The venues and people who best celebrate NSW wines have been recognised at the 2021 NSW Sommelier’s Wine List Awards.

The awards, run by NSW Wine with strategic partners Destination NSW, Wine Depot and the Restaurant & Catering Association, named the winners at Government House Sydney in a ceremony hosted by the Governor of New South Wales Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC.

The 38 finalists for this year’s awards were named earlier this month, before this year’s judges, Dane Richards (GM Australia for Gault&Millau), Ned Goodwin MW (wine educator and critic) and Mark Baulderstone (MD Riedel Spiegelau Nachtmann Australia) named their top six lists, and then an overall winner.

The 2021 NSW Sommelier’s Wine List award winners are:

2021 Best NSW Wine List in a Regional NSW venue, small – David Lowe from The Zin House, Mudgee

The judges said 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.

2021 Best NSW Wine List in a Regional NSW venue, large – Pete Cutcliffe from Bill’s Fishhouse, Port Macquarie

The largest category of finalists, which the judges said again highlights the quality in regional NSW. In the end, Bill’s Fishhouse became the first back-to-back winner, collecting this award for the second time.

2021 Best NSW Wine List in a Regional NSW accommodation venue – Matt Underwood from The Newcastle Club, Newcastle

This is a new category to the awards, which was created to showcase and reward those that work so hard in accommodation venues to provide a great service and also support local producers.

Underwood’s list was described by the judges as “a very well-constructed list with strong depth in almost all areas”.

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”.

2021 Best NSW Wine List in a Sydney accommodation venue – Matthew Brooks from TWR, Crown Sydney

The other new category to the awards, to highlight the sommeliers and accommodation venues in Sydney that showcase the state’s wines to a wide audience. The judges said once again there were some very strong finalists in this category but one stood out with nearly 100 per cent 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”.

2021 NSW Wine President’s Award for Outstanding Support of the NSW Wine Industry – David Collins from Charred Kitchen & Bar, Orange

This special award is 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.

Bourne said: “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.”

The overall winner, named 2021 NSW Sommelier’s Wine List of the Year is Matthew Brooks from TWR, Crown Sydney.

Both Brooks and Collins now receive automatic free entry into the 2021 Australian Wine List of the Year Awards.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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