Wine List Confidential Awards 2019: Profiling the winners

As we approach the publication of the second edition of the 2019 Wine List Confidential guide, we profile the winners who picked up the top gongs at this year’s awards ceremony.

Presented at this year’s London Wine Fair, the Wine List Confidential Awards shone a light on venues that excelled in a particular field, from the best list for English wine, to one which had the best offering by-the-glass.

Judging was conducted at hospitality members’ club Trade in Soho back in April, with the panel including the likes of WLC‘s author, Douglas Blyde, Alice Lascelles from the Financial Times’ How to Spend It magazine, Lucy Shaw, editor of the drinks business, and food and drink influencer Clerkenwell Boy, who was amassed almost 200,000 followers on Instagram.

This year we also recognised and rewarded two sommeliers who excelled in their field under the categories Rising Star and Sommelier of the Year, while, with the help of virtual sommelier Wine Picker, we singled out the most distributed red and white wine in London’s restaurants.

Commenting on this year’s awards, Shaw of the drinks business said: “This year the competition for spots on the list was more intense than ever, and we’ve seen sommeliers get inventive with hybrid venues, micro lists and restaurants that champion underdog grapes.

Lascelles of the FT added: “The breadth, variety, ambition and excellence of wine lists in London is astonishing. From great value by-the-glass lists to world-class Champagne verticals, orange wine and Texan Blanc du Bois, there is something for every pocket and palate in the city.”

The awards ceremony also marked the launch of this year’s guide, which singles out the 100 best wine lists in London. This year, adorned with three artichokes, a famously difficult ingredient with which to pair wine, the guide’s cover image highlighted both the increased emphasis on vegetables on menus, but also how the restaurants included within put great emphasis on their wines and offer perfect pairings for even the trickiest of foods.

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