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June 8, 2017updated Dec 20, 2023

The World of Fine Wine and Octavian Wine Vaults Announce: The World’s Best Wine Lists 2017

By Lauren Jade Hill

The fourth annual World’s Best Wine Lists were announced June 6, 2017, in association with Octavian Wine Vaults.

Palais Coburg in Austria received the honor of the “Champions’ League Best Overall Wine List”, and Rouge Tomate Chelsea in New York claimed “Wine List of the Year”, and the “Best Long Wine List in the World”.

Entries came from all corners of the globe and 997 wine-focused establishments were awarded with an esteemed one-, two-, or three-star award. Of these, three hundred and sixty five establishments were awarded the top three-star award.

The “World’s Best Wine Lists” are assessed by some of the world’s leading critics and Masters of Wine to form a world-class judging panel chaired by WFW editor Neil Beckett. The jury consists of Alder Yarrow, Elin McCoy, Anne Kriebiehl MW, Ch’ng Poh Tiong, Andrew Jefford, Andreas Larsson, Francis Percival, Luciana Girotto, who assess over 4,500 of the best wine lists before determining the very best worldwide. The lists are based on a range of criteria that include breadth, depth, interest, quality, value, clarity, and accuracy.

New York maintained its position as the world’s wine list capital, with 42 restaurants in the city claiming three-star awards followed by London who had 29 restaurants receive the top honor. Melbourne, Australia, followed with 17 restaurants claiming three stars, while San Francisco, USA, and Sydney, Australia, both had 15 restaurants with three stars. Chicago, USA, trailed closely with 12 restaurants receiving the top honor.

New three-star entries included Arlberg 1800 Resort in Austria, Hawksworth Restaurant in Vancouver, Canada; Rouge Tomate Chelsea in New York; 67 Pall Mall, London; RPM Italian, Washington D.C.; Meat Fish Wine in Auckland, NZ; and Tipo 00 in Melbourne, Australia.

This year saw the introduction of new and revised categories, to include Best Spirits List, Best Long Wine List, Best Medium-Size Wine List, Best Short Wine List, Champions’ League, and established Best Designed Wine List and Most Original Wine List as two separate awards. The Champions’ League is a new initiative for 2017 designed to honor the “best of the best”. The World’s Best Wine Lists Champions’ League was contested by each of the overall winners of the first three years of the awards.

The awards are renowned as the “Michelin Stars” of the wine list industry and included a number of best-in-class category winners including The Barn at Blackberry Farm in the US for Best Spirits List and Best Hotel Wine List; Charlie Bird in the US for Best Short Wine List; No.5 Wine Bar in France for Best By-the-Glass Wine List and Best Wine Bar List; Restaurant André in Asia for Best Designed Wine List, and Emirates claimed Best Airline List in the World.

On the awards, The World of Fine Wine editor Neil Beckett commented “This year we saw the strongest level of entries yet, in terms of both quality and quantity, and the introduction of the Champions’ League and exciting new categories such as Best Regional List and Best Spirits List are a reflection of the rise in standards in wine programs all over the world.”

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