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Imbibe's Louis Roederer Wine List of the Year competition
proudly recognises restaurants that put just as much
thought into the wine they serve as the food they
cook. We take a look at the roll call of past winners
WORDS CHRIS LOSH
ive years ago, our sister magazine
Imbibe teamed up with top
Champagne house Louis
Roederer to create the Wine
List of the Year competition.
Our reason for doing so was
simple: to reward quality in an area of
the restaurant experience that is almost
totally overlooked - the wine list.
Restaurant reviewers will write plenty about
the myriad dishes they try, but it's rare for the wine side
of things to rate any mention at all, let alone any sort of
informed analysis that might be in any way comparable
with the thousands of words dished out on the food.
AA Gill, famously, doesn't even drink.
And yet, the wine list is an enormous part of the
eating-out (or drinking-out) experience. A good wine
list can be fun, accessible, well priced and stimulating.
It should make you want to choose the wine with the
same enthusiasm as the food. Equally, a bad list can
leave you confused, bored or, worse, angry.
The Wine List of the Year was set up to reward
the people who were going the extra mile.
We were clear from the start that we
didn't want this to be a competition that
simply rewards places with the biggest
cellars and the deepest pockets. Though
those heavy-hitter lists are recognised
each year with a special Sommelier's Award.
Rather, we wanted to recognise places that
had made an e ort not just to match the wines
to the type of food the kitchen produced, but to present
them in a way that would engage you, the customer.
Lists, if you like, that understood which unwritten rules
could be broken, and which were there for a reason.
The expert sommeliers who have made up our
judging panels down the years have been looking not
just for good wines at fair prices, but for accuracy,
accessibility and personality. And in the ve years
that the competition has been running, we've seen
ever more sommeliers prepared to try new things
to engage with their customers.
WINE LIST OF THE YEAR