Wine Spectator's Restaurant Awards recognize restaurants whose wine lists offer interesting selections, are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers.
To qualify for an award, a wine list must present complete, accurate information, including vintages and appellations for all selections. Complete producer names and correct spellings are mandatory, and the overall presentation of the list is also considered. Lists that meet these requirements are judged for one of our three awards.
Award of Excellence
These wine lists, which typically offer at least 90 selections, feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Whether compact or extensive, focused or diverse, these lists deliver sufficient choice to satisfy discerning wine lovers.
Best of Award of Excellence
These wine lists display excellent breadth across multiple winegrowing regions and/or significant vertical depth of top producers, along with superior presentation. Typically offering 350 or more selections, these restaurants are destinations for serious wine lovers, showing a deep commitment to wine, both in the cellar and through their service team.
Our highest award, given to restaurants that show an uncompromising, passionate devotion to the quality of their wine programs. These wine lists typically feature 1,000 or more selections, and deliver serious breadth of top producers, outstanding depth in mature vintages, a selection of large-format bottles, excellent harmony with the menu, and superior presentation. These restaurants offer the highest level of wine service.