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True South Dining Room, inside The Rees Hotel in Frankton Rd, was awarded the 2012 Award of Excellence by US wine and hospitality magazine Wine Spectator.
Wine Spectator's international award is presented annually to recognise a restaurant's wine list of 100 or more high-quality wine selections that thematically match its cuisine.
True South Dining Room has a cellar of vintage wines from world-renowned Bordeaux chateaux, including Latour, Margaux, Mouton Rothschild, Gruaud Larose, Malescot St Exupery and Lynch Bages.
They also stock wines from Central Otago and wider New Zealand.
The Rees Hotel and True South Dining Room food and beverage operations manager Candice Chow said the award recognised the restaurant's skill in matching its wine with fresh local fare.
The True South Dining Room's wine programme includes tastings, wine pairing and its own culinary series.
The Rees chief executive Mark Rose said the award was a recognition of the effort put into building the cellar and confirmed it was one of New Zealand's elite wine accolades.
"Wine Spectator is known as an industry bible, so to have this tribute from such a widely read and esteemed reviewer is huge kudos," he said.
The restaurant was named as a premier award winner in the inaugural Taste of New Zealand Awards last year and head chef Ben Batterbury was selected as an Ambassador Chef in the 2012 Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards.