The UK Wine List of the Year awards are back giving restaurants, bars, hotels and pubs across the country the chance to showcase the work that goes on behind the scenes by wine buyers and sommeliers to pull together market leading wine lists. The awards are organised by Star Wine List, in partnership with The Buyer, as part of its International series of wine list competitions that are held in cities and countries all over the world. Here we set out what the categories are to enter for the 2023 competition, including a new standalone award for the most sustainable wine list.
The 2023 Star Wine List of the Year UK with The Buyer takes place in London on February 20. Click here to enter and find out more about the competition.
“We can’t wait to come back to London and celebrate the great wine lists of the UK again, and the teams behind them,” is how Krister Bengtsson, founder of Star Wine List, introduces the 2023 Star Wine List of the Year UK being organised in partnership with The Buyer.
It will once again be the chance for not only the best venues and outlets in the UK to put their lists up to the test, but also an opportunity for the finalists to come together, network, share their experiences and catch up with fellow wine buyers and sommeliers at the awards ceremony on February 20. The awards are once again being hosted at The Winemakers Club in London and will also include a tasting of wines from the category sponsors and the chance to take part in an industry debate with leading on-trade figures.
Bengtsson adds: “With Brexit, the pandemic and now staff shortages, the crews in the UK restaurants are doing an amazing job for all guests. The UK Wine List Awards is our way of celebrating and rewarding all their hard work.”
Richard Siddle, editor-in-chief, of The Buyer says: “We are delighted to once again team up with Krister and the Star Wine List team. Both our businesses are focused on trying to give the restaurant and bar sectors the support they need to run their businesses through the content, insights, debates and events we run to help bring leading players together.
“The Star Wine List of the Year UK with The Buyer awards stand out because they are judged by those who know what it takes to compile effective wine lists that can both excite and engage their customers, but also contribute profits to their venues’ bottom line.”
This year’s awards also includes a number of new partners that have signed up to take part and show their support to the premium on-trade. These include Bibendum, Nyetimber, Spier, Chateau Palmer, and CIVB. They join Austrian Wine and New Zealand Winegrowers who were partners for the 2022 awards. (See below for the full set of categories).
The judging panel for the 2023 awards is once again chaired by Ruth Spivey and also a team of award winning sommeliers including:
• Piotr Pietras MS, Terroiryści, Poland
• Ronan Sayburn MS, chief executive, Court of Master Sommeliers
• Jan Konetzki, independent sommelier
The UK competition is part of Star Wine List’s international awards that have also seen events take place in the Nordics, South Africa and Australia.
The 2023 line up of categories includes both the main generic categories that feature in all Star Wine List competitions and UK only categories.
Bengtsson explains: “We are happy this year to introduce the Sustainable Wine List category to the UK for the first time and welcome Spier as our partner. We also have the Best Up-and-Coming Wine List presented by Chateau Palmer, Bordeaux New Generation Wine List with CIVB and Best Sparkling Wine List, presented by Nyetimber.”
- Best Austrian Wine List, in partnership with Austrian Wine
- Grand Prix, in partnership with Bibendum.
(For wine lists with more than 600 references).
- Best Medium-Sized List
(Wine lists with between 200-600 references).
- Best Short List
(Wine lists up to 200 reference)
- Best By the Glass List
- Best Sparkling Wine List, in partnership with Nyetimber.
- Special Jury Prize
(For a wine list that does something out of the ordinary)
- Sustainable Wine List, in partnership with Spier.
These are awards that are specific to the UK and include:
- Best Up-and-Coming Wine List, in partnership with Chвteau Palmer
(For a new wine list or a wine list that is going places).
Best California Wine List, presented by Louis M. Martini.
- Bordeaux New Generation List, in partnership with CIVB
- (For a wine list featuring a new generation of Bordeaux wines)
- Best New Zealand Wine List, in partnership with New Zealand Winegrowers
- More categories will be added in the coming weeks.
The entry process is now open and runs until January 22. Click here to enter your list in the relevant category.