The 2021 Wine-Searcher Retailer Awards

Retailers around the world will be celebrating today as we announce our annual awards.
© Shutterstock | Retailers around the world will be celebrating today as we announce our annual awards.
It’s that time of year again, and Wine-Searcher's Retailer Awards are bigger and better than ever.
By Natalie Sellers | Posted Friday, 17-Sep-2021

Ever wonder what the Oscars of wine retailing would look like? Wonder no more, because today we unveil the fifth annual Wine-Searcher Retail Awards winners.

The awards began back in 2017 and since those heady days, when merchants could win 10 or more awards, they have become ever more refined and precise with merchants rewarded for displaying true excellence throughout the year as either an all-rounder or a specialist – or sometimes both.

Related stories:
The 2020 Wine-Searcher Retailer Awards
The 2019 Wine-Searcher Retailer Awards
Searching for the World's Best Wine Lists

Today, the maximum number of awards any merchant can win is six, three for wine and another three for spirits. If a merchant is in the running for more than three wine awards, they will be awarded the ones they excelled at the most, and the same applies for spirits. The full winning formula – and a full list of winners – can be seen here.

This year's awards are our most comprehensive, accurate and wide-reaching yet, with a total of 4431 medals awarded to 1692 merchants across the globe – 3468 for wine and 963 for spirits. For the wine awards there are 22 different categories, and for the spirits there are 11.

This year also sees countries like Thailand, Croatia and Malaysia join the mix, as previously Wine-Searcher lacked sufficient data to accurately register viable competition but, over the course of the year, this has built up and now medal-winners can be found in each. In total, this year sees Wine-Searcher Awards in a total of 36 different countries around the world.

So who are some of our winners?

An impressive 1542 medals have been awarded in the US, far too many to go through here. However, some great wins went to Lehigh Wines and Liquors who scored big in the Bronx and Best Buy Liquors who cleaned up six Golds in Brooklyn. Elsewhere in New York, Grapes The Wine Company scored two Golds for Best Bordeaux and Best Overall List in White Plains, as well as Bronze for Best Malt Whisky.

Over on the west coast, we have SommPicks taking home three Golds for Best Burgundy, Rhone and French Lists in San Francisco, and Wine House taking three Golds for French, European and Overall in LA.

Down in Fort Lauderdale, Wine Watch Boutique took Gold for Best Tuscan, Italian and Overall, and in Texas, various outlets of Total Wine & More have dug for Gold.

In Canada, big winners include Rogers & Company in Ontario who scored three Gold for European, New World and Overall and ZYN The Wine Market who scored five Gold and a Silver in Alberta. In Brazil, Mistral won three Golds for Best French, European and Overall List in Sao Paolo.

Across the Pacific, in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Wine Vault have won three Golds for best German, Champagne and Burgundy List and The Fine Wine Experience also won Gold for Best French, European and Overall List. In Shanghai, Delta Cellar (Jing Xiang Foods) cleaned up with three Golds for Best European, New World and Overall. In Japan, Enoteca Online won three Golds for Best French, European and Overall List in Tokyo.

Over in Singapore, The Oaks Cellars Pte Ltd won three Golds for Best French, European and Overall and a Bronze for Malt Whisky while Wines Online won three Golds for its Rioja, Spanish and Italian selection.

In London, we have Berry Bros. & Rudd sweeping three Golds for Best Burgundy, Californian and American List, while Nemo Wine Cellars snaffles Golds for Best Bordeaux, Rhone and Italian. The Whisky Exchange grabs Gold for both Blended and Malt Whisky as well as Brandy and Portuguese List, and a Silver for Champagne. Gold for Champagne goes to The Finest Bubble – who have made it five in a row, proving they really do live up to their name.

Outside of London, we have Brunswick Fine Wines & Spirits picking up two Golds for Best Burgundy and Best French Lists in East Sussex, as well as Silver for Best Overall. In Scotland, The Whisky Shop scores big with three Golds for Best Malt Whisky, Best Blended and finally Best Bourbon, and in Wales, Mumbles Fine Wines takes Gold for Best Overall and Best European.

Across the Irish Sea, our big winners in Dublin are the Celtic Whiskey Shop which has won five awards, two of those Golds for Best Malt Whisky and Best Gin. But who in Ireland has won Gold for Best Irish Whisky? That honor goes to Mitchell & Son who have also taken Gold for Best Bordeaux. However, as much as we know there are many wonderful wine and spirit merchants outside of Dublin, not enough in any one location outside of Dublin have met our criteria to create competition. So come on Cork, we expect big things 2022.

A few of our winners on continental Europe include ICWineTrading in Portugal who can justly lay claim to three Golds for Best Burgundy, French and European List in Porto. In Paris, Vins & Millesimes picked up three Golds for Best Burgundy, Rhone and Champagne, while in Bordeaux Wineandco scored Gold for Bordeaux. Over in Italy, Enoteca Costantini won big in Rome, scooping Golds for Italian, European and Overall wine list, while also collecting two Golds on the spirits front. In Tuscany, Enoteca Molesini won Gold for their top Tuscans. Over in Germany, Kölner Rum Kontor won two Golds for Best Rum and Malt Whisky in Cologne and, in Spain, Mariano Madrueño won Gold for Best Gin List in Madrid.

In Australia, The Wine Collective AU scored four Golds in New South Wales, while the The Wine Emporium Australia won Gold for its Champagne List in Queensland. Finally, in New Zealand – where all this awards magic happens – Maison Vauron have won Gold for Best Bordeaux in Auckland, and serial winners, Truffle Imports won two Golds for Best European and Overall List in Wellington.

And for those retailers who missed out: if you have not won a medal, please know this is by no means a reflection of your store or service. It could be for a number of reasons as we exclude all pure wholesale, broking and auction outlets from our awards. Businesses also need to have been listed with us for at least a year, and there needs to be sufficient competition in your area in order to compete – the more stores we list, the more competition there is.

On top of all that, we are always evolving – as are our awards – and there is always next year.

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