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October 23, 2014updated 02 Nov 2022 12:19pm

World’s Best Wine Lists Hailed as Next Michelin Stars

By Thierry Dessauve

The World of Fine Wine magazine launched World’s Best Wine Lists in the spring of 2014 and, encouraged by the positive response from the global wine and restaurant industry, is now accepting entries for the 2015 World’s Best Wine Lists.

WFW columnist and editorial adviser Hugh Johnson, the world’s most respected wine writer, has praised the new awards, recognizing it as the sommelier’s chance to shine: “Great chefs get stars; great wine lists get less attention. The World’s Best Wine Lists awards correct the balance — and set a new industry standard. High time? Chapeau!”

WFW columnist and editorial adviser, Hugh Johnson

WFW columnist and editorial adviser Hugh Johnson

The range of the awards is being widened to ensure that many more expressions and variations on the wine list can be rewarded. New categories for 2015 include: Best Wine and Food Pairing and Best Design/Most Original List, as well as distinct weight-divisions such as Best Short Wine List (under 200 references) and Best Medium Wine List (200-500 references). Awards are made on both a global and a regional basis.

“These exciting new global awards are rapidly becoming as coveted as the Michelin stars,” observes Gerard Basset MW MS OBE. The former World Champion Sommelier judged in the inaugural awards and continues to embrace what many appreciate as the first awards to celebrate the importance of a good wine selection, as distinct from a massive compilation, in the modern dining experience worldwide.

G Basset

Gerard Basset MW MS OBE, former World Champion Sommelier

Paul Grieco, wine director of Hearth in New York City, this year’s winner of Best Wine List in North America, says: “Hearth is definitely going to enter the [2015] contest. The magazine makes my wine life worth living.”

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Paul Grieco, wine director of Hearth in New York City

Paul Grieco, wine director of Hearth in New York City

Most of this year’s other winners have also re-entered, and many new wine-focused establishments, from wine bars and pubs, to hotels and restaurants, are also registering their lists. The World of Fine Wine team will accept entries until October 31, 2014, when the expert panel will begin the rigorous judging process in accordance with the published protocol. The final results will be revealed in the summer of 2015.

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