2021: Special Procedures for a Challenging Year
This past year, the coronavirus pandemic has brought personal and financial challenges to the restaurant industry. As a gesture of support to this important community, Wine Spectator is reducing the entry fee for our 2021 Restaurant Awards program to $200, from the regular fee of $475.
How do I apply for Wine Spectator’s 2021 Restaurant Awards program?
Applications for the 2021 Restaurant Awards are now being accepted. Please click here to begin your application.
My restaurant earned an award last year. Do I have to apply again?
Yes. We require all Restaurant Award winners to update and renew their Awards each year. For 2021, all winners will be renewed at their current Award level.
All 2020 winners will be emailed on Jan. 5, 2021. From there, restaurants will be able to update their application information and pay their entry fee.
This email will be sent to the most current contact we have on file. If you did not receive this email by Jan. 8, 2021, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When is the deadline to submit an application?
We encourage applicants to submit their materials by March 19. If for any reason you need more time please email email@example.com and let us know
What is the entry fee?
All 2020 award winners are invited to renew their award status for $200. This is a reduction from $475 last year, our way of supporting the restaurant community as it faces the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Please note you are still required to complete the online portion of the application.
All new entries, Restaurants that did not earn a Wine Spectator award in 2020 or are applying for the first time, will be asked to pay a $200 fee, a reduction from $475 last year. Please note you will need to upload all required application materials.
Are private clubs, cruise lines, and stadiums eligible?
Entries from private clubs are not eligible. All-inclusive resorts, cruise lines, and publicly accessible restaurants located in stadiums are eligible.
My restaurant is located outside the United States. Can I apply?
Yes, we currently have award winners from more than 79 different countries.
How can I find out if my application has been received?
Once your application has been processed and is complete, we will send a confirmation e-mail. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 10 days of applying, please double check and confirm you have uploaded your necessary materials, completed your online portion and either mailed or emailed a copy of your signed information form.
Do I need to include a cover letter?
A cover letter is highly encouraged, but not required. You can submit a one-page cover letter on your restaurant letterhead describing your storage conditions, inventory, pricing and any other information you feel is relevant to your wine program. This cover letter must be in English and include a phone number and e-mail.
My wine list is presented on an iPad. How should I submit it for review?
Please upload a PDF of your wine selections, if it is not formatted in a way that properly displays all information (vintage, producer, appellation, wine name, price, etc.) you may submit screen shots of how it is displayed to the customers.
I have more than one restaurant with the same wine list. Do I need to enter them separately?
Yes, each restaurant must have a completed online application including digital uploads of required materials.
Should I include copies of my lunch menu, press clippings or anything else?
No, only your wine list, dinner menu, cover letter, signed information form and entry fee are required. Other materials are not reviewed by the judges.
Can I submit a headshot or photos of my restaurant?
Yes. You now have the option during the online stage of the application process to upload a headshot of the restaurant’s wine director or sommelier as well as three images of the restaurant. Please have your digital photo(s) ready before you start the online portion of the renewal application.
If my restaurant wins an award, how will I be notified?
All award winners will be notified by e-mail in May, and then listed in the Aug. 31 issue of Wine Spectator. Our website's Restaurant Search database will be updated with the new winners when the Aug. 31 issue is made public. Award certificates are mailed in July.
Where can I—and diners—find our Restaurant Award winners?
- Wine Spectator’s new mobile-friendly Restaurant Awards website, Restaurants.WineSpectator.com, is dedicated to showcasing our award winners. Search for or browse restaurants by geographic area, cuisine or wine strengths and get a glimpse into their programs with information on wine specialties, selection and inventory counts, pricing information, names of staff members and links to websites and wine lists, if available. Read profiles on the most recent Grand Award winners. Peruse Sommelier Talks, Chef Talks, Restaurant Roundups and restaurant-related news for a more in-depth look at what these programs have to offer.
- Wine Spectator’s free iOS Restaurant Awards app points users to our winners. The app locates award winners near a user’s location and also allows users to look up the perfect dining spot in any city, state or country, choosing by wine strengths, cuisine type, pricing and more. Each restaurant’s profile page provides details on the wine, cuisine and people, with reservation numbers and directions available at the touch of a button.
- Wine Spectator’s new Private Guide to Dining e-mail newsletter focuses on Restaurant Award winners and dining destinations with extensive wine programs. Featuring dining guides, sommelier interviews, restaurant wine picks, food-and-beverage trends, new restaurant openings and staff changes, the e-letter is free and sent twice-monthly.
- Find a complete list of each year's award winners in the Dining Guide of the Aug. 31 issue of Wine Spectator (see the 2020 issue here), as well as detailed profiles and images of each of the year’s new Grand Award winners.
How do I get extra copies of the Aug. 31 issue of Wine Spectator that includes the complete listing of all the Restaurant Awards winners?
You can always order back copies of recent issues online. Order copies or digital editions of the Aug. 31, 2020 issue of Wine Spectator here.
Or for bulk orders of five or more copies of any Aug. 31 issues of Wine Spectator, available back through 2006, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-344-0763.
Still have questions?