Few things excite us more than a good wine list. We don’t need anything too rare or fancy, but we’re always looking for restaurants that champion interesting bottle selections and under-the-radar producers. While this wasn’t quite the criteria for the annual Star Wine List of the Year awards this week, which named the best wine lists in the world, we’d certainly love to try a bottle or two from the winners.
At the ceremony in Stockholm, Alchemist won the Grand Prix for the Best Large Wine List, a category that emphasizes lists with more than 600 wines. The Copenhagen restaurant has two Michelin stars, and its wine director, Nina Højgaard Jensen, was part of the jury, though she didn’t judge this particular category.
“As the world of wine continues to expand to new territories and incarnations, and as the iconic bottles are getting rarer and more out of reach, you can only salute the fantastic job done at Alchemist to offer an exceptional program able to gather such a breadth and the depth of references,” said Pascaline Lepeltier, one of the other sommeliers on the jury. “A special mention to the fair pricing. Bravo to the Alchemist team for building in so little time such a high-level program.”
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London’s Trivet won Best Medium Wine List (200 to 600 listings), and co-owner and sommelier Isa Bal said the awards are a “great initiative to highlight the importance of wine in the world of gastronomy, which has long been overlooked.” Babette in Stockholm and Restaurant St. Barts in London tied for Best Short List, which judged menus with less than 200 wines. Haoma in Bangkok and ËLGR in Cape Town were co-winners of best Sustainable Wine List, and New York’s very own Blue Hill at Stone Barns snagged the award for Best Sparkling Wine List.
Perhaps the most interesting award, Best By the Glass List, went to Prism in Berlin, which is known for its Levantine-influenced menu. “To have such an extensive wine-by-the-glass list, you need to be a little bit crazy, but it’s all about accessibility and taking the fear away from the guests,” said sommelier Jacqueline Lorenz. “With our Levantine spin, we try to present a wine region that is not really on everyone’s radar.”
With that ethos, it sounds like Prism would be our personal favorite of all the winners.
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