizes. There is enough here to satisfy anyone, but that is just the start and is followed by a very complete wine list covering all wine styles imaginable, a very good selection from the local Queensland producers and a particularly dizzying range of Champagnes if you are up for a celebration. From Arneis to Xinomavro you will be spoilt for choice here.

Best Small Wine List – Maximum 50 wines

SPONSORED BY Lord Nelson Brewery
Best Small Wine List – Maximum 50 wines pic
Cott & Co Fish Bar, Cottesloe drink-glass

Best Small Wine List – Maximum 50 wines 2020

  • Cuisine: Fish Bar
  • Sommelier: Dan Wegener
  • Number of Wines: 50
  • Wines by the Glass: 45
  • Wine Price: $$
I applaud the originally of a wine list like this which gives people another reason, other than the delicious food, to visit this fabulous beachside restaurant. To complement the local seafood and seasonal produce is a list focused on wines from maritime climates. The selection of labels is outstanding, sourced from far and wide, and arranged by origin and style. Take a vinous journey to atmospheric destinations such as the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Rías Baixas in Spain, Sardinia in Italy and Santorini in Greece. What's more, the cocktails are slick, the prose informative and the art design simply stunning.

Best Small Wine List – Maximum 50 wines

SPONSORED BY Lord Nelson Brewery
Best Small Wine List – Maximum 50 wines pic
Ishizuka, Melbourne drink-glass

Best Small Wine List – Maximum 50 wines 2020

  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Sommelier: Sarah and David Lawler
  • Number of Wines: 41
  • Wines by the Glass: 27
  • Wine Price: $$
Another strong list from last year's joint winner Best Small List (under 50) with 41 handpicked wines from Australia and Europe that play beautifully to the restaurant's theme of "lightness, finesse and purity." Aromatic and unwooded whites lead the way, and in reds it's all about medium bodied cool climate styles and lighter styles dominated by the pinot noir grape. And, of course, sake is a real feature.

Best Small Wine List – Maximum 100 wines

SPONSORED BY Deja Vu Wine Co
Best Small Wine List – Maximum 100 wines pic
Spice Temple Sydney, Sydney drink-glass

Best Small Wine List – Maximum 100 wines 2020

  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Sommelier: Justin Crawford
  • Number of Wines: 100
  • Wines by the Glass: 22
  • Wine Price: $$
Spice Temple, where "every wine fights for its place," is a masterclass in the selection and presentation of a small wine list of just 100 wines. The adherence to grape varieties and styles from around the world that shine with Asian flavours reveals a close eye to detail, with a mix of small, edgy producers and alternative grape varieties sitting shoulder to shoulder with the odd classic. The cocktail section - including non-alcoholic and dessert styles - is a winner.

Best Food & Wine Matching List

Best Food & Wine Matching List pic
Aria Sydney, Sydney drink-glass

Best Food & Wine Matching List 2020

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Alex Kirkwood
  • Number of Wines: 1700
  • Wines by the Glass: 84
  • Wine Price: $$$
This is an action packed wine list celebrating 20 years of Aria, Sydney. With 1700 lines and 84 by the glass, the list weaves its way around the world, displaying the finer things in life; the new breed and the establishment, aged sake and orange, a champagne extravaganza from maison to grower, and Grange by the glass. A love of chenin blanc, Bill Downie, all things Jura, the domestic and international greats. Explosive and bursting with information, enthusiasm and exploring unxepected corners of the globe, this is a blockbuster, entirely suited to its plush interiors and iconic setting.

Best New Wine List – Tony Hitchin Award

SPONSORED BY Craggy Range
Best New Wine List – Tony Hitchin Award pic
mimi's, Coogee drink-glass

Best New Wine List – Tony Hitchin Award 2020

  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Sommelier: Paolo Saccone
  • Number of Wines: 650
  • Wines by the Glass: 41
  • Wine Price: $$$
Merivale's latest offering, under the direction of Adrian Filiuta MS, could scarcely be more impressive. It is an international list that has its heart in France but illuminates the wines of Australia and so many parts of the globe with verve and panache. The 41 wines by the glass offer diversity and depth. Coravin offers top quality and rarity plus flights of Premier Cru Vaillons, the 2015 vintage in Burgundy, a tasting history of Madeira and more. Brilliant at the top end but there's plenty of choice at everyday prices. A tour de force and deservedly the Tony Hitchin Award winning Best New List in the country.

Best Wine Lists State or Territory Winners 2020

  • Australian Capital Territory
  • New South Wales
  • Northern Territory
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia

Il Lido, Cottesloe WA

Best Wine Lists Venue Type Winners 2020

  • Best City Restaurant Wine List
  • Best Country Restaurant Wine List
  • Best Hotel Restaurant Wine List
  • Best Pub Restaurant Wine List
  • Best Club Restaurant Wine List
  • Best Wine Bar Wine List

Laura at Point Leo Estate, Merricks, VIC

Hall of Fame 2020

The Hall of Fame is a prestigious list of establishments who have achieved leading status either by winning the Main Award or the same State/Territory or Category award three times. Each year, new successful establishments are added to Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards Hall of Fame. To maintain a current listing however, they must enter and maintain their glass rating each year, which is no easy feat!

Glass Ratings 2020

The key objective of the awards is to recognise and reward exceptional sommeliers, their wine lists and the owners who have invested in them. Each entering venue is awarded 3, 2, or 1 glasses based on their wine list submission. Judges submit their scores based on the guiding principles of appraisal. AWLOTYA allocates glasses with the utmost integrity, albeit in acknowledgment that all reviews are subjective.

Explore wine lists near you

A well-curated wine list is exciting to explore and guaranteed to enhance your dining experience. Discover Australia's best wine lists developed by talented sommeliers from restaurants, wine bars, cafes, brasseries, pubs, clubs and hotels by suburb or postcode.
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Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) is the national industry association representing the interests of over 45,000 restaurants, cafes and catering businesses across Australia. R&CA delivers tangible outcomes to small businesses within the hospitality industry by influencing the policy decisions and regulations that impact the sector’s operating environment.

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