7th November, 2016; Condé Nast Johansens is delighted to announce the winners of the Champagne Taittinger UK Wine List Awards 2017. The winners were revealed at a dinner this evening celebrating the 35th annual Johansens Awards for Excellence Dinner held at The May Fair Hotel, London.
THE JOINT OVERALL WINNERS OF THE CONDÉ NAST JOHANSENS CHAMPAGNE TAITTINGER WINE LIST AWARD 2017 IS CHEWTON GLEN HOTEL & SPA, New Forest, Hampshire and PARK HOUSE RESTAURANT, Cardiff, Wales.
Lynn Murray commented – ‘It is not often the judges debate and debate and are unable to come to a conclusive winner and only once before in the awards history has this happened. 2017 was one of those years and it was decided this year to award overall winner to both Chewton Glen and Park House Restaurant. Both very different but remarkable lists. Both winners were an Aladdin’s Cave for the judges’.
CHEWTON GLEN HOTEL & SPA, New Forest, Hampshire
“Chewton Glen excelled in interesting and unusual food and wine pairing including an impressive Barolo vertical with mouth-watering matches - a real benchmark for a wine list, plus an extensive section on English Wines, offers, Bin ends and fantastic content.”
PARK HOUSE RESTAURANT, Cardiff, Wales
“Park House was a standout, a newcomer to Condé Nast Johansens this list clearly expressed the writer’s personality. Huge consideration is given to its content with meaningful and helpful descriptions across the board. It featured iconic wines by the glass, including an unusual list of old Australian heroes - great to see such credit given here and amazing value throughout.”
CATEGORY AWARD WINNERS
Our four category award winners were selected from all entries. They are:
CATEGORY WINNER – Best Champagne List
Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, New Forest, Hampshire. “Chewton Glen have an extensive and interesting list of Champagne and in fact, other sparkling wines including an impressive range of English ones reflecting its quintessential English roots. They introduced interest through vintage verticals and had top Champagnes by the glass.”
Finalists: The Atlantic Hotel, Jersey, Channel Islands; Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, New Forest; The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne.
CATEGORY WINNER – Best Value For Money
Douneside House, Royal Deeside, Scotland. “Of note this year was the number of great value for money lists – it wasn’t just about being cheap – it was about offering value at all levels be it wine by the glass of a bottle of the fine and rare. Great news for guests and good to see a number of operators looking at a cash margin rather than a % which isn’t always bankable. This winner offered outstanding value all round on both wine and bubbles. A destination hotel with a captive audience which did not take unfair advantage of this.”
Finalists: The Bell at Skenfrith, Monmouth, Wales; Douneside House, Royal Deeside, Scotland; The Old Rectory Hotel, Martinhoe, Devon.
CATEGORY WINNER – Most Innovative and Exciting Wine List
Lime Wood, New Forest, Hampshire. “This winner continues to be the one to beat here, Lime Wood have a superb, well laid out range, using Coravin for fine wine by the glass options. It is a treasure trove of interesting and unspeakably good wines. A great read and oozed the personal touch from the author.”
Finalists: Lime Wood, New Forest, Hampshire; Park House Restaurant, Cardiff.
CATEGORY WINNER – Best ‘Small is Beautiful’ Wine List
Glazebrook House Hotel, South Brent, Devon. “This category by far had the highest number of contenders, be it lovely small venues with matching lists to large venues with small impressive lists. It really showed that in our instant world that ‘small’ can mean choice, interest, education and look good. The list from Glazebrook House really does what it says on the tin for this award. Neat, informative, great producers and wines, lots of size options for the customer and straight to the point. Very much a ‘small is beautiful’ wine list in all ways.”
Finalists: Glazebrook House Hotel, South Brent, Devon; Hazel Bank Country House Hotel, Keswick, Cumbria; Kilcamb Lodge Hotel, Strontian, Scotland.
Each year, the judges look for elements of the lists that make them stand out. These are awarded special commendations – we present three this year as follows;
Best Fine Wine by the Glass – PARK HOUSE RESTAURANT, Cardiff, Wales
“The number of establishments introducing Coravin to their lists and giving customers a fine wine experience by the glass is marked and to be applauded. Park House had an extensive list of wines by the glass including an impressive and comprehensive selection of fine wine and includes tempting descriptions for each and every one. ‘We all want to come and visit Adam and work our way through the list.’”
Best Information and Education – LINTHWAITE HOUSE HOTEL, Windermere, Cumbria
“This is very much a list that someone has taken the time to write. It reflects the family touch and is so in keeping with the property. An easy to navigate list, clearly presented and organised with good information on the wines, including alcohols and an educational introduction to each region.”
Best Newcomer – SOAR MILL COVE HOTEL, Salcombe, Devon
“We had so many new and fabulous list’s this year from newcomers to the Condé Nast Johansens portfolio, it was obvious we had to have a best newcomer commendation. Soar Mill Cove was a delight – good size, great clear presentation, modern with short, helpful and to the point descriptions, lots of affordable choice and unusual, interesting gems. An engaging, time efficient list and one to watch.”
In all it was an exciting year for the awards and judging was intense. There were many excellent lists and the judging panel headed up by Sarah Jane Evans, award winning wine and food writer and Master of Wine were particularly impressed by the short, well-constructed, easy to navigate lists with good succinct information.
Clear trends this year included the number of lists featuring fine wine by the glass and the excellent value offered by many. The best lists are getting more friendly and consumer centric, breaking down the traditional barriers. We even saw our first Ipad list this year from The Sofitel St James in London indicating that technology is beginning to help animate a wine list.
There were wines from Croatia, Canada and Turkey, Furmint and Pinot Blanc promoted by the glass, organic and biodynamic only lists, aged Australian wines making their well-deserved way into the history books, sparkling reds and even whisky and cheese pairings. Something for everyone.