Portland’s idionsyncratic Champagne and Sherry champion and the top Norwegian hotel were both awarded the World’s Best Wine List 2020 title—the first time the coveted awards’ top prize has been shared

After a year of extraordinary challenges for the world’s restaurants, wine bars, and hotels, The World of Fine Wine celebrated the talent and resilience of the global on-trade wine community with the presentation of the 2020 World’s Best Wine Lists Awards.

The prestigious competition’s seventh year was one of firsts. There was a first online ceremony, hosted by World’s Best Wine Lists Awards chairman and WFW editor Neil Beckett via Ivent in late November. And for the first time the top award, The World’s Best Wine List, was shared by two establishments: Portland’s Pix Pâtisserie and Park Hotel in Vossevangen, Norway.

A serial winner of the World’s Best Champagne & Sparkling Wine List ever since the WBWL’s inception—a title that owner Cheryl Wakerhauser picked up again in 2020—Pix Pâtisserie earned the admiration of the judges “not just for the outstanding Champagne and sparkling wine list, but for the amazing collection of Sherry, too,” said category-awards judge and WFW food editor, Francis Percival. “The incongruity of the list and venue just makes this more special. A treasure,” Percival added.

Equally impressive, Park Hotel was, according to Percival, “The most inspiring of the big lists this year. It is a great collection of wines, but there is also such impeccable clarity of thought in how the whole thing is put together.” Fellow judge James Tidwell, Master Sommelier and co-founder of Texsom, agreed. “I know of a number of restaurants and wine bars that are shrines for the wine trade, but I know of few hotels. This list is inspiring and I feel that is one of the highest compliments one can give to a wine list,” Tidwell said.

Pix Pâtisserie and Park Hotel beat off strong competition from a range of global category-award winners to take the joint-top prize.

Global scope

New York City and London continued to jostle for the position of global wine capital as the cities picked up a range of top category prizes. In NYC, Eleven Madison Park was declared the Best Wine List in the Champions’ League competition reserved for previous World’s Best Wine List winners, and Paul Grieco’s inimitable Terroir in Tribeca took the Best Wine Bar List in the World title, while upstate New York provided the winner of the Best Designed Wine List in the World, Blue Hill at Stone Barn in Tarrytown.

In London, Sager + Wilde was the winner of the Best Medium-Size Wine List in the World and 28°-50° Wine Workshop and Kitchen took the Best Micro Wine List in the World.

But the British and American cities faced strong competition from Melbourne, which also picked up two global category awards—The World’s Best Short Wine List, Supernormal, and The World’s Best Sake List Oustside Japan, Cocoro.

The rest of the global category winners reflected the truly international scope of the awards. There was a further win for Australia in the World’s Most Original Wine List category for FermentAsian, in Tanunda, South Australia. And the United States outside New York provided winners in The Best By-the-Glass Wine List Without Coravin® (The Purple Pig, Chicago); The Best Hotel Wine List (The Fearrington House Restaurant, Pittsboro, North Carolina); and The Best Spirits List (John Howie Steak, Bellevue, Washington).

Both of the awards for regional specialization went to hotel restaurants that are in the Iberian peninsula: Atrio Restaurant Hotel, in Cáceres in Extremadura, Spain, was declared the Best Regional Wine List Outside the Region for its superlative French selection; and The Yeatman, in Porto, picked up The Best Regional Wine List in its Region. Finally, Asia contributed two category winners: Hong Kong’s L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon was declared The World’s Best Dessert & Fortified Wine List, and Tokyo’s Ryan The World’s Best Sake List (in Japan).

The global category winners all emerged from shortlists comprising the regional category winners, most of which were also the recipient of a coveted three-star award, the vinous equivalent of a top Michelin rating. In total, the judges handed out more than 1,000 star awards and 100 Jury Prizes.

The WBWL awards are decided by a panel of internationally respected judges comprising Percival, Tidwell, WFW contributing editor Andrew Jefford; World Champion Sommelier Andreas Larsson; consultants and sommeliers Anja Breit and Luciana Girotto; and wine educators and writers Camilla Bowler, Ch’ng Poh Tiong, Victoria Daskal, Anne Krebiehl MW, Elin McCoy, Jeremy Wilkinson, and Alder Yarrow.

WORLD’S BEST WINE LISTS 2020 GLOBAL CATEGORY WINNERS

Best Long Wine List in the World
Park Hotel, Vossevangen, Norway

Shortlist
The Modern, New York City, NY, USA
Grand Old House, Cayman Islands
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Hong Kong
FementAsian, Tanunda, Australia
Archipel, Constance Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Best Medium-Size Wine List in the World
Sager + Wilde Hackney Road, London, UK

Shortlist
Kinship, Washington DC, USA
Astrid & Gastón, Lima, Peru
Chop Steakhouse, American Club, Tokyo, Japan
Attica, Melbourne, Australia
Hakkasan Abu Dhabi, UEA

Best Short Wine List in the World
Supernormal, Melbourne, Australia

Shortlist
June’s All Day, Austin, Texas, USA
Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
House of Tides, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK
Hajime, Osaka, Japan
Karibu, Cape Town, South Africa
 

Best Micro Wine List in the World
28°-50° Wine Workshop & Kitchen, London, UK

Shortlist
Wine Bar George, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA
La Niña, Lima, Peru
Pot Luck Club, Cape Town, South Africa
Nouri, Singapore
Estelle, Melbourne, Australia

Best Spirits List in the World
John Howie Steak, Bellevue, Washington, USA

Shortlist
Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
Matteo’s at Annabels, London, UK
Priva Lounge, Pretoria, South Africa
La Terre, Singapore
Charred Kitchen and Bar, Orange, Australia

Best Regional Wine List in its Region
The Yeatman, Porto, Portugal

Shortlist
Press Restaurant, Napa Valley, USA
Cabaña Las Lilas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Hajime, Osaka, Japan
The Barn Steakhouse, Mount Gambier, Australia

Best Regional Wine List outside Region
Atrio Restaurant Hotel, Cáceres, Spain (France)

Shortlist
The Musket Room, NYC, USA (New Zealand)
L’Osteria del Becco, Mexico City (Italy)
Archipel, Constance Prince Maurice, Mauritius (France)
Chop Steakhouse, American Club, Tokyo, Japan (USA)
Ormeggio at The Spit, Sydney, Australia (Italy)

Best Champagne & Sparkling Wine List in the World
Pix Pâtisserie, Portland, Oregon, USA

Shortlist
Blue by Eric Ripert, Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman
Archipel, Constance Prince Maurice, Mauritius
Restaurant Petrus, Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong
Rockpool, Bar & Grill, Sydney, Australia

Best Dessert and Fortified Wine List in the World
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Hong Kong

Shortlist
Pappas Bros Steakhouse, Houston, Texas, USA
Olivetto Restaurant e Entoeca, Campinas, Brazil
Park Hotel, Vitznau, Switzerland
Blue Penny, Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius
Aria Restaurant, Sydney

Best Sake List outside Japan
Cocoro, Melbourne, Australia

Shortlist
Kado no Mise, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
The Chedi, Andermatt, Switzerland
Hakkasan Abu Dhabi, UAE

Best Sake List in Japan
Ryan, Tokyo, Japan

Shortlist
Roku Roku at The Grand Hyatt, Tokyo, Japan
Wadakura at Palace Hotel, Tokyo, Japan

Best By-the-Glass Wine List With Coravin® in the World
Wally’s, Beverley Hills, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Shortlist
Ajualä, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Hong Kong
Saxon Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa
Aria, Sydney, Australia

Best By-the-Glass Wine List Without Coravin® in the World
The Purple Pig, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Shortlist
Blue by Eric Ripert, Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman
The Kitchin, Edinburgh, UK
Saxon Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa
Les Amis, Singapore
Vue de Monde, Melbourne, Australia

Best Wine Bar List in the World
Terroir, New York City, NY, USA

Shortlist
Bubbles Wine Bar, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Planet Bar at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
Napa Wine Bar, Shanghai, China
Love, Tilly Devine, Sydney, Australia

Best Hotel Wine List in the World
Fearrington House, Pittsboro, North Carolina, USA

Shortlist
Blue by Eric Ripert, Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman
PM & Vänner, Vaxjö, Sweden
Archipel, Constance Prince Maurice, Mauritius
Jonah’s Restaurant, Newcastle, Australia

Most Original Wine List in the World
FermentAsian, Tanunda, Australia

Shortlist
Terroir, New York City, NY, USA
Taste-Vin, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Noblehart & Schumtzig, Berlin, Germany
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Ryan, Tokyo, Japan

Best Designed Wine List in the World
Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Tarrytown, New York

Shortlist
Ajualä, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Grand Hôtel, Stockholm, Sweden
Saxon Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa
Amber at the Landmark Oriental, Hong Kong
Hopgoods, Nelson, New Zealand

Best Airline Wine List
Air France

Shortlist
Air Italy
Air New Zealand
Air Tahiti Nui
Delta
Iberia
Japan Airlines

Best Cruise Line/Ship Wine List
The World

Shortlist
The Glass House on P&O Cruises
The Grand Dining Room, Oceania Cruises
Princess Cruises

CHAMPIONS’ LEAGUE

Best Overall Wine List: Eleven Madison Park, New York City, NY, USA
Best Champagne and Sparkling Wine List: Pix Pâtisserie, Portland, Oregon, USA
Best Dessert and Fortified Wine List: Robuchon au Dôme at Grand Lisboa Hotel, Macau
Best Spirits List: The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee, USA
Best By-the-Glass Wine List: Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient Boutique Hotel, Pretoria, South Africa

The full list of results will be published in 2021 on www.worldoffinewine.com

Photography courtesy of Pix Pâtisserie, Portland, Oregon, one of the winners of the 2020 Wine List of the Year award