WINNERS

Best Wine Lists Category Winners 2019

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 2019

Vintec Sommeliers' Choice Award

SPONSORED BY Vintec
Vintec Sommeliers' Choice Award pic
Sixpenny, Stanmore drink-glass

Vintec Sommeliers' Choice Award 2019

  • Cuisine: Contemporary Australian
  • Sommelier: Bridget Raffal
  • Number of Wines: 260
  • Wines by the Glass: 20
  • Wine Price: $$$
One of the stars of the 2019 Awards, this carefully curated, immaculately presented list shows what a clever sommelier can achieve in a small restaurant. The focus is on wines that suit the restaurant's light, bright, produced-based dishes. Attention is paid to the winemakers and each is named alongside their wine. The cutting edge, organic and biodynamic producers are targeted. There's a focus on small producers; diversity in the white wines on offer, as well as Jura blanc and sous voile (aged with flor yeast) whites; gamay and lightly framed reds from Beaujolais and around the world. Established superstars such as JJ Prum, Mt Pleasant 'Elizabeth, Tarrawarra, Giaconda are a reference point and provide balance. A great list.

Best Aperitif List

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

Best Aperitif List 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Rebecca Lines
  • Number of Wines: 185
  • Wines by the Glass: 22
  • Wine Price: $$
In its third year, Banksil continues to delight and brighten the drinker's day with an exciting bunch of alluriing cocktails with the emphasis on vermouth. Spirit lovers will also gravitate here for the gins. In such spirited company, the wine side of things holds its own with organic and biodynamic makers aplenty as well as capitalising on edgy styles such as the trend to orange/skin contact wines. Follow the helpful sub-headings to discover what's what style-wise. The Champagne selection is a strength as is the range of bright young whites from around the world, while the European touch throughout offers some very tempting names such as Girolamo, Vajra, Brezza and Antonelli.

Best Beer List

Best Beer List pic
Avoca (The), Avoca drink-glass

Best Beer List 2019

  • Cuisine: MODERN AUSTRALIAN
  • Sommelier: Ian Urquhart
  • Number of Wines: 224
  • Wines by the Glass: 19
  • Wine Price: $$
There is no resting on one's laurels with Ian Urquhart of The Avoca Hotel. The list has taken another step up, with even more wines listed. A slight layout tweak has improved the list's visual appeal, including a greater focus on Japanese spirits, and cocktails. Local wines continue their deserving champion status, with a mix of contemporary and classic, young and old. That said there is an equally good selection of 'Not Local' wines too. It is an astute selection that will delight all wine lovers, not to mention beer connoisseurs with a stunning 160 brews on offer. And then there are the gins...wow!

Best Digestif List

Best Digestif List pic
Bentley, Sydney drink-glass

Best Digestif List 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Nick Hildebrandt & Ben Gardiner
  • Number of Wines: 1400
  • Wines by the Glass: 50
  • Wine Price: $$$
Bentley maintains the position at, or close to, the summit of Sydney dining that it has occupied for more than a decade. Its list has maintained the quality it needed to win the 2015 Australia's Wine List of the Year. Now Nick Hilderbrandt and Brent Savage have four 3 glass restaurants in Sydney's CBD. While Bentley's focus is on sustainability and new producers, the great traditional winemakers, too, are given their due. Every base is covered with occasional features throwing the spotlight on neglected areas (marc, Chartreuse) or those which are well nigh impossible to source (Jacques Selosse). Exemplary.

Best Listing of a Region’s Wine

SPONSORED BY Terra Sancta
Best Listing of a Region’s Wine pic
Stillwater, Launceston drink-glass

Best Listing of a Region’s Wine 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Jim Welsh
  • Number of Wines: 203
  • Wines by the Glass: 13
  • Wine Price: $$
For a list of some 200-wines it seems way broader in scope and scale, featuring a global outlook married to an allegiance to exceptional Tasmanian wine producers - so many styles, so many interesting wines, so many things aptly chosen to add value and detail. Of course, as many sommeliers will, there's a huge collection of diverse riesling, plenty of Champagne, grower and big name alike, and a leaning to perfumed, light to medium weight red wine that feels very en pointe for the currency of Australian food and drinking culture. Then, there's the swathe of wines from Rockford, of course, and you'll find cult favourites from Foillard, Bruno Duchene and Rudolf Trossen in the mix, all providing a quixotic and engaging series of options for all-comers. Spirits aren't overlooked either, with a finely-chosen collection on offer, particularly the bent to gin and whisky from the home state. All-in-all this does the locals proud while delivering a myriad of options. It's a stellar list.

Best Listing of Australian Wines

SPONSORED BY Wine Australia
Best Listing of Australian Wines pic
Cafe Sydney, Sydney drink-glass

Best Listing of Australian Wines 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Simon Curkovic
  • Number of Wines: 249
  • Wines by the Glass: 46
  • Wine Price: $$
Cafe Sydney offers the diner a thorough immersion in the wines of Australia whether by region, producer, grape variety or style. It's a list worthy of a few minutes of your time with some of the less visited wine regions (on wine lists, that is) like Gundagai, Southern Highlands, Orange, Great Southern, Wrattonbully and Gippsland getting due attention. Vegan wines, a trend on the increase, are noted and there are many listed. Also on-trend is the selection of skin contact white wines and alternative grape varieties like Fiano, Assyrtiko and Tempranillo that are going great guns in this country.

Best Listing of NSW Wines

SPONSORED BY Wine Australia
Best Listing of NSW Wines pic
Newcastle Club (The), Newcastle drink-glass

Best Listing of NSW Wines 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Matt Underwood
  • Number of Wines: 587
  • Wines by the Glass: 18
  • Wine Price: $$$
Back to back wins as Australia's Best Club List suggests that the Newcastle Club is on fire. It is. There is an admirable focus on the local wines of the Hunter Valley, and New South Wales while at the same time offering those wines in balance with outstanding examples of wines from other parts of Australia and overseas. The key is careful selection: wide-ranging and precise.

Best Listing of VIC Wines

SPONSORED BY Wine Australia
Best Listing of VIC Wines pic
Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld drink-glass

Best Listing of VIC Wines 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Peter Dillon and Matthew Lance
  • Number of Wines: 1250
  • Wines by the Glass: 105
  • Wine Price: $$-$$$
This is a big list literally and figuratively-speaking with 1250 of the world's greatest wines based on the wine collection of owner, Allan Myers. It takes five pages just to view the selection of half bottles and larger format wines! Be prepared to be amazed from the largest collection of Burgundy and Bordeaux in the Southern Hemisphere, to a comprehensive look at the wines of Victoria, especially the western half, and then multiple vintages from fabulous winemakers all over the globe. With 10 sub-categories for red wine alone it could be a long night, or you could find solace in working your way through some fine tastes - including grape rarieties like schonburger and assyritiko - by the glass.

Best Listing of ACT Wines

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

Best Listing of ACT Wines 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Kate Hibberson
  • Number of Wines: 204
  • Wines by the Glass: 20
  • Wine Price: $$
A celebration of the exciting and innovative Canberra wine region is wholeheartedly embraced at The Boat House. From a Mount Majura sparkling, a Ravensworth RIesling to a Mada Syrah Nouveau, the offerings by the glass and under Coravin set the scene. Enter further and diners will find a brief history of the region, its commitment to Riesling and Shiraz and a featured producer, and so it goes on. However, the Canberra Wine Masterclass is not the only reason to love this listing, it is the hand-picked nature of the rest of the offerings that also impresses. Small producers shine whether from Priorat, Etna, Beaujolais or Provence.

Best Listing of QLD Wines

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

Best Listing of QLD Wines 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Chris Walker
  • Number of Wines: 1471
  • Wines by the Glass: 119
  • Wine Price: $$$
Cru Bar’s by the glass selection is a knock-out starting with diverse and delicious wines under appropriate headings such as medium & full bodied whites or full bodied reds. But wait, there’s more. Wines by the glass via Coravin ensure high-end, rare or older bottles can be shared. The list proper offers a fabulous selection of Queensland producers then continues to unfurl with page after page of excellence.

Best Listing of Wines by the Glass

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

Best Listing of Wines by the Glass 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Nick Hildebrandt & Ben Gardiner
  • Number of Wines: 1400
  • Wines by the Glass: 50
  • Wine Price: $$$
Bentley maintains the position at, or close to, the summit of Sydney dining that it has occupied for more than a decade. Its list has maintained the quality it needed to win the 2015 Australia's Wine List of the Year. Now Nick Hilderbrandt and Brent Savage have four 3 glass restaurants in Sydney's CBD. While Bentley's focus is on sustainability and new producers, the great traditional winemakers, too, are given their due. Every base is covered with occasional features throwing the spotlight on neglected areas (marc, Chartreuse) or those which are well nigh impossible to source (Jacques Selosse). Exemplary.

Best Champagne List

SPONSORED BY Bollinger
Best Champagne List pic
Quay, The Rocks drink-glass

Best Champagne List 2019

  • Cuisine: Australian
  • Sommelier: Amanda Yallop/Shanteh Wong
  • Number of Wines: 520
  • Wines by the Glass: 28
  • Wine Price: $$$
The use of coravin gives an almost unique opportunity to try a wine like a fifty year old vin jaune by the glass. So much here to enjoy as the selections are well crafted to make the most of every choice. Toss in a range of those brilliant Navazos sherries (get the somm to direct you if there are any doubts), and this is a list to savour.

Best Non-Alcoholic Drink List

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

Best Non-Alcoholic Drink List 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Jane Lopes
  • Number of Wines: 500
  • Wines by the Glass: 31
  • Wine Price: $$$
Attica walks to the beat of its own drum. It takes a refreshing approach to fine dining, such as offering three different beverage pairings: non-alcoholic juices and infusions; global wine, beer and sake; or a mix of the two. The wine-by-the-glass offering traverses a wide range of prices: you can enjoy an affordable glass of rosé or a rare aged wine served via Coravin. By the bottle, the hand-tendered selection is heady and luxurious, catering for the finest of connoisseurs, though there is also an excellent selection of sub-$100 bottles so you can have a fine wine experience whatever your budget.

Gourmet Traveller Wine Readers Choice Award

Gourmet Traveller Wine Readers Choice Award pic
Muse, Griffith drink-glass

Gourmet Traveller Wine Readers Choice Award 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Paul Eldon and Daniel Sanderson
  • Number of Wines: 131
  • Wines by the Glass: 12
  • Wine Price: $
Welcome to the wine road less travelled. It's a fun ride where you will discover small, family-owned independent wine producers.

Best Listing of TAS Wines

SPONSORED BY Wine Australia
Best Listing of TAS Wines pic
Terrace Launceston, Prospect Vale drink-glass

Best Listing of TAS Wines 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Robyn McInerney, Trent Edmunds, Ross Hannah
  • Number of Wines: 260
  • Wines by the Glass: 13
  • Wine Price: $
The list does great justice to the great array of fine wine emerging from Tasmania, with halcyon producers set alongside those that have brought fame to the Apple Isle. It's great to see such focus on the local wine scene, with by the glass, a neat little staff pick section, back vintage wines and emerging winemakers all celebrated and listed extensively. A feature page on Stefano Lubiana Single Block wines is a tempting highlight, though you'll be leafing through names like Holyman, Pooley, Sailor Seeks Horse and the premium sparkling wines of Tassie with equal lust and vigour. If Tasmania isn't your quarry, there's grower Champagne, big name wines from Torbreck, Mount Mary and Moos Wood, with a Penfold's Grange collection of substance likewise found within these pages. Bordeaux is also a feature, with well-priced grand marques and back vintages available. The dessert list is also a clincher. Decidedly, one of northern Tasmania's best shaped lists.

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 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: -
  • Number of Wines: 600
  • Wines by the Glass: 25
  • Wine Price: $
This superstar list continues at pace. A remarkable offering for a regional pub, let alone a restaurant anywhere in Australia. Proprietors Karen and Rob Gough are dedicated to not only supporting their local wine region, Margaret River, but unearthing and fostering new talent, discovering and promoting under-the-radar producers and broadening horizons of patrons. There's mature wines from the bulging Settlers Tavern cellar regularly updating the list, and, of course, gems from Western Australia feature heavily here. The Gough's have long supported the fine wines under the banner of natural wine, so you'll find rarities from Savoie's Domaine Belluard, southern German pinot star Ziereisen or Jura rising star Tony Bornard. Of course, 'You Have Now Entered Margaret River Cab Country' gives way to a triumphant, and carefully-curated collection of the finest of local reds. Some 600 wines later and you've seen one of the most legendary living lists in the country.

Best Listing of SA Wines

SPONSORED BY Wine Australia
Best Listing of SA Wines pic
Republic Norwood, Norwood drink-glass

Best Listing of SA Wines 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Benjamin Gough & Jason Ryan
  • Number of Wines: 125
  • Wines by the Glass: 51
  • Wine Price: $$
A list which unashamedly trumpets the glories of its home State, South Australia, and uses many of the very best producers to do so. Good information is provided on these wines but best of all is the value offered here. some gems at great prices. A solid, impressive collection from SA.

Best Sparkling List

SPONSORED BY Jansz
Best Sparkling List pic
Melbourne Supper Club, Melbourne drink-glass

Best Sparkling List 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Chris Broughton
  • Number of Wines: 700
  • Wines by the Glass: 15
  • Wine Price: $$$
Setting the tone for this high-end wine bar are six pages of premium Champagne. The delights continue from there with a sweep of international and local wines of the highest calibre. In all varietal categories, you will find benchmark producers, and there are plenty of rare wines to delight the most discerning of wine drinkers. Though mortals are also looked after with an excellent array of well-chosen sub-$100 bottles.

Best Small Wine List – Maximum 50 wines

Best Small Wine List – Maximum 50 wines pic
Congress, Collingwood drink-glass

Best Small Wine List – Maximum 50 wines 2019

  • Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Sommelier: Katie McCormack
  • Number of Wines: 50
  • Wines by the Glass: 14
  • Wine Price: $$
A slick and contemporary wine list which includes boundary-pushing, progressive labels from winemakers doing things their own way. Local and international wines mingle together effortlessly, as do the different varieties and styles. Both the reds and whites are youthful, with a strong emphasis on quality. The list is minimal in its presentation, so don't be afraid to ask for direction should you need it.

Best Small Wine List – Maximum 50 wines

Best Small Wine List – Maximum 50 wines pic
Ishizuka, Melbourne drink-glass

Best Small Wine List – Maximum 50 wines 2019

  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Sommelier: Sarah and David Lawler
  • Number of Wines: 39
  • Wines by the Glass: 22
  • Wine Price: $$
In the case of the Ishizuka wine list, small is beautiful. Very beautiful in fact. It is an exquisite and original listing of harmonious wines and sake that complement rather than overshadow the food. The producers selected are outstanding, and care has been taken with the vintages listed. It is a list that does not ostracise, with affordable options as well as premium labels. Everything, from the tea to the cocktails and digestives has been carefully considered. The curated nature of this list introduces an element of simplicity into the dining experience, in line with the uncluttered decor and elegant food. Superb.

Best Small Wine List – Maximum 100 wines

Best Small Wine List – Maximum 100 wines pic
Institut Polaire, Hobart drink-glass

Best Small Wine List – Maximum 100 wines 2019

  • Cuisine: Local wine bar fare
  • Sommelier: Louise Radman
  • Number of Wines: 100
  • Wines by the Glass: 16
  • Wine Price: $
A fascinating and idiosyncratic wine list shaped around the offering from local wine producer Domaine Simha. It speaks loudly of natural wines and boutique wine producers but let's in blue chip wines from famed Mosel producer JJ Prum, Chablis's halcyon winery Raveneau and a scattering of big house Champagne, then gives drinkers a wild ride into some of the most sought-after cult wine producers under the banner of the natural wine movement. Indeed, seeing Pierre Overnoy listed freely (usually drunk well before it hits a wine list!), or select cuvees from another Jura legend Phillipe Bornard, is a thrill for the minimal intervention wine trainspotters, but the list delivers a wealth of obscure and interesting wines. The list is charismatic in its design, has unique categories to choose from, features a strong collection of riesling and a wonderful array of interesting spirits. Tasmania is also given due time in the spotlight. It's a cracking collection to drink from.

Best Food & Wine Matching List

SPONSORED BY Bisleri
Best Food & Wine Matching List pic
Momofuku Seiobo, Pyrmont drink-glass

Best Food & Wine Matching List 2019

  • Cuisine: Caribbean
  • Sommelier: Maximilian Gurtler
  • Number of Wines: 230
  • Wines by the Glass: 10
  • Wine Price: $$$
If you are dining at Momofuku Seiobo, it's likely you'll know what to expect from the food and the wines. The list offers artisanal producers from around the world, in most cases, collections of either of different vintages or different wines from the same maker. Expect rare or first rate producers whose wines are eagerly sought after. These are winemakers on the cutting edge, using minimal inputs, skin contact and daring to be different. In its genre, a world class list.

Best New Wine List – Tony Hitchin Award

SPONSORED BY 100 Proof
Best New Wine List – Tony Hitchin Award pic
Bistecca, Sydney drink-glass

Best New Wine List – Tony Hitchin Award 2019

  • Cuisine: Italian Steak
  • Sommelier: Alice Massaria
  • Number of Wines: 302
  • Wines by the Glass: 25
  • Wine Price: $$
This new ray of Italian sunshine brightens the Sydney scene with a challenging array of indigenous Italian varieties from the motherland and Australia. While many of the offerings will be unfamiliar, the list provides support as, no doubt, do the sommeliers. While there is little compromise to Australian tastes in (for example) the aperitifs or digestifs the range of Italian favourites should tempt most palates.

Best Wine Lists State or Territory Winners 2019

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

Best Wine Lists Venue Type Winners 2019

  • 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 2019

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 2019

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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Wine Australia is pleased to support Australia's Wine List of the Year Awards, which recognises the commitment of Australian sommeliers to support local winemakers, showcase the premium quality and diversity of Australian wines and share the stories that make our wines unique.

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