Star Wine List launches new international tour and sustainability category

The winners from the 2021-2022 International final in London

At the end of August, Star Wine List kicks off its third international tour of wine list celebrations: Star Wine List of the Year. Starting in Denmark, the tour will visit new countries like South Africa on its way around the world. A new sustainable wine list category is introduced.

”We launched Star Wine List of the Year as a way to celebrate great wine lists and the teams behind them. We have been blown away by the reception and the demand to come to more countries. Much of the credit must go to our incredible sommelier jury crew. And we are very happy to welcome top sommeliers Heidi Mäkinen MW and Piotr Pietras MS to the international jury panel,” says Krister Bengtsson, founder and publisher.

The third tour of wine list celebrations will start with Denmark on Aug. 29, with the Best Sommelier of Denmark competition. After that, the tour will visit a number of countries before ending with an International Final in June 2023. (Danish sommeliers, sign up here now)

”And we are pleased to say ”Save the date” for our first Star Wine List of the Year event in Africa: On Oct. 4 we will join forces with the South African Sommelier Association to highlight the great wine lists of South Africa, at an event in Stellenbosch. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know more about that!” says Krister Bengtsson.


For the 2022-2023 tour the main six international categories will remain:

  • Grand Prix, lists with more than 600 wines
  • Best Medium-Sized List, 200-600 wines.
  • Best Short List, <200 wines
  • Best By the Glass List
  • Best Sparkling Wine List
  • Special Jury Prize, for a wine list out of the ordinary
  • In addition to these, a brand new category is introduced: Sustainable Wine List

These seven categories are identical across all markets. The Best Austrian Wine List will also run in most markets as an international category.
Besides the international categories, local categories will be introduced.

Like before, the winner in each category will receive a Gold Star. The other finalists will receive Silver Stars. The national winners in the international categories are then qualified for the International Final in June 2023.


There will be some changes to the criteria for the jury. Previously the criteria was to rate the lists while considering width, depth, originality and value. This tended to favour the largest lists in many categories. Now, the main criteria is: Vote for the most exciting wine list representing the category.

”We feel that this makes more sense, when we have many of the best sommeliers in the world in our jury panel, to give them a freer mandate to vote for lists that excite them,” says Krister Bengtsson.

For the new Sustainable Wine List category, both the venue’s wine list and their application statement about their work will be evaluated. Besides the above criteria, the jury should for this category also consider the wine program’s impact, including wine growing, winemaking, packaging and transport.

Another change is that the Special Jury Prize can only be won once. This is to highlight the uniqueness of the award, and to reward originality in more places. Previous Special Jury Prize winners are therefore not eligible for this category going forward.

Master Sommelier Piotr Pietras joins the jury panel.


For each event, judges from our international sommelier panel will be part of the jury. Local judges may be added to the jury.

The members of the international jury panel 2022-2023 are:

  • Paz Levinson
  • Pascaline Lepeltier
  • Marc Almert
  • Raimonds Tomsons
  • Arvid Rosengren
  • Rajat Parr
  • Véronique Rivest
  • Julie Dupouy
  • Salvatore Castano
  • Heidi Mäkinen MW
  • Piotr Pietras MS


All restaurants and wine bars in a country are welcome to submit their wine list, free of charge. Entry forms will be public ahead of the events. There may be local variations to the admissions procedures. Sign up to the newsletter below to not miss any deadlines.


As the events are free for restaurants and wine bars, we rely on great partners to make them happen, such as the Austrian Wine Marketing Board. We welcome more partners who want to strengthen their brands to one of the sharpest audiences in the wine world - contact us as

We also rely on great event partners, such as the sommelier associations in the Nordic countries. If you would like to see Star Wine List of the Year in your city/country - contact us for a discussion at

Read more about how we judge Star Wine List of the Year here - and sign up to our newsletter below to be alerted to news and results.

Published 17-July-2022

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