Finalists for Wine List of the Year 2018

Arthur Waterhouse Bar at Hardy's Verandah

Arthur Waterhouse Bar at Hardy's Verandah

This year's finalists are pursuing vastly different wine programs, but all are at the top of their game. We present Hardy's Verandah Restaurant, Cirrus Dining and Kisumé.

HARDY'S VERANDAH RESTAURANT, CRAFERS

It's not all hipster hangouts in the Adelaide Hills: well-travelled sommelier Patrick White has conjured up a rich, classic list befitting its heritage location, with an appropriate emphasis on South Australia's established labels, plus a smattering of new-wave bottles thrown in for fun, all delivered with charm, humour and smarts. So thoroughly South Australia 2017.

In short: A classic list with a twist.

CIRRUS DINING, SYDNEY

Nick Hildebrandt (left) and Brent Savage.

Not content with compiling three of Australia's best wine lists at his other acclaimed venues, Bentley, Monopole and Yellow, wine-whisperer Nick Hildebrandt has gone and done it again at Cirrus Dining: a mouthwatering selection of bottles, balancing the familiar and the obscure, perfectly skewed to the fishy focus of the food and the bright, airy feel of the location. If you like white wine (and even if you don't), Cirrus is going to make you very happy indeed.

In short: Nick Hildebrandt strikes again. Lucky us.

KISUMÉ, MELBOURNE

The Chablis Bar at Kisumé.

Talk about a triple threat. The compact core list here is excellent: broad-ranging, accessible, helpfully arranged by style, with a solid selection of sakes and spirits. Add a quirky, unique single-focus Chablis-only list and a "Winewall" studded with back-vintages of heavy-hitters from around the world, and it all adds up to a super-impressive package.

In short: Three great lists in one.


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