Wine Appreciation News

Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards was recently held with The Royal Mail Hotel scooping top honours. The hotel in Dunkeld in Western Victoria was found to possess the country’s best wine list. The competition was judged by a panel of 28 judges, many of which described the hotels wine list as “Exemplary”.

The hotel impressed judges with its wide range of wines on offer, catering to a plethora of palettes. There were also a variety of other winners in different categories and also recognising those establishments that featured outstanding Australian wine lists.

This post on provides a detailed list of the competitions winners:


“Everyone was thoroughly impressed by the Royal Mail’s extensive choice of wines across different price points, wines by the glass, collections of museum verticals and, of special note, an extraordinary selection of local and international rieslings,” said Rob Hirst, chairman of Fine Wine Partners and Judy Sarris, editor, Gourmet Traveller WINE.

The Royal Mail Hotel also won best Country Restaurant Wine List, Best List in Victoria and Crowther was also awarded the Judy Hirst Award for his role in managing the wine list.

Other state winners at this year’s awards were:

 • Rubicon – ACT

• Apothecary 1878 – South Australia

• Me Wah – Tasmania

• Ortiga – Queensland

• Glass Brasserie –  NSW

• Rockpool Bar and Grill, Perth – WA

• Char – Northern Territory

This year saw the emergence of a new award, the Best Listing of Australian Wine, which reflects Australians’ growing palette for locally grown and produced drops, and was presented to Sydney’s Aria.

Other winners on the night were:


• REGIONAL WINE LIST – Lake House, Daylesford, VIC

• SMALL WINE LIST – Bloodwood, Sydney, NSW



• WINE BAR LIST – Melbourne Supper Club, VIC

• PUB RESTAURANT WINE LIST – The Botanical, South Yarra, VIC

• CAFè/BRASSERIE WINE LIST – European, Melbourne, VIC

• CLUB WINE LIST – The Brisbane Club, Brisbane, Qld



In related news I came across a new development that may revolutionise the appreciation of wine, by altering the shape of the wine glass.

A new design by the famous French glass maker, Baccarat claims to tame the harsh alcohol taste in the wine to reveal the more subtle flavours and aromas. A feat no other glass maker can claim, according to Baccarat.  The glass makers claim that the vessel enables the drinker to gain that all elusive balance in wines, giving just the right amount of “fire and water”. 

The design of the glass, although strange in comparison to traditional designs, prevents the alcohol content in the wine from overpowering the other flavours and aromas.

The actual shape of the glass is a broad base with sloping sides and an extremely narrow lip at the top of the narrow vertical ”chimney”.

This post on describes the revolutionary glass in detail:

Could a wine glass in the shape of a tulip revolutionise the appreciation of wine?

That’s what French glassmaker Baccarat is predicting with a new glass design that it says can tame the alcohol in the wine and reveal the complexity of wine better than any other glass available.

“People tend to confuse good wine with alcohol in wine, which is not what we want,” Bruno Quenioux, technical adviser of the new glass design in the Chateau Baccarat collection has told Reuters.

“What is complicated with wine is to get the balance between the fire and water. Get too much fire in the wine and you lose the message of the water… But if you put too much water in the fire, then the fire is dead.”

The glass features a broad base, a saucer-like cup, sloping sides and an unusually narrow lip at the end of a vertical “chimney” that Baccarat says prevents the alcohol from overpowering other aromas since it sinks down when the glass is swirled prior to tasting.

 The glasses were unveiled in Europe in March earlier this year but have just also been launched in China. 



Posted by Peter Cutforth



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