Five Restaurants Known for Their Wine
On July 8, 2014, the acclaimed British wine quarterly The World of Fine Wine released their inaugural World’s Best Wine Lists, where only 225 out of 4,000 restaurants from around the globe were given the top honors for the breadth, diversity, and excellence of their wine cellars. This feat is achieved through enforcing the proper storage standards, akin to professional storage facilities such as Singapore Wine Vault.
Let’s take a closer look at five (plus one!) of these restaurants, chosen randomly (except for one) from six of the world’s seven continents:
Rockpool Bar & Grill (Melbourne, Australia)
At its simplest, the Rockpool Bar & Grill in Melbourne, founded and co-owned by famed Australian celebrity chef and author Neil Perry, is a steakhouse. But it’s a steakhouse that stocks its larders with the finest grass-fed purebred full-blood Blackmore Wagyu beef dry-aged on-site, and the most delectable seafood sourced from only the best suppliers. Menu items—and they change daily—include such gems as Wagyu Chuck Braised in Red Wine with Gremolata and Potato Puree, and Grilled Rock Flathead Fillets with Shaved Fennel, Blood Orange and Olives. The restaurant’s extensive wine list includes some of the best sweet dessert wines from Australia’s Rutherglen Muscat to some of the best Reislings and Sherries from Germany and Iberia, and there is a dedicated service team on hand to advise diners on which wines to pair with their entrées.
The restaurant itself is designed for informal dining and features a large open kitchen and wood fire grill. The ambiance is that of elegant comfort, with soft mood lighting and lovely views of the Melbourne skyline and the Yarra River from its private dining room and terrace.
Crown Casino, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia
+61 3 8648 1900
Pix Pâtisserie (Portland, Oregon, USA)
Portland, Oregon has a reputation for quirkiness when it comes to pretty much…everything, including food and drink—and pastry chef and restaurateur Cheryl Wakerhauser’s Pix Pâtisserie and Bar Vivant is a great representative of it. This French-pastry and Spanish-tapas shop is famous for its wide-ranging collection of champagnes, sparkling wines, sherrys, and other dessert wines that complement Ms. Wakerhauser’s French macarons, desserts such as the wild, fresh-fruit Carmen Miranda and Chocolate Drenched Drunken Cherries at Pix that run alongside Bar Vivant’s extensive tapas menu.
An eccentric mix of Parisian elegance, Spanish flair, and Portland whimsy, Pix Pâtisserie cultivates a homey, cozy, country air perfect for intimate dining.
2225 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214, United States
Central Restaurante (Lima, Peru)
Virgilio Martinez is a visionary. The owner of Central Restaurante, Martinez is one of Peru’s rising young superstar chefs, notable for his innovative use of unusual native Peruvian ingredients in creating modern high-end cuisine. To gather these ingredients, he co-founded Mater Iniciativa, a group of researchers, fellow chefs, nutritionists, anthropologists, and other professionals dedicated to discovering and sharing the hidden history of Peruvian gastronomy with their countrymen and the world.
The menu of Central Restaurante is a fascinating read. Items such as Charred Purple Corn-Scented Octopus, The Sixty-Mile Fish, and Angel Hair And Rabbit must surely pique the curiosity of even the most casual diner. The wine list also serves to drive home Martinez’s desire to promote the local: South American wines, particularly from Argentina and Chile and some from Peru itself, heavily dominate the list.
Santa Isabel 376 Miraflores Lima, Peru
+51 1 2428515
Rust en Vrede (Stellenbosch, South Africa)
Established in 1694, Rust en Vrede is one of the oldest historical estates in South Africa, but its present reputation as the country’s top red wine producer was not acquired until the late 1970s when Jannie Engelbrecht bought the estate and set about reviving its dormant winery. Thanks to Stellenbosch’s particular climate and soil composition, Rust en Vrede (now run by Engelbrecht’s son Jean) specializes in cultivating its red wines, blending Shiraz, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon to create its flagship wine, the award-winning Rust en Vrede Estate.
Today, Rust en Vrede also has an excellent French restaurant, housed in the original wine cellar (a South African National Monument) of the estate, imbuing the place with a sense of history as well as an elegant charm. They serve four- to six-course menus, but the highlight of any diner’s evening would be the Estate Experience, a “four to five hour long gastronomic journey” with a special surprise menu unique to the diners’ tastes, carefully planned and crafted by the restaurant’s head chef, John Shuttleworth. Unusually, the restaurant wine list is not solely confined to the winery’s offerings, but is an eclectic selection of champagnes, rosés, reds, and whites from all over the world, chosen to complement Rust en Vrede’s menu.
Rust en Vrede Wine Estate, Annandale Road, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa
+27 21 881 3881
Garibaldi Italian Restaurant & Bar (Singapore)
One of Singapore’s finest and most famous restaurants, Garibaldi specializes in all things Italian—from the food, to the ambiance, to the wine. The fare is authentic Italian—owner and executive chef Roberto Galetti sources his ingredients directly from the home country—and a quick glance at the menu shows an impressive, if rather daunting, array of dishes; the weekend brunch menu accompanied by free-flowing Prosecco is a particular favorite with Singapore diners. The décor is simple yet stylish and modern, done up with muted earth tones and light boxes with abstract art gracing the walls. The wine list is notable for its great emphasis on Italian reds, whites, and champagnes, with a special section for old and rare wines from 1944 onwards.
36 Purvis St, Singapore 188613
+65 6837 1468
Palais Coburg Residenz (Vienna, Austria)
The World’s Best Wine List 2014, Best Wine List in Europe
The cellars of the Palais Coburg Hotel in Vienna staggered the judges of the World’s Best Wine List; “jaw-dropping” would be the operative term. There are six vast cellars holding at least 60,000 bottles of the world’s best vintages, with each cellar dedicated to a particular region or genre or domaine. The wine list reads like a Who’s Who of the world’s most celebrated vineyards, and the ages of the bottles span four centuries.
There are two in-house restaurants at the Palais Coburg: the Silvio Nickol and Clementine im Glashaus. Executive chef Silvio Nickol and his eponymous restaurant holds 2 Michelin stars and offers a set tasting menu of 5, 7, or 9 courses, featuring delicacies such as venison, sheep’s cheese, and duck liver succeeding a series of amuse-bouches to whet the appetite. The Clementine (named after Clémentine de Orléans, Princess of Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha and original resident of the Palais Coburg) offers creative reinterpretations of traditional European cuisine throughout breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner.
Both restaurants provide complete access to the Palais Coburg’s extensive wine archive, but for the full wine experience visitors would be well advised to take part in one of the hotel’s celebrated wine tastings, with the option of taking a Wine Walk (a guided tour with a chance to taste one wine from each cellar, accompanied by hors d’oeuvres) or focusing on the contents of specific cellars such as the Austro Wine or the Go West. Either way, wine tasting at the Palais Coburg promises to be quite the adventure.
Coburgbastei 4, 1010 Wien, Austria
+43 1 518180
These are only some of the best examples of restaurants known for their exemplary wine lists and storage, check out www.singaporewinevault.com for more news and updates.