The competition is the first of its kind in Thailand, and founder Jon Hyams says the aim is to encourage and reward excellence in the development of wine lists, and improve the wine culture across the country.
There are six main award categories (Best Restaurant, Best Café/Brasserie, Best Wine Bar, Best International Hotel Restaurant, Best Resort, and Best Small List), plus four regional award categories (Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui and Chiang Mai), plus a Consumer-awarded Best List title, and the Best National Wine List title.
Jon, the owner of Phuket-based wine consultancy business The Genuine Palate, is running the awards in conjunction with Events Thailand.
He hopes the awards will help lift the standard of wine lists across the country.
“Anyone can write a wine list, but to write it well is another thing.”
John says the challenges to creating a good wine list include matching it with the establishment’s cuisine and image, balancing the prices, and getting regions, varieties and vintages right.
Jon says the awards have a different focus than the remote Wine Spectator awards, because there will be a national focus and the award winners will be given a stack of free publicity and marketing exposure both nationally and internationally, including in national publications and many across Asia.
The awards actually promote the industry here in Thailand, Jon says.
The best part about the awards, Jon says, is that any business with a wine list can enter ranging from “corner cafes” to wine bars, and international hotels.
The awards cost B990 to enter, and registration closes on August 10.
A panel of internationally acclaimed wine commentators and experts will deliver their final decisions in September and the winners will be announced at a gala dinner on October 13.
For more information and details on how to enter, visit www.winelistoftheyearthailand.com
The Phuket News and Live 89.5FM are media sponsors of the Wine List of the Year Thailand.