When it comes to wine lists, bigger doesn’t always mean better. So the mere fact that Toronto’s Opus Restaurant houses one of Canada’s largest wine collections, with more than 2,500 different wines and an inventory in excess of 52,000 bottles wouldn’t in itself be enough to persuade the judges at the World’s Best Wine Lists awards that it is deserving of a three-star award. What did impress the judges, however, was the range and quality tucked away in the underground cellar: Opus Restaurant scores for quality, in other words, rather than quantity.
And it’s hard not to be impressed by a list that, as well as offering an array of top-flight Burgundy, Bordeaux, Piedmont, Rhône and other collector-friendly regions, is no less interested in the fine wines of Iberia: few restaurants outside Portugal match the collection of Douro reds, and there’s an impressive commitment to the Spain both emerging (Bierzo) and established (Rioja). Clearly arranged by country, it’s the kind of list that you need to study hard online before you arrive, rather than spending your whole evening eyeing up its delights.