Queensland restaurants that excel in the provision of wine service and list development were recognised at Restaurant & Catering Australia’s (R&CA) 2016 QLD Wine List Awards on 26 September.

Aria, Brisbane, won Best Qld Wine List while taking out its category for Best Extensive Restaurant Wine List. Mamasan Kitchen & Bar, Broadbeach, won Best Comprehensive Restaurant Wine List while Blackbird Bar & Restaurant, Brisbane, took out the award for Best Wine List in a Licensed Venue.

“Good food and wine go hand in hand. A good wine list can elevate any dining experience. It’s pleasing to see operators who think about the total experience and are willing to support local producers,” said R&CA John Hart CEO.

“Australian wineries are producing world class wines that are an asset to any restaurant wine list. I’m pleased they feature so prominently on the menus of Australia’s best restaurants.”

R&CA’s 2016 Industry Benchmarking Report revealed half of operators design their wine list menu based on consumer demand, with a further 45 percent indicating price and ability to source wine from the local region as important contributing factors to their wine lists. More than 71 percent of operators believed it was important to profile Australian wines on their wine list.

Hart said good food and wine is a key contributing factor to the success of Australia’s $113 billion tourism industry.

“Research shows good food and wine is a key factor in holiday decision making, second only to world-class natural beauty. QLD is well placed to take advantage of the trend towards food and wine tourism. It’s also a key focus of Tourism Australia’s Restaurant Australia campaign that encourages international visitors to come dine on our shores.”

The Sommelier of the winning restaurant will receive a chance to build their wine knowledge through wine appreciation at the supporting wineries featured at the Awards. The prize includes 10 cartons of Signature Collection Sirromet wine and wine course, a three day internship at Ballandean Estate Wines, a 2015 and 2016 barrel tasting at Symphony Hill Wines, and the opportunity to participate in the 2017 vintage harvest at Witches Falls.

“It’s fantastic to see local wineries contributing to the education and development of wine knowledge in restaurants. It’s an incredibly powerful partnership that benefits the producer, the restaurant and ultimately the consumer,” said Hart.

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