On Monday, 24th May, the top winners in the 2021 NSW SOMMELIER’S WINE LIST AWARDS (run by NSW Wine with strategic partners Destination NSW, WINEDEPOT and the Restaurant & Catering Association) were announced at Government House Sydney at a ceremony hosted by the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC.
A fantastic range of wine lists were entered this year by sommeliers/beverage managers from across the state. After much diligent evaluation by judges Dane Richards (GM News for the Food Lover), Ned Goodwin MW (wine educator and critic) and Mark Baulderstone (MD Riedel Spiegelau Nachtmann Australia), 38 finalists were crowned 2021 NSW Wine Stars (full list at end of release) and then this week, these were whittled down to the top 6 lists.
And the winners are …
2021 Best NSW Wine List in a Regional NSW venue – small
David Lowe from The Zin House, Mudgee
This was a very strong category, with finalists from the Hunter, Orange, Mudgee, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands – highlighting the quality of food and wine experiences out there in our wine regions. The winner received a $1000 prize package from DK Digital Systems, including invaluable advice on the right digital systems to take their business to the next level.
2021 Best NSW Wine List in a Regional NSW venue – large
Pete Cutcliffe from Bills Fishhouse + Bar, Port Macquarie
The largest category of finalists, again highlighting the quality in regional NSW, and giving the judges a tough job. In the end, Bills Fishhouse became our first back-to-back winner, collecting this award for the second time. They will receive a bespoke glass consultation, specifically tailored to their venue, and a $2000 premium glass fit-out from Riedel.
2021 Best NSW Wine List in a Regional NSW accommodation venue
Matt Underwood from Newcastle Club, Newcastle
A new category to the Awards, created to showcase and reward those that work so hard in accommodation venues to provide a great service and also support local producers. Matt’s list was described by the judge as “a very well-constructed list with strong depth in almost all areas”. He receives an indulgent, immersion trip around the stunning wine region of Orange, including 2 nights accommodation at Rowlee’s Guesthouse, dinner for 2 at Charred Kitchen and Bar and a range of expertly guided winery tours. He also received a great prize package from the Restaurant & Catering Association including free membership, a special report on the on-premise trade in Australia and 2 free tickets to the next NSW Awards For Excellence.
2021 Best NSW Wine List in a Sydney venue
Louella Mathews from bibo wine bar, Double Bay
Words judges used for this list were “superlative” and “a wonderful list, well thought out and structured”! Louella wins $1000 worth of Australia’s best wine logistics and technology solutions from WINEDEPOT.
2021 Best NSW Wine List in a Sydney accommodation venue
Matthew Brooke from TWR, Crown Sydney
The other new category to our Awards, highlighting the sommeliers and accommodation venues in Sydney that showcase our state’s wines to a wide audience. Again there were some very strong finalists in this category but one stood out with nearly 100% of its wines by-the-glass coming from NSW, and these were backed up by a bottle list that the judges described as “bold and impressive”! Matthew wins a fantastic food and wine trip around the Canberra wine district region, including 2 nights accommodation at the East Hotel, dinner or lunch at Grazing Restaurant and some expertly guided winery tours, tailored to his interests.
2021 NSW Wine President’s Award for Outstanding Support of the NSW Wine Industry
David Collins from Charred Kitchen & Bar, Orange
This is a special award presented at the discretion of the President of the NSW Wine Industry Association, Mark Bourne, and given to someone that has shown outstanding commitment to showcasing NSW wines. Mark commented, “David’s list hosts 244 wines from all over NSW (840 wines in total), making it arguably the biggest list of NSW wines in the country”! David wins a trip around the birthplace of Australian wine, the Hunter Valley, including 2 nights accommodation at The White House (including Pooles Rock Wines), dinner for 2 at Hunters Quarter, and some premium winemaker experiences. He also receives automatic and free entry into the 2021 Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards.
2021 NSW Sommelier’s Wine List of the Year
Matthew Brooke from TWR, Crown Sydney
Our overall winner not only claims the ultimate title of ‘NSW Sommelier’s Wine List of the Year’ but is also on his way to Mudgee. Including 2 nights accommodation at Farmers Quarters, a private picnic at Lowe Wines with food by The Zin House, dinner for 2 at Pipeclay Pumphouse and more exclusive winemaker experiences at some amazing wineries like Vinifera Wines and Robert Stein Winery. This winner also received free entry into the 2021 Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards.
A massive congratulations to all the finalists and top winners, and a big thank you for supporting the wines of NSW.
Atelier by Sofitel, Sydney
Avalon Restaurant, Katoomba
Bangalay Dining, Shoalhaven Heads
Bar Florian, Port Macquarie
bibo wine bar, Sydney
Bills Fishhouse + Bar, Port Macquarie
Birch Restaurant, Moss Vale
Birdie Noshery & Drinking Est, Orange
BLACK Bar & Grill, The Star Sydney
Boilerhouse at Q Station, Accor Sydney
Charred Kitchen & Bar, Orange
Eschalot Restaurant, Berrima
EXP. Restaurant, Pokolbin
Fix Wine Bar + Restaurant, Sydney
Flying Fish, The Star Sydney
International Convention Centre Sydney
Jackalberry, Grand Hyatt Sydney
Lolli Redini Restaurant, Orange
Muse Kitchen, Hunter Valley
Muse Kitchen, Lorn
nel. Restaurant, Sydney
Newcastle Club, Newcastle
O Bar and Dining, Sydney
One Penny Red, Sydney
Pilu at Freshwater, Sydney
Public Dining Room, Sydney
Quay Restaurant, Sydney
Redsalt Restaurant, Crown Plaza Pokolbin
Sean’s Bondi, Sydney
SOUTH on Albany, Berry
Tattersalls Club, Sydney
The Gantry, Pier One Sydney
The Robertson Hotel, Robertson
The Throsby, Wollongong
The Zin House, Mudgee
TWR, Crown Sydney
Wandin Kitchen, Lovedale
Image credits: Belinda Rolland