7th November, 2017; Condé Nast Johansens is delighted to announce the winners of the Champagne Taittinger UK Wine List Awards 2018. The winners were revealed at a dinner last night celebrating the 36th annual Johansens Awards for Excellence Dinner held at The May Fair Hotel, London.
The Wine List Awards were revised this year to find winners of the following categories: Best Value for Money, Best Wine by the Glass, and Most Innovative Wine List. A number of special commendations were also awarded.
The winner of the Best Value for Money list in the Condé Nast Johansens Champagne Taittinger Wine List awards is the Bell at Skenfrith, Monmouthshire, Wales.
Sarah Jane Evans commented – “This is a cracking list with a broad choice of international wines. Lots to choose from in the £20 - £30 bracket to satisfy the ‘I don’t like being ripped off’ guest. Nice selection of Welsh wines as well as lovely old cognacs for ‘next to nothing’ prices!” Particularly commented on and applauded by the judges is their “push the boat out’ section packed with a wonderful choice to tempt the wine explorer in us all. We were blown away with the prices here too!”
Finalists: Best Value for Money
Glazebrook House Hotel, Devon: “We really liked this well priced list with plenty to choose from including a great range of ports for under £5 a glass.”
Seaham Hall, Durham and Tyne & Wear: “We felt very positive about this great value for money list with its’ diverse range of wines – some with a real difference.”
The winner of the Best Wine by the Glass in the Condé Nast Johansens Champagne Taittinger Wine List awards 2018 is Park House Restaurant Wine Bar and Private Dining Rooms, Cardiff, Wales.
Sarah Jane Evans commented: “This list gives the diner a chance to experiment and discover the world. The minute the list is opened, one is greeted by an amazing selection of quality wines by the glass and coravini. There are 2 to 3 sizes available in every wine, it is presented very personally and their seasonal selection is great to discover too. A restaurant of note such as The Park can sometimes be intimidating but they have successfully found a way to tempt the diner to try a wonderful choice of fine wines.”
Finalists: Best Wine by the Glass
Chewton Glen, Hampshire: “If there is any wine that takes your fancy, Chewton Glen provide the opportunity to provide it by the glass. Simply amazing.”
Coworth Park, Berkshire: “This list is an encouragement to experiment world - wide by the glass.”
The winner of the Most Innovative List in the Condé Nast Johansens Champagne Taittinger Wine List awards 2018 is Chewton Glen, Hampshire.
Sarah Jane Evans: “This list continues to impress with a capital I. Its wine by the glass (try anything), the £30 selection, deals of the week, coravin choice, their huge English selection, seasonal temptations and above all, put together with passion and personality.”
Finalists: Most Innovative List
Hazelbank Country House, Cumbria & The Lake District: “To be judged against the greats and sit alongside as a finalist tells a lot about this list. Discover it for yourself to see why.”
Soar Mill Cove Hotel & Spa, Devon: “Again, To be judged against the greats and sit alongside as a finalist also tells a lot about this list. We particularly liked the innovative tea time menu.”
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 Newcomer – Flemings Mayfair, London
Sarah Jane Evans commented: “A lovely list which is easy to navigate and does it well. The interesting and eclectic range encourages experimentation but there is also something for everyone, Make a note to look through their library wine by the glass offerings.”
Best Small Wine List – Soar Mill Cove & Spa, Devon
“This list is a delight – a good workable size, clear presentation, slightly quirky , modern with short, helpful and to the point descriptions, lots of affordable choice and unusual, interesting gems. An engaging and promotionally exciting list from afternoon tea to home distilled gin to a late night cap!”
Best Champagne & Sparkling Wine List – Whatley Manor, Wiltshire
“We really liked this ‘wine lovers’ list. A great choice of regional as well as local producers. It is well organised and laid out in a pleasing type face that encourages experimentation.”
Sarah Jane Evans commented that the entries just continue to get better and better each year and are very diverse making it a pleasure to judge. The wine lists are educational, interesting and highly enjoyable reads making it increasingly difficult to pick the overall winners.
Clear trends this year show the increase in number of lists featuring Coravins and by glass offerings in terms of styles and choice opening up greater opportunity for experimentation of fine and unusual wines. Improvements in layout and navigation is also on the up as customer engagement becomes even more important. Lists with personality and individuality stand out above the bland as does clear evidence of staff training, promotions and tasting opportunities.