A family representative will give the Grand Prix award at the inaugural Awards in New York City on March 8th
21 February 2023, London – Star Wine List celebrated the great wine lists of the UK yesterday with a star-sommelier-studded party at the Winemakers’ Club in London. Star Wine List of the Year is a celebration of the best wine lists in the world and the teams behind them. Among the several restaurant and bar finalists, 12 were awarded Gold Stars for their strengths ranging from very broad to very focused lists, as well as special awards for sustainability principles and excellence in offerings by-the-glass.
The UK’s Best Restaurants for Wine By-the-Glass
Adrianna Catena, European Exports at Catena Zapata, presented Noble Rot Soho with the Gold Star Award for Best By-the-Glass list. She observed, “I enjoy going to restaurants with robust by-the-glass programs that provide diversity in style, grape variety and national/regional origin and that include old vintages. We are very excited to sponsor this award!”
Ana Rey, Head Sommelier of Noble Rot Soho, said, “We just try to represent different wine regions and different grape varieties, and also being sensitive on the prices, making it affordable to everybody. It is a showcase of our wine lists and an opportunity we give to people to taste different things,” says Ana Rey at Noble Rot Soho.
Adrianna Catena presents the Gold Award for
Best By-the-Glass List to Ana Rey of Noble Rot Soho.
Star Wine List of the Year Comes to New York City
In New York, the prize will be awarded in eight categories, and the category winners will also qualify for the International Final in June 2023. The jury for the very first Star Wine List of the Year New York includes four highly respected sommeliers and wine professionals: Veronique Rivest – Best sommelier of Canada and the Americas, Doug Frost MS MW, Rajat Parr and Christy Canterbury MW. The finalists for the 2023 Grand Prix in New York, which will be awarded by Catena Zapata to the top restaurant wine list with over 600 references, include the following:
- Ai Fiori
- Blue Hill at Stone Barns
- Eleven Madison Park
- Le Pavillon
- Momofuku Ko
- The Four Horsemen
- Tribeca Grill
A Wine-First Approach
“We are proud to be able to work with Catena Zapata,” says Krister Bengtsson, founder and publisher of Star Wine List. “Their commitment to quality, and to advancing the cause of the greater wine community, resonates with what Star Wine List has also set out to do.”
Catena Zapata dedicates great attention and resources to the restaurant sector and to the art of wine and food pairing. On February 10th, the winery formally opened its restaurant, “Angélica – Cocina Maestra,” the first in the winery’s 120-year history. Named after Angélica Zapata, family matriarch and education pioneer, the new restaurant truly puts wine at the center of the dining experience and challenges the traditional art of pairing through a Wine-First approach. Restaurant guests are offered first a wine menu, and second, after they choose their wine flight, a “food pairing.”
“Angélica – Cocina Maestra” is led by a triumvirate of ‘wine chefs’: Nicolás Catena, Alejandro Vigil, and Laura Catena. They taste together, spending days deciding upon the wine menu, which then forms the foundation for developing the cuisine pairing for each wine. At first, the wine chefs structured the menu in the traditional way, a progression from fresh, fruit-forward, high-acid wines to heavier reds. Now, with the confidence that the ‘wine-first’ concept is working and that the space lends itself to a 10-course menu, Vigil notes, “we plan to also offer what we call a montaña rusa (rollercoaster) approach, in which we will intermix whites and reds and also go back and forth between lighter and more succulent foods.”
Laura Catena summarizes the inspiration to partner with Star Wine List: “I grew up in Argentina with a vibrant restaurant scene. When we started exporting fine Malbec and other varietals in the early 1990s, nobody knew Argentine wine. Today, our high-altitude wines, and especially our single parcel Malbecs and Chardonnays are sought after by restaurant diners all over the world. We want to celebrate those restaurants that put a great deal of effort into their wine programs. Although there are many awards for great food, there aren’t many awards for exceptional wine lists, and this is what we are most passionate about.”