Wine Spectator awards are evaluated and awarded to those restaurants that satisfy required criteria including wine thematic harmony to menu, vintage depth over a wide variety of wine regions, vertical offerings of top wine producers, superior wine presentation and devotion to a quality wine program.
Wine Spectator's Restaurant Wine List 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, the list must present complete, accurate wine information. It must include vintages and appellations for all selections, including wines available by the glass. Complete producer names and correct spellings are mandatory, while the overall presentation and appearance of the list is also taken into consideration. After meeting these basic requirements, lists are judged for one of our three awards.
Wine Spectator's basic award, for lists that offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Typically, these lists offer at least 100 selections.
Wine Spectator's second-tier award, created to give special recognition to restaurants that clearly exceed the requirements of the Award of Excellence. These lists typically offer 400 or more selections, along with superior presentation, and display either vintage depth, with several vertical offerings of top wines, or excellent breadth across several wine regions.
Only 74 restaurants have earned the Grand Award worldwide. The highest award, given to restaurants that show an uncompromising, passionate devotion to the quality of their wine program. These restaurants typically offer 1,500 selections or more, and feature serious breadth of top producers, outstanding depth in mature vintages, a selection of large-format bottles, excellent harmony with the menu and superior organization, presentation and wine service.