WINNERS

Best Wine Lists Category Winners 2018

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, 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 2018

Vintec Sommeliers' Choice Award

SPONSORED BY Transtherm, Vintec
Vintec Sommeliers' Choice Award pic
Bentley, Sydney drink-glass

Vintec Sommeliers' Choice Award 2018

  • Cuisine: Contemporary
  • Sommelier: Nick Hildebrandt, Ben Gardiner
  • Number of Wines: 1200
  • Wines by the Glass: 50
  • Wine Price: $$$
Bentley's pitch-perfect selection highlights the classics, the classy, the renegades and more. There's no question the list featuring 1000-plus bottles will send shivers down your spine because what's on offer is first and foremost, delicious drinking. The spotlight is on Australia and France but there's so much in-between Spanish garnacha, Italian pecorino or wild ferment assyrtiko from Greece for example. Discover more than vin jaune with fine choices of chardonnay, savagnin, pinot noir, poulsard and trousseau from the Jura. There's a wicked collection of spirits, an inspiring by the glass selection including gems featured under Fine & Rare and mini-verticals throughout from Selosse, Keller to Mount Mary.

Best Listing of ACT Wines

SPONSORED BY Wine Australia
Best Listing of ACT Wines pic
Rubicon, Griffith drink-glass

Best Listing of ACT Wines 2018

  • Cuisine: Contemporary European
  • Sommelier: Owen Kenyon
  • Number of Wines: 500+
  • Wines by the Glass: 26
  • Wine Price: $$
Visitors to Rubicon should be delighted by this tome to high quality, diverse and exciting wine. It's a list that showcases some of the world's greatest wines (hello DRC, hello the chunk of sexy Margaret River marquee chardonnat) but suits a broad audience, particularly those seeking to explore the emerging group of thrilling, younger generation winemakers of the local Canberra District, or Australia's colourful natural wine scene. That being said, superb examples of Mount Mary, Huet Vouvray, Pegasus Bay and Penfold's Yattarna (cellared) draw the gaze keenly. Sake, beer an spirits round out the excellent wine offering, suggesting some additional thought and care goes into the general drink offering here. Kudos for that. By the glass goes deep and assisted by the magic of Coravin wine preservation - it's a neat enhancement on an existing excellent opportunity to drink a raft of great wines. Very good work, sommelier Owen Kenyon.

Best Listing of QLD Wines

SPONSORED BY Wine Australia
Best Listing of QLD Wines pic
Blackbird, Brisbane drink-glass

Best Listing of QLD Wines 2018

  • Cuisine: Heritage Australian BBQ
  • Sommelier: Penny Grant
  • Number of Wines: 500
  • Wines by the Glass: 32
  • Wine Price: $$$
The list at Blackbird has a swagger and an energy that is captivating. You simply want to try it all, whether it be one the Australian 'Gintonics', old-fashioned cocktails or one of the many whiskies. The headline act for the wines is a hand-picked selection of Granite Belt wines, standing proud as the local reps. The by-the-glass selection is current and original, with Coravin pours neatly integrated into the set. There's a contemporary slant to the Australian collection, with classics sharing some of the limelight. And the international wines are superb. The list is confident, curated and well-tended, and is a credit to Penny Grant and her team.

Best Listing of Wines by the Glass

SPONSORED BY Transtherm, Vintec
Best Listing of Wines by the Glass pic
Bentley, Sydney drink-glass

Best Listing of Wines by the Glass 2018

  • Cuisine: Contemporary
  • Sommelier: Nick Hildebrandt, Ben Gardiner
  • Number of Wines: 1200
  • Wines by the Glass: 50
  • Wine Price: $$$
Bentley's pitch-perfect selection highlights the classics, the classy, the renegades and more. There's no question the list featuring 1000-plus bottles will send shivers down your spine because what's on offer is first and foremost, delicious drinking. The spotlight is on Australia and France but there's so much in-between Spanish garnacha, Italian pecorino or wild ferment assyrtiko from Greece for example. Discover more than vin jaune with fine choices of chardonnay, savagnin, pinot noir, poulsard and trousseau from the Jura. There's a wicked collection of spirits, an inspiring by the glass selection including gems featured under Fine & Rare and mini-verticals throughout from Selosse, Keller to Mount Mary.

Best New List - The Tony Hitchin Award

SPONSORED BY Moppity Vineyards
Best New List - The Tony Hitchin Award pic
Dear Sainte Eloise, Potts Point drink-glass

Best New List - The Tony Hitchin Award 2018

  • Cuisine: Wine Bar
  • Sommelier: Matthew Swieboda / Nathanial Hatwell / Jasmin Natterer
  • Number of Wines: 470
  • Wines by the Glass: 25
  • Wine Price: $$
We've come to expect the unexpected from Matt Swieboda and his team. This is a tour de force: clearly focused on the new wave of wines that test the boundaries. There is tremendous diversity from all the corners of the known world. Challenging yet with enough choice to satisfy all. An amazing collection.

Best Small Wine List (max 50 wines)

Best Small Wine List (max 50 wines) pic
Harvest, Newrybar drink-glass

Best Small Wine List (max 50 wines) 2018

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Russ Berry, Sam Curtis
  • Number of Wines: 50
  • Wines by the Glass: 22
  • Wine Price: $$$
An exemplary short list; wide ranging by the glass, a roll call of cutting edge Australian producers with enough well-known names (Grosset, Jim Barry, Yarra Yering, Timo Mayer, Bass Phillip) to provide balance. Unusual varieties (negroamaro, arinto, assyrtiko, sagrantino, tinta barroca and teroldego) about as well as unfamiliar blends. Harvest boast an adventurous list that celebrates the diversity of an Australian industry that you might have been unfamiliar with.

Best Small Wine List (max 100 wines)

SPONSORED BY Tyrrell's Wines
Best Small Wine List (max 100 wines) pic
Chiswick Woollahra, Woollahra drink-glass

Best Small Wine List (max 100 wines) 2018

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Brittany Villafane
  • Number of Wines: 87
  • Wines by the Glass: 25
  • Wine Price: $$
A really fresh wine list to match to fresh, seasonally changing garden menu. Exuding personality, the list opens with a great list of beer options and continues with innovative, alternative and natural wine options comfortably alongside the more conventional and classic. So whether you want to be adventurous and experiment with something new or feel more comfortable with the more well known, youll find it here. With plenty of choice options by the glass, carafe and bottle, you can be assured that the wines have been carefully and thoughtfully chosen.

Best Food & Wine Matching List

SPONSORED BY Kurrajong Kitchen
Best Food & Wine Matching List pic
Brae, Birregurra drink-glass

Best Food & Wine Matching List 2018

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Jared Hill / Simon Freeman
  • Number of Wines: 600
  • Wines by the Glass: 19
  • Wine Price: $$$
An erudite list, not a wine out of place. An exciting selection that is beautifully composed. The emerging and esoteric feature strongly, offering the guest a sense of adventure. There is a commendable list of local, cutting edge Victorians, which gives substance and interest for travellers, including back vintages of established greats like Crawford River and Best's Great Western. Then there are the rare and boutique Europeans which guild the cellar with star quality and gravitas. An outstanding collection on offer, its worth a journey for the wine list alone.

Best Non-Alcoholic List

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

Best Non-Alcoholic List 2018

  • Cuisine: Australian
  • Sommelier: Jane Lopes
  • Number of Wines: 500
  • Wines by the Glass: 24
  • Wine Price: $$$
A well-rounded, sophisticated 500-bottle selection, from the established benchmarks to new emerging talent. A Coravin program allows an interesting exploration by the glass, as do the suggested parings. The extensive use of local spirits is to be commended, as is the emphasis on native ingredients in the house cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages, which is becoming an increasingly important category on any drinks list.

Best Champagne List

SPONSORED BY Bollinger
Best Champagne List pic
Cru Bar + Cellar, Fortitude Valley drink-glass

Best Champagne List 2018

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Chris Walker
  • Number of Wines: 1330
  • Wines by the Glass: 111
  • Wine Price: $$$
For a wine lover, visiting Cru Bar + Cellar is like walking into a fantasy. Over 1300 wines are presented, with over 100 by the glass, thanks to the help of Coravin. The list is seemingly endless, and with each variety, Australian's best is presented alongside global examples. There are pages of pinot noir, with Burgundy a highlight, plus a solid selection of nebbiolo and grenache. Shiraz is, as expected, well-featured, as is cabernet and blends including Bordeaux. There is admirable complexity in the white offering, with riesling and chardonnay the stars. Though make the most of this list by trying one of the many quirky varietals and origins, like Nerello Mascalese from Sicily, to make the experience unique.

Best Sparkling List

SPONSORED BY Louis Bouillot
Best Sparkling List pic
Aria Sydney, Sydney drink-glass

Best Sparkling List 2018

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Alex Kirkwood
  • Number of Wines: 1450
  • Wines by the Glass: 67
  • Wine Price: $$$
Already a benchmark, Aria's list always impresses thank to its depth, attention to detail and sheer drinking pleasure on offer. Its extensive by the glass offering is something else boosted by a stunning compilation of iconic Australian and international wines. Start with youthful English fizz, J.J. Prum riesling or Gravner Anfora or something with age perhaps a 1996 Best's Bin O or 2001 Cos d'Estournel. The entire list follows the same stylish local and international theme. Wow. Just wow.

Best Aperitif List

SPONSORED BY Spirits Platform
Best Aperitif List pic
de Vine Food and Wine, Sydney drink-glass

Best Aperitif List 2018

  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Sommelier: Julian Izzillo
  • Number of Wines: 500
  • Wines by the Glass: 35
  • Wine Price: $$$
This is a substantial tome whose heart may be in the cutting edge of winemaking although few will fail to find some vinous treasures to enjoy. Heaps by the glass and carafe, made more extensive by Coravin. A huge range of varietals, many aged rieslings from Australia and Europe, great wines from the far flung corners of the globe. That first world problem - choices.

Best Digestif List

Best Digestif List pic
Black Bar & Grill, Pyrmont drink-glass

Best Digestif List 2018

  • Cuisine: Steak House
  • Sommelier: Addy Lam
  • Number of Wines: 1000+
  • Wines by the Glass: 38
  • Wine Price: $$$
This detailed, extensive, thoroughly thought out and beautifully presented wine list has virtually everything one could hope for in a wine list and something for everyone. The main list not only provides a who's who's and what's what in the world of wine, it also provides interesting information about the wines, or the producers, complete with website links if you are really keen to follow up and discover more. If you are not wanting to spend as much time perusing the wine list, one need go no further than the excellent wine by the glass list which offers a diverse and interesting range and includes a great selection of rarer wines available using the Coravin system. From icons to emerging, classic varieties to the lesser known, recent and aged examples, it is all here and if you are wondering what English sparkling wine is all about, there are even a couple of these on the list too.

Best Beer List

SPONSORED BY Lord Nelson Brewery
Best Beer List pic
Avoca Hotel, Avoca drink-glass

Best Beer List 2018

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Ian Urquhart
  • Number of Wines: 187
  • Wines by the Glass: 21
  • Wine Price: $$
It's great to see such strong regional support for the local wines and the care taken to champion a single area. This is admirable and especially relevant in todays discussions around distance and lessening footprints, supporting local and agricultural. That said, its not parochial either, offering everything from sake to European favourites. The sort of wine list that makes you want to snuggle in on a cold afternoon and enjoy country food, wine and hospitality.

Best Listing of a Region's Wines

Best Listing of a Region's Wines pic
Settlers Tavern, Margaret River drink-glass

Best Listing of a Region's Wines 2018

  • Cuisine: Australian local sourced
  • Number of Wines: 500
  • Wines by the Glass: 25
  • Wine Price: $$
Get ready for an introduction into the world of an enthusiastic sommelier who loves her job. What a joy to behold a list that gives so much information about everything! It is unashamedly West Australia, and Margaret River-proud, with the inside running on many wines, but this is also a most comprehensive collection of world wines, a long time in the making, since 1977. Take a dip and keep an eye out for the biodynamic/organic/sustainable/unsulphured/vegan wines while you're at it. So many wines to peruse, so many small makers doing great things at terrific price and, yet, so little time.

Best Listing of Australian Wines

SPONSORED BY Wine Australia
Best Listing of Australian Wines pic
Jonah's, Palm Beach drink-glass

Best Listing of Australian Wines 2018

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian with Italian influences
  • Sommelier: Niels Sluiman
  • Number of Wines: 1680
  • Wines by the Glass: 85
  • Wine Price: $$$
The drive for excellence continues! If we thought that Jonah's didn't have anything more to prove, no one told them. It's hard to believe yet the judges consider that the list may have improved since last year's win. Awards for Best Listing of Australian Wines and NSW Wines are not easily won. Extraordinary by the glass, even better with Coravin. No matter what your tastes are, you'll be delighted by Jonah's.

Best Listing of NSW Wines

SPONSORED BY Wine Australia
Best Listing of NSW Wines pic
Jonah's, Palm Beach drink-glass

Best Listing of NSW Wines 2018

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian with Italian influences
  • Sommelier: Niels Sluiman
  • Number of Wines: 1680
  • Wines by the Glass: 85
  • Wine Price: $$$
The drive for excellence continues! If we thought that Jonah's didn't have anything more to prove, no one told them. It's hard to believe yet the judges consider that the list may have improved since last year's win. Awards for Best Listing of Australian Wines and NSW Wines are not easily won. Extraordinary by the glass, even better with Coravin. No matter what your tastes are, you'll be delighted by Jonah's.

Best Listing of SA Wines

SPONSORED BY Wine Australia
Best Listing of SA Wines pic
fermentAsian, Tanunda drink-glass

Best Listing of SA Wines 2018

  • Cuisine: Modern Asian
  • Sommelier: Grant Dickson, Geoffrey Hunt
  • Number of Wines: 1254
  • Wines by the Glass: 18
  • Wine Price: $$$
Ferment Asian certainly has an irreverent, quirky way when it comes to a wine list. The long version, all 1254 wines, deserves a read for the whimsy and vinous joy that co-owner, Grant Dickson, brings to his wine selection and his tasting notes. Or there is always the shorter wine list. The list is madly parochial in part, a love letter to the wines of the Barossa Valley and greater South Australia, but Dickson's interests take flight once he leaves these shores, heading all points of the compass from the Canary Islands to the greatest wine houses of Europe. Aged wines are especially celebrated.

Best Listing of TAS Wines

SPONSORED BY Wine Australia
Best Listing of TAS Wines pic
Stillwater, Launceston drink-glass

Best Listing of TAS Wines 2018

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Jimmy Welsh
  • Number of Wines: 182
  • Wines by the Glass: 15
  • Wine Price: $$$
Here is a love letter to Tasmania, a crazy, inspired kind of love from the inclusion of 10 local gins and flights of single malt, to a drop-dead collection of the isle's best sparklings - 21 of them - and a delectable trawl through top-flight chardonnays and pinot noirs. There's more, but should you wish for a breather, long-time wine man and co-owner, James Welsh, has assembled an at times daring bunch of Aussies and Europeans. Maybe a Jura savagnin, a Heathcote sagrantino or a couple of Rockford shirazes from the 1990s?

Best Listing of VIC Wines

SPONSORED BY Wine Australia
Best Listing of VIC Wines pic
Lake House, Daylesford drink-glass

Best Listing of VIC Wines 2018

  • Cuisine: Contemporary Australian
  • Sommelier: Robin Wilson
  • Number of Wines: 1213
  • Wines by the Glass: 22
  • Wine Price: $$$
A legendary list. Thoroughly comprehensive, but if there are regions/styles that shine are Burgundy and Champagne. Indeed, the list of champagnes would be proudly flaunted by most top restaurants from that region. An excellent focus on local wines as well. It does not get much better.

Best Listing of WA Wines

SPONSORED BY Wine Australia
Best Listing of WA Wines pic
Settlers Tavern, Margaret River drink-glass

Best Listing of WA Wines 2018

  • Cuisine: Australian local sourced
  • Number of Wines: 500
  • Wines by the Glass: 25
  • Wine Price: $$
Get ready for an introduction into the world of an enthusiastic sommelier who loves her job. What a joy to behold a list that gives so much information about everything! It is unashamedly West Australia, and Margaret River-proud, with the inside running on many wines, but this is also a most comprehensive collection of world wines, a long time in the making, since 1977. Take a dip and keep an eye out for the biodynamic/organic/sustainable/unsulphured/vegan wines while you're at it. So many wines to peruse, so many small makers doing great things at terrific price and, yet, so little time.

Gourmet Traveller Wine Readers` Choice Award

Gourmet Traveller Wine Readers` Choice Award pic
Charred Kitchen & Bar, Orange drink-glass

Gourmet Traveller Wine Readers` Choice Award 2018

  • Cuisine: International Share Plates
  • Sommelier: David Collins
  • Number of Wines: 457
  • Wines by the Glass: 73
  • Wine Price: $$
It was very easy to get excited about this wine and drinks list from the outset with an incredible, almost dizzying, list of beers from pale ale, to stout, to spiced and fruit options to open the list and an almost as impressive list of whiskys to finish. Not to be outdone however, the extensive wine list has been well crafted, underpinned unapologetically by regional wines from Orange and well supported by a wealth of other Australian wines, both classic and emerging styles. The wine by the glass list is varied, interesting, affordable and approachable, not relying on the usual inclusions. If you are looking further afield, there are plenty of international wines on offer, including a reasonable array of Bordeaux reds which is becoming more and more unusual. A good choice too of some older vintages.

Best Wine Lists State or Territory Winners 2018

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

Best Wine Lists Venue Type Winners 2018

  • 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

Hall of Fame 2018

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 2018

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.

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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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