As I have been known to hunt down restaurants with a great wine selection, I was keen to find out see the winners of this year's Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine wine list of the year awards.
This year the overall winner (Australia wide) was Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne, which pipped the other finalists - Bentley Restaurant & Bar, Est., Glass Brasserie, Pilu at Freshwater, Quay and Vue de Monde. Fittingly, David Lawler from Rockpool Bar & Grill also picked up the Judy Hirst award for best sommelier. If you're feeling thirsty, you can read through the winning Rockpool Bar & Grill list here.
Looking at the local scene, The Brisbane Club picked up the award for the best club list in Australia, which is a terrific result. I've only eaten at the Brisbane Club once, but wasn't in charge of ordering the wine for that meal, so I'm keen to get an invite back there to really get stuck into their wine list. Wine Magazine noted that it's not just the depth of the list which is impressive (covering over 350 wines), but the prices are also excellent (including a magnum of 1997 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay for $223 and a magnum of 1996 Penfolds Grange for $915).
The Queensland state winner for best restaurant wine list was Ortiga. I haven't yet eaten at Ortiga, but I now have a compelling reason to visit soon. Ortiga pipped Absynthe and Cru Bar to take out the Queensland prize. Have a look at Ortiga's list here.
If you're looking for great restaurant wine lists in and around Brisbane, pay a visit to Absynthe, Aria, Cru Bar, E'cco, 1889 Enoteca, Era Bistro, Ortiga, Restaurant Two, Ristorante Fellini, The Brisbane Club and Vanitas - all of which picked up the highest ranking of three glasses in the awards.
There are 49 Queensland restaurants included in this year's guide, so it's well worth getting your hands on a copy. Unfortunately, this year the guide is included in the body of the magazine, rather than in a separate booklet. I have no idea why they've changed the format, because I always found it much handier to keep the little booklet rather than lugging the whole magazine around for 12 months. Format aside, it's a great way to track down the top wine lists all across the country. For the full guide, pick up the current edition of Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine.
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