Rajat Parr back on jury duty - UK and New York up first

Rajat Parr. Photo Star Wine List.
Krister Bengtsson
Published 01-February-2024

The renowned sommelier turned winemaker Rajat Parr is a member of Star Wine List's jury to celebrate the great wine lists around the world. We caught up with him over a matcha latte in Stockholm to discuss the upcoming events. Up next for Parr is UK and then New York in March, with a deadline on Feb 11.

"New York is always exciting to look at, to see how things change. Because when things change there, everything changes after that, and I love the diversity there."

"You know, the pricing is different there than the rest of the world but it's good to see some small restaurants have competitive pricing and make an effort to give some value to the customer because it's hard in New York, everything is expensive."

You have been part of our jury panel for quite a while, what are some changes you have seen over recent years?

"We have seen the last years a huge revival of honest wine and think that, I hope, people now recognise how important farming is. I think it's important to talk about sustainable, organic, regenerative ideas because these are what we need for the planet. We need it in food, we need it in wine. You see it in the wine lists, you see who is making an effort."

And then it's time for our Swedish awards where you are again on the jury - what are your thoughts on the Swedish wine scene?

"Oh, I love it. People are so passionate, I was at a restaurant yesterday and they were very excited to show me the wine list. People are serious about food and wine and it shows. I have some friends in town and before, they said: oh I'd rather come to Stockholm than go to Paris or London. And there is something to that, there are so many exciting restaurants here, with competitive pricing. So I'm excited to look through all the wine lists like last year!"

Phelan Farm, California. Photo courtesy of Rajat Parr.

And how are things going back at Phelan Farms in California where you are based?

"It's good, we have some good winter rains and hopefully we will be ready to go in April and hopefully we'll have a normal vintage because we haven't had one in a few years now."

You have been planting some new vines as well?

"Yes we are are going to plant three hectares of vines, including Trousseau and a little more Gamay. I am excited, I have never actually planted a vineyard from scratch before".

Read more - and sommeliers enter now:

Star Wine List of the Year New York - deadline 11 Feb - event 23

Star Wine List of the Year Sweden - deadline 25 Feb - event 8 April

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