The NSW Sommelier’s Wine List Awards, which aim to celebrate sommeliers and venues that have created high-quality menus of NSW wines, are now open for entries.

All kinds of venues, from high-end restaurants to local pubs, are welcome to enter the NSW Sommelier’s Wine List Awards. The awards have extended the competition this year to include venues that hold a club licence.

The awards, which are free to enter, are organised by the NSW Wine Industry Association (NSWWIA), whose president, Mark Bourne said they had taken on a greater significance given the events of the past few years.

“It is more important than ever that all sectors of hospitality support each other,” Bourne said.

“In fact, I would say that it is critical both our industries work together and support each other for a sustainable future.”

Bourne also pointed to the 30 per cent growth in listings of wines from NSW and the ACT in the past 12 months, which he stated reflects a customer desire to see local wines and produce on the menus in the venues they visit.

The awards are judged by a panel of experts, as Bourne explains: “We are delighted to have Dane Richards, GM and Head of Reviewing Australia for Gault&Millau, Mark Baulderstone, MD of Riedel Spiegelau Nachtmann Australia, and Lyndey Milan OAM, award-winning, multi-media presenter, return as our judges this year.”

“We were pleased that last year one of our winners, Charred Bar and Kitchen, in Orange, went on to claim a major title at the Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards, highlighting the quality of our awards and judging process,” Bourne added.

The total list of categories is as follows:

  1. Best NSW Wine List in a Regional NSW venue (<40 seats)
  2. Best NSW Wine List in a Regional NSW venue (>40 seats)
  3. Best NSW Wine List in a Regional NSW Hotel Accommodation venue (min 20 rooms plus dining)
  4. Best NSW Wine List in a Sydney venue (<40 seats)
  5. Best NSW Wine List in a Sydney venue (>40 seats)
  6. Best NSW Wine List in a Sydney Hotel Accommodation venue (min 20 rooms plus dining)
  7. Best NSW Wine List in a Club venue (venues that hold a club licence)

(Note that the accommodation categories are specifically aimed at larger hotels, while venues with less than 20 rooms are welcome to entry other categories.)

Two additional special awards are up for grabs: the NSWWIA President’s Special Award for Outstanding Support to the NSW Wine Industry and the flagship NSW Sommelier’s Wine List of the Year.

Finalists in each category will be awarded the title of ‘NSW Wine Star’, and will be in the running to wine one of five food and wine trips to NSW’s premier food and wine regions, alongside free entry to Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards and admittance into the Chaine Des Rotisseurs Young Sommeliers Competition.

Additional prizes include advice on the restaurant reviewing process from Gault & Millau, wine pouring systems and accessories, and a drinks glass consultation plus a $2,000 fitout of Riedel glasses.

“NSW has a rich history of exceptional wines crated by passionate and committed grapegrowers and winemakers. The NSW Sommelier’s Wine List Awards celebrates and rewards those sommeliers and venues that share this passion and work with local wine producers to create memorable NSW dine and wine experiences,” Bourne concluded.

The window for entries closes on April 19.

2022 winners will be announced at a ceremony at NSW Parliament House, Sydney, in June.

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