What makes a Wine List good?
What makes a good wine list? Is it the volume? The average price? Types of wines? Amount of countries represented? Range of wines? The format?
The answer here will vary. I think everyone has different expectations when ordering wine in a restaurant. You’ll see a smile on my face when a Rinaldi dolcetto makes an appearance, or when I find lots of good wines from Piemonte. Others may favor different regions, and will rejoice at the sight of a good Riesling or Rioja.
Price is also a factor. How “good” or “bad” is the markup? Do they have a good range of prices? Maybe a cheaper Barbera next to a higher priced Barolo? What are your thoughts?
Some of my favorite Wine Lists
There are many restaurants in Oslo, and there is a lot of good wine to find. Here are some of my favorites.
At Beijing Palace you’ll find true “Wine Geeks”, and their wine list reflects this. Who would have thought Burgundy and Dim Sum were a match made in heaven. With an astonishing number of wines, with very little markup, you can drink your way into bliss. The list is Burgundy heavy, but there’s an impressive number of wines from Piemonte. When asked why there’s so little markup, the answer was simple: “Why mark it up so high no one will buy it. We want you to drink and enjoy. And when you buy a wine, we get money to buy more wine. It’s win-win.”
This place is genius. With over 200 wines by the glass, you can try wines from all over the world and not break the bank (or destroy your liver). Yes, the price per glass can be a little pricey, but nowhere else I’ve been do you have this concept. (And if you know of a place, please let me know!) In a small space, with a bar and some tables & chairs you can get some snacks while sipping on a multitude of wines, all in one evening. Great staff, helpful and knowledgeable, with a record player dancing in the corner. Great spot in Oslo! You might also run into a winemaker or two, as they frequently host producers from all over the world!
Another favorite. Cru has a good selection of wines, and offer quite a few by the glass. The food here is incredible, and the wine list does not disappoint either. The prices can be a bit high, but I think it’s quite in sync with the concept of the whole restaurant. Michelin star worthy food (especially the Cru Special), beautiful interior and wonderful staff. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in Oslo.
This new gem has become a go-to, with REALLY good pizza and an impressive wine list. Nicely priced, good variety, and quite a few Piemonte favorites. With frequent wine events, this is a new wine hot spot. Gaia Gaja even made an appearance. Vinoteket is one to watch.
Any other good ones?
There are so many other good restaurants in Oslo (and Norway). According to Kapital, Park Hotel Vossevangen has the best wine list in Norway. I’ve never been, but I’ll take their word for it. Park Hotel is definitely on the list of places to visit. Others that made the list are: Arakataka, Kontrast & Restaurant Bro. You can read the full article (in norwegian) here.