“When the announcement came that we received the Grand Award, we were closed for the summer months as we do every year. Upon our reopening, we saw a significant increase in business from years past in a short amount of time. We also noticed a distinctive number of guests specifically interested in our wine program. The visibility promoted by receiving the award is extraordinary.”
“The Palm Restaurants are proud to be granted the Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator. The screening process is a solid barometer for making sure that our wine list is built of a ‘well-chosen selection of quality producers’, that fully complements our food, atmosphere and service standards.
“We have seen a very large increase in wine sales since receiving the award. It’s really exciting to see people from all corners of the world discovering the restaurant as a result of the award.”
“Since winning the Grand Award we have gained exposure to major markets in the U.S. which resulted with an influx of guests who share our passion of wine, making our daily work lives even more rewarding. Our staff interest in wine and spirits keeps on surging along with their knowledge, allowing us to deliver better and better service to our guests.”
About the Award Levels
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, 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. We require at least 90 wine selections in order to be considered for an award. After meeting these basic requirements, lists are judged for one of our three awards.
Award of Excellence
These wine lists offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Whether compact or extensive, focused or diverse, they deliver sufficient choices to satisfy discerning wine lovers. These lists typically offer 90 or more selections.
Best of Award of Excellence
These wine lists display excellent breadth across multiple regions and/or significant vertical depth of top wines 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 program. These wine lists typically feature 1,000 selections or more, 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.
Have a favorite restaurant wine list that we've missed? Let us know here.
Wine Director/Sommelier: Provided by the restaurants, these are the people responsible for managing the wine list and assisting diners with their wine selections. (As staff turnover in the restaurant industry can be high, this information is subject to change.)
Wine Strengths: Determined by our judges, this indicates the emphasis of the list, not all the regions from which wines are offered. Wine strengths are listed in descending order of their prominence.
Wine Selections: Indicates the number of selections on the restaurant's list at the time the award is conferred. For Grand Award winners, this information is followed by the total number of bottles in the restaurant's inventory.
Wine Pricing: Determined by our judges, this describes the overall pricing of the wine list, taking into account both the general markup of wines offered and the number of wines at high and low price points. Inexpensive lists offer many bottles for less than $50, while also employing a below-normal markup (generally considered to be 2 to 2.5 times the wholesale bottle price). Moderate lists use the industry norm for markup, with a range of both less expensive and expensive offerings. Expensive lists offer wines at a greater-than-normal markup, along with many selections for more than $100 a bottle. Wine pricing is not a judging criterion, it is provided merely as a guide for the reader.
Corkage: Provided by the restaurants, this indicates the corkage fee charged per bottle to customers. Corkage fees, which can range greatly, are typically charged per 750ml bottle, so plan to pay double if you bring in a magnum. Some restaurants do not permit diners to bring in their own wine; others are simply prohibited to do so by state or local regulations. If you plan to bring your own wine to a restaurant, always call ahead to confirm its corkage policy.
Cuisine Type: Provided by the restaurants, these list the style of food served.
Menu Pricing: Determined by our judges, this describes the overall pricing of the menu. The pricing categories are based on what the typical guest would pay per person for a two-course meal. Prices are based on the average appetizer cost plus the average entrée cost for dinner. Price does not factor in tip or beverage costs. The price categories are defined as follows:
$ - less than $40
$$ - $41 – 65
$$$ - $66 and over
Restaurants that offer only a prix fixe menu are indicated accordingly, with the price (or range of prices) per menu.
It's important to note that our awards evaluate wine lists, not restaurants as a whole. While we assume that the level of food and service will be commensurate with the wine lists entered by award winners, this unfortunately is not always true. We cannot visit every award-winning restaurant (although all Grand Award winners and many others are inspected by Wine Spectator editors), so we encourage our readers to alert us to discrepancies and disappointments. If you have any comments regarding your experience at one of our award-winning restaurants, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.