Barents wins Best Austrian Wine List in first Baltics event

Krister Bengtsson, Star Wine List; Heidi Mäkinen MW, Jury member; Ignatij Semionov, Somm the Wine bar; Mikk Parre, Time to Wine Rotermanni; Ņikita Zaičenkovs, Barents; Peeter Tikk, Vinorama/Austrian Wine; Liora Levi, Star Wine List. Photo by Lauri Laan

On November 19, Star Wine List celebrated the best wine lists in the Baltics and the teams behind them for the first time, at an event held during the annual Food and Wine festival.

Barents in Riga trounced the competition in the Best Austrian Wine List category, presented by Austrian Wine, winning both the Gold for Latvia, and the overall Baltics Gold award.

”What a great selection from sparkling to sweet wines," said jury member Paz Levinson. "The Barents list pays a special honour to Austrian wine. We can view the selection through the eyes of the Best Sommelier of the World, Raimonds Tomsons, and can see the long-term connection between producers and a great sommelier always seeking out quality and personality.”

Barent's sommelier Nikita Zaičenkovs, who is responsible for putting together the winning list said that he was delighted by the win. "It was well worth the trip to Tallin today!" he laughed as he collected his award. And with several prizes under his belt, he admitted to being "surprised" by such success. "This is a big surprise, and a great improvement for the Baltics, so thank you Star Wine List! As a sommelier you are just trying to show off your country's culture and do everything you can to offer the very best wines and experiences for your customers, so it's great to be appreciated by the professionals for what you are doing."

Barents aslo won Gold in the categories Best Medium-Sized List and Best Sparkling Wine List.

Time to Wine Rottermanni in Tallin, Gold medal winner in the Best Austrian category for Estonia

Time to Wine Rotermanni in Tallinn won the Best Austrian Wine List for Estonia. They also won no less than five other Gold awards, including the Grand Prix.

"A very good section embracing not only white wine from Austria but other styles as well. The list is impressive overall and the Austrian section is solid, smart and with diversity of terroirs, grapes, winemakers. A sommelier selection," said jury member Paz Levinson.

SOMM The Wine Bar in Vilnius

SOMM The Wine Bar in Vilnius was the winner of the Lithuanian Best Austrian Wine List, and they also won Gold for Best By the Glass List in Lithuania.

"The Austrian section have several labels from some of the most important wine players of Austria. Not a huge diversity of producers but interesting labels with back vintages. We can find sparkling and sweet wines with a couple of red wine references,"said jury member Paz Levinson.

Star Wine List of the Year Baltics was held on November 19, during the Food and wine festival in Tallinn, Estonia at the Kultuuri Katel. Barents, SOMM The Wine Bar and Time to Wine Rotermanni will now qualify for our International Final in June 2024, where they will face off with the category winners from other countries and continents.

The Silver Star winners in the Best Austrian category were:

Noble Wine Bar, Riga, Latvia
Riviera, Riga, Latvia
Fotografiska Tallinn, Tallinn, Estonia
Time to Wine Kopli 6, Tallinn, Estonia

Categories and criteria

Star Wine List judges the wine lists in several categories such as the Best Sparkling Wine List and Best By the Glass List. These categories are the same across all of the awards. We have commercial partners for certain categories, such as the Best Austrian Wine List, presented by Wines of Austria. The commercial partners are, however, never involved in the selections of finalists or winners — that is entirely down to our independent jury panel.


The criteria for the jury is straightforward but not simple: Vote for the most exciting wine list representing the category.

The Baltics jury - from left, Piotr Pietras MS, Julie Dupouy-Young, Heidi Mäkinen MW, Paz Levinson

The jury of wine experts for the Star Wine List of the Year Baltics 2023 comprised a panel of top international sommeliers:
• Heidi Mäkinen, Master of Wine
• Julie Dupouy-Young, Best Sommelier of Ireland several times
• Piotr Pietras, Master Sommelier
• Paz Levinson, Best Sommelier of Americas)

Read about the terms and how Star Wine List judges the wine lists here.

Published 19-November-2023
News / Latvia

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Austrian Wine

The Austrian Wine Marketing Board is based in Vienna, and is a national service body for the Austrian wine industry. The aim is to strategically support, coordinate and maintain quality and sales.


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