Every year, the Young Gun of Wine Wineslinger Awards recognise the country’s best places to drink vino – and it’s just dropped its 50-venue shortlist ahead of the announcement of the winners next month.
The awards are set up by the same people who run the Young Gun of Wine Winemaker Awards, which recognise the best Aussie talent in the industry. The awards’ founder Rory Kent co-ordinates votes from more than 100 sommeliers, winemakers, hospitality tastemakers and journalists, and – as always – you can put your faves forward for the People’s Choice award before voting closes on Monday December 5.
This year’s top 50 includes 12 venues from Victoria, nine from New South Wales, eight from Western Australia, seven from South Australia, seven from Queensland, four from Tasmania and three from ACT. There are also 11 venues listed for the first time – including Wineism in Brisbane, The Wine Library in Sydney, Testun in WA, Rizla in Canberra, Paloma Wine Bar in Burleigh Heads, Hugel in Adelaide and Bar Merenda in Daylesford.
“With the entire country being out of lockdown this year, it’s been particularly joyous to again have the ability to travel,” said Kent, who set up the awards in 2018. “When you’re into wine, there’s something so tremendously exciting about being able to experience wine hospitality in another region or city, because wherever you go, you’ll always find a new approach to wine.
“In the fifth year of these annual awards, it’s incredible to see that a number of new hospitality ventures emerged despite the Covid pandemic.”
The diverse offerings from new entrants show how dynamic the industry is, says Kent. There are plenty of venues on the shortlist who’ve featured every year, but each one has a unique offering for wine lovers. “It’s a fantastically mixed bunch,” he says. “One thing they all have in common is they love wine, and they want to share that love with you.”
There are four awards in the Wineslinger Awards: the Wineslinger (the top gong), Best New Haunt (self-explanatory), the Maverick (a venue pushing boundaries), plus the People’s Choice award.
If your love of good wine isn’t incentive enough, everyone who votes in the People’s Choice award goes into a draw to win a year’s supply of wine from Young Gun of Wine, as well as a Liebherr wine cabinet. Voting closes on Monday December 5, which is when the Wineslinger trophy winners will be revealed.