The winners were revealed at a special ceremony in Stockholm earlier this week, celebrating the world’s greatest wine lists and the teams behind them. Alchemist, a Danish restaurant that holds two Michelin stars, won the Grand Prix for the Best Large Wine List. This category focuses on lists with more than 600 wines. Competition was fierce, featuring the likes of Core by Clare Smyth in London and Momofuku Ko in New York City, but Alchemist came out on top.
Wine director Nina Højgaard Jensen praised the hard work of the staff and thanked the jury for the recognition.
Jensen was part of the jury, along with four other leading sommeliers from around the world –Paz Levinson, Reeze Choi, Pascaline Lepeltier and Ronan Sayburn MS – but she naturally did not take part in the judging of that category.
Lepeltier said: ‘As the world of wine continues to expand to new territories and incarnations, and as the iconic bottles are getting rarer and more out of reach, you can only salute the fantastic job done at Alchemist to offer an exceptional programme able to gather such a breadth and the depth of references.
‘From the up-and-coming to the epitome of classicism, from Champagne to California to Madeira, the wine lover can feel the acute knowledge and the real passion behind every selection, making this list both deeply focused and highly dynamic.
‘A special mention to the fair pricing. Bravo to the Alchemist team for building in so little time such a high-level programme.’
Trivet in London won the Best Medium Wine List award (200-600 listings).
Co-owner Isa Bal, who spent many years as the head sommelier at The Fat Duck – Heston Blumenthal’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Bray, England, said: ‘It’s a great initiative to highlight the importance of wine in the world of gastronomy, which has long been overlooked.’
Two restaurants – Babette in Stockholm and Restaurant St. Barts in London – shared the award for Best Short List (fewer than 200 listings).
Elsewhere, Prism in Berlin won the award for Best By The Glass List. ‘To have such an extensive wine-by-the-glass list, you need to be a little bit crazy, but it’s all about accessibility and taking the fear away from the guests,’ said sommelier Jacqueline Lorenz.
‘With our Levantine spin, we try to present a wine region that is not really on everyone’s radar.’
Sayburn called it a ‘well-chosen and very diverse range of wines by the glass’, adding that ‘something for everyone can be found here –and reasonable mark-ups too’.
Haoma in Bangkok and ËLGR in Cape Town were the joint-winners of the award for Sustainable Wine List. The award for Best Sparkling Wine List went to Blue Hills at Stone Barns, which is located on a large biodynamic farm in New York.
Head sommelier Daniel Congbalay said: ‘We are very excited to win this award. Our wine list has always focused on sparkling, first and foremost the growers, so we are feeling very lucky to hold the cellar that we do.’
The Special Jury Prize went to La Salut in Redfern, Australia, which offers a comprehensive selection of Spanish wines.
An additional award for Best Austrian Wine List was handed to Wallsé in New York.