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Best restaurant wine lists in the UK revealed

Soho restaurant Mountain won the award for the best overall wine list at a prestigious ceremony held in London this week.

Superstar chef Tomos Parry opened the restaurant last summer after taking over a former Byron Burger site on Beak Street.

Parry is renowned for applying Basque cooking techniques to high-quality British produce, with a particular penchant for flame cooking.

He opened Brat in a former Shoreditch strip club back in 2018, and the restaurant gained a Michelin star six months later.

The Welsh chef decided to branch out last year, and Time Out described Mountain as ‘London’s coolest restaurant’ when it opened.

Sommelier Holly Wilcocks has compiled a strong wine list to complement the Basque-Welsh fusion cuisine.

The Star Wine List of the Year awards, held in partnership with trade title The Buyer, took place in Farringdon on Monday night and Mountain picked up the award for Best Newcomer List. The restaurant also won the Best Long List award, which goes to a list with more than 600 wines.

Mountain completed a hat-trick when it won the Grand Prix award for the best wine list overall at the end of the ceremony.

‘It’s been such a fun task putting the list together, and I’m just glad that other people seem to agree,’ said Wilcocks. ‘For us, it’s always been about finding wines that come from beautiful places, made by kind people that treat the soil, the land, and the people respectfully. And generally on the lower intervention side, but we’ve always been looking to reach towards those cleaner styles of wines that suit a Soho location a little bit better.’

Jury member Federico Moccia, the head sommelier at 67 Pall Mall in London, hailed her ‘outstanding work in making this wine list, encompassing quality and depth, showing classics and new producers, discovering new terroirs, and emphasising the most renowned’.

Fellow jury members included Heidi Mäkinen MW, Piotr Pietras MS, Julie Dupouy-Young and Raj Parr.

When asked about her favourite part of Mountain’s wine list, Wilcocks highlighted the ‘Down to Earth’ section. ‘We try to highlight good bottles of wine for under £50, because they really are there if you spend enough time looking for them, and because not every meal should cost the world,’ she said.

Etch by Steven Edwards, a restaurant in Brighton, won the award for Best Medium-Sized List (200-600 bottles). Brat was shortlisted in that category, along with fellow London restaurants Blandford Comptoir, Doppo, Ekstedt at the Yard, Leroy, Trivet and Wild Corner, plus Where The Light Gets In and Climat in Manchester.

The Best Short List award went to Hjem in Hexham, Northumberland. ‘It’s a fantastic honour, and it means a lot to be recognised for what we do,’ said sommelier and restaurant manager Martin Waugh. ‘London is the heart and soul of beverage in the UK, but it’s nice to get some representation outside of the city, so, we’re really, really fortunate and privileged that we have the opportunity.’

Meanwhile, Noble Rot Mayfair won the award for Best By the Glass List, while Les 110 de Taillevent in London’s Cavendish Square won the Best Sparkling Wine List gong.

Newcomer Wines in London has the best Austrian wine list, The Vineyard at Stockcross in Newbury has the best California list, and The Terrace Rooms & Wine in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight has the best New Zealand list, according to the awards. Apricity in London also won an award for Best Sustainable Wine List.

‘There is definitely no shortage of places to go to for wine lovers when visiting the UK,’ said Dupouy-Young.


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