Wine List Confidential Awards 2019: Profiling the winners

Best Iberian Wine List

Winner

Bar Douro

Shortlist

Bar Douro
Ametsa with Arzak Instruction

This year the judges decided to assess the lists featuring Spain and Portugal as one category. Bar Douro was commended for the “exceptional depth” of its list, as well as the use of maps to help people understand the regional flavour profiles.

One judge commented: “Portuguese wine which isn’t port is still quite a new thing to many restaurant goers, and with these reasonable prices and wealth of information, this is a great introduction.”

Adorned with pretty blue and white Portuguese tiles, Bar Douro in Flat Iron Square is the brainchild of Max Graham (picture above left) whose father Johnnie founded Churchill’s Port in 1981. The list features the likes of Churchill’s Reserve,14 LBV, 10-Year-Old and vintage ‘97 – all available by the glass – as well as an exclusively Portuguese table wine list.

Graham says of the list: “We endeavour to show the very best the country has to offer, from less accessible reserves through to natural wines and more experimental projects at the vanguard of Portugal’s wine scene.”

To read the full review, please click here. 

Best Italian Wine List, in association with the Consorzio de tutela vini DOC Venezie

Winner

The River Café

Shortlist

Margot
The River Café
Caractère
Locanda Locatelli
Bocca di Luppo

London is extremely well-served with both Italian food and wine, making the competition in this category particularly strong. Italian stalwart The River Café’s list was described by the judges as “hard to beat.”

“The top names are there but also smaller producers and places; done by region, and priced reasonably. There’s a real understanding of where the wines are coming from and their winemaker stories,” the judges added.

With over three decades of being based on the banks of the Thames, The River Café and its founders Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray have helped launch the careers of chef alumni, Jamie Oliver, Theo Randall and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The Italy-dominant list includes the likes of an Etna Rosso (Ciauria, Pietro Caciorgna) and Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria (Donnafugata).

Collecting the award was sommelier Milena di Francisco.

To read the full review, please click here. 

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