On 23 October we returned to Denmark to celebrate the best wine lists and the teams behind them for the fourth time. Alchemist, Geranium and Grimal all won two categories each – and here we present all the winners.
The top floors at Restaurant Trio in central Copenhagen were buzzing with sommeliers and excitement on Monday as it was time to announce the Gold Stars to the best wine lists in Denmark.
”Once again the passion, drive and inspiration of Danish Sommeliers is shining through the many wine lists we received. Long lists, when well put together, are always incredibly impressive - such a privilege to work with so many references, and vintages and to have the space to store all of these bottles! However, it was also particularly exciting to see a generous amount of entries in the short and medium categories. Some of those lists were equally as impressive for their focus, personality, balance and uniqueness and the talent of their authors was oozing out of them,” says jury member Julie Dupouy-Young.
Denmark was our fourth stop on the Star Wine List of the Year international tour 2023-2024, and the event was held in Copenhagen on 23 October.
The jury for the Danish event was filled with top sommeliers:
• Heidi Mäkinen MW
• Julie Dupouy-Young
• Ronan Sayburn MS
• Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen
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. In addition, local categories may be added. We have commercial partners for certain categories, such as the Best Sparkling Wine List, presented by Nyetimber. The commercial partners are, however, never involved in the selections of finalists or winners — that is completely up to our independent jury panel.
The criteria for the jury are straightforward but not simple: Vote for the most exciting wine list representing the category.
Here are all the winning wine lists:
– The best list overall
”Building a great wine list is obviously all about what you choose to put in it. But it is as important to consider what not to list. You simply can't list all the wines of the world. This year's Grand Prix winner is best described as being completely on point with its selections and has clearly put a lot of effort into choosing what to let out. It also offers remarkable value and it’s a list built for wine lovers, by wine lovers,” says jury member Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen about the winning list.
”We did absolutely not expect this one. This is really awesome. Thank you to the panel for recognising our work. The Grimal wine list is a façade to the whole Frank group’s wine program and long term cellaring ambitions and we get to cherry pick some really fun stuff and put it on the list,” said Oliver Carr, Wine Director.
Best Long List
– For wine lists with more than 600 references
The category is presented by DAOU
”This wine list has it all, as it shows an impressive selection of regions, producers, wines and vintages. Albeit its long length it manages to keep everything in balance superbly and with all its classics is also very topical representing the broad wine world of today,” says jury member Heidi Mäkinen MW about Geranium’s winning list.
”Thank you very much for this award. I joined the restaurant quite recently, two years ago, so it’s a joint effort from everybody who has been there since the beginning,” said Thomas Vanhove, Assistant Head Sommelier.
Best Medium-Sized Wine List
– Recognizes the best wine list with 200-600 references.
v.Lo winebar, Copenhagen
Fasangården, Frederiksberg, Copenhagen
Haraldskær Sinatur Hotel & Konference, Vejle
Kødbyens Fiskebar, Copenhagen
Restaurant Babylon, Copenhagen
Restaurant Camino, Copenhagen
Silberbauers Bistro, Copenhagen
”A nicely presented list that is easy to navigate, using guest-friendly and quirky headings. They feature great producers as well as lesser-known ones, providing plenty of choices,” says jury member Ronan Sayburn MS about the winning list.
”I want to thank the jury and everybody who have supported us through the few years that we have been open. I am happy that the work that whole team has put into the wine bar is being recognised. Thank you guys!” said Patrick Mouritzen, Wine Director.
Best Short List
– Recognizes the best wine list with fewer than 200 listings.
”A short but very well-chosen selection of wines. Very clearly presented. Choosing a small list is often hard but this one covers all tastes and desires,” says Ronan Sayburn.
”Thank you very much for recognising what is quite a lot of hard work. Thank you to the former sommeliers of Grimal as well. The wine list is a living artefact and some have made choices that either remain on the list or categories that remain on the list. It is also a pleasure to be in this kind of crowd because 90 per cent of our guests are not really interacting with the wines that everyone in this room is passionate about so I hope that we can continue to show as much effort and energy for the sort of more ”boring” wine categories that are built around more every day guests, because that is important to me as well,” said Wine Director Oliver Carr.
Best Austrian Wine List
– Recognizes the best list with wines from Austria
The category is presented by Austrian Wine
”The list nicely covers all the wine-making regions of Austria with some thoughtful choices,” says Ronan Sayburn.
”Very happy to win this category! I think especially the white wines from Austria give us a lot of chances to have fun with the guests and surprise them as well,”said Kadeau's Restaurant Manager Alberto Segade.
Best Sparkling Wine List
– Recognizes the best list with sparkling wines.
The category is presented by Nyetimber
”This list shows incredible precision to detail and is very focused in its selection of champagnes from both growers and champagne houses. The short international offering showcases some of the best sparkling examples that mix well with the rest,” says Heidi Mäkinen about the winning list.
”Thank you very very much. I guess that we are always striving to put sparkling wines in the context of all other wines and try to expand the understanding also among the guests of how it can fit in not only in the beginning of a meal but also give it a role as something in the middle of the meal. And perhaps to explore the diversity that exists within the category and at the same time featuring some of the great classics as well as what is up and coming and excites us at the moment,” said Wine Director Nina Højgaard Jensen.
Best California Wine List
– Recognizes the best list with wines from California
The category is presented by Louis M. Martini
”A list that features a remarkable collection of Californian wines with a good balance between newcomers, iconic labels, young vintages and older bottles,” says the jury’s Julie Dupouy-Young.
”When I joined Geranium many years ago I was so impressed with the selection of American wines and the new prize for this category this year really reflects the job done by Sören Ledet from the very beginning loving American wines and investing in them. It has given us so many old vintages and it’s great to work with them but now we have to keep going, looking for new producers and new vintages so thank you so much!” said Head Sommelier Andrea Sala.
Best By the Glass List
– Recognizes the best by the glass list.
”This extensive, undogmatic, great value by-the-glass selection offers a variety of styles, regions and price points like no other list. A great mix of iconic household names as well as young less-established producers. Quite simply filled with stuff that you ought to try and ought to have tried,” says local judge Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen.
”It’s something we work on now for a good couple of years and we want to offer different styles, different pleasures to people. And whatever they are into, we should be able to find something for them,” said Damien Aubry, sommelier.
Best Newcomer List
Josephine Vinhandel & Bar, Copenhagen
”A superb addition to the Danish wine scene. This list offers outstanding value and is fun and curious. In a shouldered-down environment, it covers different styles and regions with an emphasis on younger, more avant-garde producers with the potential of plenty of late nights ahead,” says Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen.
”Thank you. We are super happy for all the support from all the guests and all the industry faces. We try to be open to everyone and approachable, unpretentious in the way we go about things,” said sommelier Rohan Goradia.
Sustainable Wine List
– For the Sustainable Wine List category, not only the wine list is evaluated, but also the stated actions of the venue, as described through a questionnaire in the application
Restaurant ARK, Copenhagen
”This venue has taken its acts on sustainability beyond the usual being zero-waste, focused on ecologically produced beverages, and reducing its carbon footprint. They show wine lists can make a difference and impact our behaviour and views on sustainable matters,” says Heidi Mäkinen.
”It was very unexpected but we are very, very happy. It’s an interesting time where we are talking about sustainability in wine, not only in production but how it is being delivered to us. And for us as a wine loving society we need to ask those questions and see how it is going to affect our jobs in the future and how to pass that on to our customers,” said Matthew McGuigan, General Manager and sommelier.
Best Digestif List
– Recognizes the best post dinner spirits list.
The category is presented by Juuls
”A fabulous list that will make any spirit lover dream. A special mention to the incredible collection of whiskies and rums from various parts of the globe. If you are looking for very rare and old distillates, this is the place!” says Julie Dupouy-Young.
”I am extremely happy and it’s about time that we start focusing on spirits much more… It’s a way to share stories through iconic spirits over hundreds of years. And that is what I enjoy, with the team, to always find something new and create a list that is vibrant and has things where both the uber-nerd and the newcomer will find something that they have never tried before. I am very happy that we finally have this kind of list,” said Christopher Kok, Head Sommelier at Alchemist.
The winners in the international categories will qualify for our International Final in June 2024, where they will face off with the category winners from other countries and continents.
Premium - turning into Pro
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.
English sparkling producer Nyetimber is the leading producer of sparkling wine in the country.