7th November 2012: Condé Nast Johansens are delighted to announce the winners of the Champagne Taittinger UK Wine List Awards 2013. The winners were announced at the 31st annual Johansens Awards for Excellence Dinner and 2013 Guides launch held at The Mayfair Hotel, London.
Commenting on the entries, head judge Sarah Jane Evans, Master of Wine, highlighted the "pleasure of reading lists where effort has clearly been made to engage customers and lead them on a voyage of discovery." High marks were also scored where a list, compiled by the owner or wine buyer of the property, lets their enthusiasm, personality and passion shine through. Wine promotions to encourage and excite the diner, another important consideration, were also more prevalent this year, as was the importance of value and well priced wines. "I could happily make a detour to many of the hotels and inns who entered their lists to carry our further research," added Sarah Jane Evans.
THE OVERALL WINNER OF THE CONDÉ NAST JOHANSENS CHAMPAGNE TAITTINGER WINE LIST AWARD 2013 IS DONNINGTON VALLEY HOTEL AND SPA. "This is a readable list with plenty of choice and certainly ticks all the boxes as to what comprises an excellent, all round wine list. It's clear it is updated regularly, and offers the diner a wide and interesting variety from the moment it is opened to the last page."
Overall winner finalists - The Bell at Skenfrith, Monmouthshire ("a list with great personality") and Lime Wood, Hampshire (" a really appealing list with many less common wines to discover. ")
CATEGORY WINNER - Most Innovative and Exciting
The Pig - in the Forest. Hampshire. The judges described this as "An achingly cool list that is easy to read and quick to scan and has an interestingly varied grape selection."
CATEGORY WINNER - Best Champagne List
Ashdown Park, East Sussex. The judges commented "This list provides a champagne oasis. There is a wealth of information and also a fine mix of sparkling wines from all over the world."
CATEGORY WINNER - Value For Money
Porth Tocyn, Wales. The judges remarked " As well as sparking interest by explaining about the wine producers, we were all struck (without exception) as to what good value this list is. In this climate, a wine list offering sensible pricing and a good selection scores brownie points - this list reflects this well."
CATEGORY WINNER - Wine by the Glass
Donnington Valley Hotel and SpaThe judges said " The list ticks all the boxes, but an outstanding feature in particular is the wide selection and choice of wines by the glass which encourages the diner to experiment and enjoy being tempted!"
Customer Events - Hambleton Hall, Rutland" An interesting and tempting array of events and occasions designed to appeal across the board. From tutored tastings to grouse and seafood dinners."
Most Interesting and Eclectic - Lime Wood, Hampshire "I could stay here for a week just to drink wine tempted as I am by the choice. The list is stylish, quirky and encourages conversation."
Sommeliers Award - Summer Lodge, Dorset "This is a connoisseurs list that works. Over a thousand wines from all over the world offering a balanced and interesting choice. Eric Zwiebel, their enthusiastic sommelier is a firm winner."