Noma’s wine list, the Best Restaurant in the World 2014

A few days ago we found out that the Danish restaurant Noma, led by the chef René Redzepi, has topped the list of the best restaurants in the world again, snatching the position from our beloved Celler de Can Roca, which goes back to second place on the list drawn up by the British dining publication “Restaurant”.

The World’s 50 Best 2014, considered the Oscars of the culinary world, consolidate Spain as the country most present on the list, with three restaurants included in the top ten (Can Roca, Mugaritz and Arzak).

We felt like investigating the philosophy of this eco-restaurant that has emerged as the standard bearer for what’s known as the new Nordic cuisine, which combines in a single concept a compelling mix of environmentalism, purity and diversity.

And how could we start anywhere other than their wine list.

The first thing that catches our eye is its conciseness. 740 references. To give you an idea, Celler de Can Roca’s wine list, designed by surely the best sommelier in the world, Josep Roca, has three whole volumes. A volume for the whites, a volume for the reds and a third one for the sparkling wines.

Conciseness and maximum loyalty to a culinary concept. Noma go for natural wines and wines from biodynamic farming, avoiding wines that in any other great restaurant would be considered a “must”. They don’t even offer Bordeaux wines.

To analyse the Spanish wines included on Noma’s wine list, we have to move to the province of Tarragona, home to some of the most famous biodynamic wineries in Spain. Here are some of the Spanish wines included in Noma’s wine list:

Els Bassots, by Bodega Escoda-Sanahuja (DO Conca de Barberá). This chenin blanc, with 4 months in French oak barrels, is made without any type of sulphur being added, in accordance with biodynamic farming guidelines. A very different wine for those not well acquainted with the world of natural wines. Totally recommendable.

Pedra de Guix 2011 (DO Priorat). The winery Terroir al Límit is one of the best examples of the “new Priorat”. Their philosophy preaches minimum human intervention and maximum respect for the environment, following biodynamic guidelines. This extraordinary blend of White Grenache, Pedro Ximénez and Macabeo is bottled by gravity, without being filtered or clarified. Powerful, intense, persistent, round.

Torroja Vi de la Vila, also by Terroir al Límit. A traditional blend of Grenache and Carignan that expresses faithfully and with as little intervention as possible, the concept of micro-terroirs. High robe, very covered. Intense and complex. Mineral. Warming and powerful, but with an excellent, refreshing acidity that refreshes the set. A spectacular wine.

Noma is a story that begins with their love for the environment, and ends by making a toast with a good glass of wine.

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