- Written by Nick Breeze (@NickGBreeze) Nick Breeze (@NickGBreeze)
- Published: 05 November 2014 05 November 2014
Condé Nast Johansens is delighted to announce the winners of the Champagne Taittinger UK Wine List Awards 2015. The winners were revealed at the 33rd annual Awards Dinner held at The May Fair Hotel in London on 3rd November.
Commenting on the entries head judge Sarah Jane Evans MW, Chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine and award-winning wine writer, noted the ever-higher standard of entries. What scored highly were those lists that demonstrated value for money across the board, innovative promotions to engage and educate guests, the importance of adding personality as well as being easy to read, clear in its layout, engaging, well-designed and approachable.
“When you find the good ones, it is so inspiring. An award-winning list does not have to have pages and pages of wines; we were attracted by those that showed an individual character and an understanding of guests’ needs,” she said.
Offering a selection of wines by the glass and carafe, and different glass sizes have to be an industry must. Anyone not doing this is missing a key opportunity.
THE WINNERS, CATEGORY WINNERS & SPECIAL COMMENDATIONS
The Overall Winner of the Condé Nast Johansens Champagne Taittinger Wine List Award 2015 – Lime Wood, New Forest, Hampshire.
“This is a very readable, absorbing list that provides the reader with lots of lovely unexpected encounters. We particularly noted the confident organisation of the list by grape variety which encourages experimentation across the board. It is also extremely readable, well presented and certainly never intimidating. The stand out winner.”
Overall winner finalists – The Pig, New Forest, Hampshire (“a list of excellence”) and Quilon at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suits and Residences, London (“an innovative list with a difference.”)
Our four category winners were selected from all entries. They are:
Best Choice of Wine by the Glass - Danesfield House Hotel and Spa, Marlow, Buckinghamshire.
The judges commented “This is a cracking list that offers choice of wine by the glass by selection and category and prices to suit all occasions. The diner is encouraged and tempted to experiment with lesser-known wine producers as they are with Port and Sherry. A worthy winner!”
Best Champagne List - The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, East Sussex.
The judges commented “An excellent choice of Champagne, sparkling and rosé wines offering an interesting choice all set within a classic list. Top marks!”
Best Value For Money - The Old Rectory Hotel, Martinhoe, Devon.
The judges remarked “A good all-round list that remains consistent from beginning to end with an interesting selection. In this climate, a wine list offering sensible pricing and a good selection scores brownie points – this list reflects this well.”
Most Innovative and Exciting Wine List - Quilon at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences.
The judges described this as “A list that is truly innovative in its categorisation and one that encourages the diner to set off on a journey of discovery. A top quality list”.
Each year, the judges look for elements of the lists that make them stand out. These are awarded special commendations – we present 4 this year.
Best choice of English Wines – Chewton Glen, New Forest, Hampshire.
“An exceptional and fashionable showcase that educates and introduces the diner to an array of diverse English – and Welsh - wines. Chewton Glen’s list impressively offers still, sparkling and rosé from over 20 different producers.”
Owner’s Choice – Penmaenuchaf Hall, Gwynedd, Wales.
“From the cheeky introductory notes to the overall honest approach, this list provides lots of things to like and is a great example of how the hotelier can really engage with the guest through an effective personal approach. Well done!”
Sommelier’s Award – Chewton Glen, New Forest, Hampshire.
“An exceptional and extensive list that encourages you to make friends with the sommelier and talk through the choices. It has huge depth and provides a fascinating selection from across the globe. Excellent!”
Education through Innovation – St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London.
“The use of luggage tags is an example of a brilliant interactive idea to help educate the customer as well as get them thinking about the particular wine they are drinking and the vineyard it is from. More of this please!”
Join our mailing list for occasional updates of what we have been up to:
Artichoke pasta and very fine Pigato
Britain’s lamentable exit
On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.
I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!
Soave: volcanic wines with elegance and longevity
Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.
An American In Paris; Tanisha Townsend (@GirlMeetsGlass) discusses podcasts, Paris wine bars, & what she's drinking at the moment
Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.
Wine tasting in Galicia: The pilgrims search for Albarino
The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.
Interview: (Re)Defining the Entre-Deux-Mers, climate change & tasting with Stephane Dupuch
Driving into the Entre-Deux-Mers region from the north, the vineyards roll out like a bright green deep-pile carpet across the undulating land. It’s hard not to be excited about tasting wines with so much heritage, as we head to Chateau-Sainte-Marie to meet with 5th generation owner, Stéphane Dupuch.
Wine tasting in northern Catalonia in the foothills of the Pyrenees
It’s been a hot couple of weeks here trekking around northern Catalonia. From the homeland and backdrop to surrealist Salvador Dali’s world to dramatic remnants of the volcano park an hour away, this place is a land of rough-hewn vistas and rustic hospitality.