Wine Spectator released its annual Restaurant Award Winners, honoring 3,759 restaurants in all 50 states and more than 75 countries for their industry-leading wine programs. As always, the awards were broken down across three categories: Award of Excellence, Best of Award of Excellence, and Grand Award.
Seven new restaurants earned the highest honor of Grand Award this year, bringing the total to 91 winners across the globe. This year’s winners were: Barolo Grill in Denver; Restaurant Mosaic in Pretoria, South Africa; Ai Fiori in New York City; Le Coureur des Bois in Beloeil, Quebec; Metropolitan Grill in Seattle; Sistina in New York City; and Madera in Menlo Park, California.
According to Wine Spectator, The Award of Excellence, “recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Ranging in size from 90 selections to several hundred, these lists are well-focused and tend to emphasize discovery.”
In 2018, 2,453 restaurants achieved the mark.
The Best of Award of Excellence, “honors wine programs that take their commitment a step further; it recognizes lists that display excellent breadth across multiple regions and/or significant vertical depth of top wines, along with superior presentation.” This year, 1,215 restaurants were granted the honor.
The Grand Award, “is the ultimate recognition for restaurants with world-class wine programs. This sought-after award is presented to restaurants that show uncompromising, passionate devotion to the quality of their wine program. These wine lists, which typically have 1,000 or more selections, deliver serious breadth of top producers and outstanding depth in mature vintages, in addition to selections of large-format bottles. Along with superior presentation of the wine list and its excellent harmony with the menu, these restaurants offer the highest level of wine service. Wine Spectator inspects all candidates for the Grand Award to evaluate the overall dining experience and cellar.”