Robuchon au Dôme at Grand Lisboa Hotel

Robuchon au Dôme in Macau had a serious impact on the third edition of the World’s Best Wine Lists (2016), claiming the top title of World’s Best Wine List, in addition to Best Overall Wine List in Asia, and Best Dessert and Fortified Wine List in the World, while retaining a three-star award for the third consecutive year.

Robuchon au Dôme sets a new standard at the summit of luxury dining. In 2009, the restaurant achieved three Michelin stars and has been able to retain this accolade for nine consecutive years. An extensive and exclusive wine collection spanning 16,800 labels; top-notch gastronomy; lavish interior design, and the highest standards of service, all make this establishment a hugely important player on the global fine-dining scene.

An architectural prize in itself, this ultra-modern building is spectacularly situated in the dome of the Grand Lisboa Hotel (hence the name). Where the dome soars to a height of 238 meters (780ft), a giant crystal light chandelier adorns the ceiling, marking the restaurant’s centerpiece. Cascading from the middle of the ceiling, the chandelier comprises 131,500 Swarovski pieces, to dramatic effect. Ornaments and sculptures line the walls in glass display cases, while tables and seating nestle by the windows of the spherical dome to provide stunning views of the Macau skyline, by day or night. The designers of the restaurant are Alan Chan (Hong Kong), Nicolas Gwenael (Tokyo), and Peggy Paik (Hong Kong).

The treasure trove of 16,800 different wine labels is stored in the hotel’s cellars and serves its 15 restaurants, led by the fine-dining French of Robuchon au Dôme and the fine-dining southern Italian of Don Alfonso 1890. As the judges at the World’s Best Wine Lists 2015 put it, this is “a 585-page masterpiece!”

It seems invidious to pick out highlights, given that almost everything on the list is fully worthy, every page featuring a rising or fully risen star of the wine world. But the judges, as they were in 2014, were very taken with the superb selection of Champagne and sparkling wine, which features an unparalleled collection of old Grande Marque Vintages intermingled with the best of the grower Champagne movement. Highlights include Dom Pérignon, ranging from the 1983 P3, to the current 2006, and back to the 1969 Rosé (or 1971 Rosé in magnum, should you be so inclined). There are also deep verticals of other top Champagne houses including Krug and Louis Roederer (Cristal), as well as iconic growers like Jacques Selosse and Cédric Bouchard.

Each area of the list has been meticulously curated, and despite the very serious focus on the classic regions, smaller regions like Jura, Sardinia, and Bierzo have not been overlooked. There are over 1,000 Rieslings on the list, from all the great producers of Germany, Austria, and Alsace as well as Australia and New Zealand. And over 1,155 references for white Burgundy (many in magnum format).

Italy is very well represented from top to toe, the selection of Tuscany including great verticals of Gaja, Antinori, Le Macchiole, Sassicaia, and Ornellaia. Bordeaux highlights include multiple formats and vintages from all five of the first growths, including Château Haut-Brion 1928.

The collection of rare old dessert and fortified wines is no less remarkable, the centerpiece being myriad great and historic vintages of German, Austrian, French (Loire and Sauternes), Hungarian, Italian, and Australian dessert wines, and a vast Iberian fortified list. Small wonder that Robuchon au Dôme claimed the Best Dessert and Fortified Wine List title in 2016.

The wine list includes ratings, for diners who may wish them, but the management team politely and rightly suggest that each guest should consider his or her own preferences, rather than relying on the ratings alone.