Updated: June 28, 2018
Variety is the spice of life, and these 10 destination restaurants offer jaw-dropping breadth and depth when it comes to choosing a bottle of wine. From New Jersey to South Africa to Macau, these are the Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners with some of the largest wine lists.
To check out more wine-and-food destinations around the world, see Wine Spectator’s nearly 3,800 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including the 100 Grand Award recipients worldwide that hold our highest honor.
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Bern’s Steak House
1208 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, Fla.
Telephone (813) 251-2421
Open Dinner, daily
One of 1981’s original Grand Award winners that still holds the title, Bern’s Steak House is a Tampa, Fla., institution. Bern Laxer opened the restaurant more than 60 years ago as a strip-mall bar, gradually buying the surrounding stores to expand. Now Bern’s has a spacious eight-room dining area that seats 350 with thick-cut steaks and a colossal wine list to match. Laxer died in 2002, but his son David Laxer continues the legacy as owner, general manager and wine director. The steak house has a cellar of a half a million bottles and a 6,800-selection wine list stocked with mature gems and standout verticals like 13 vintages of Penfolds Grange back to 1986 and 21 vintages of Château Margaux going back to 1909. There’s also a solid selection of wines under $100, with 200 wines available by the glass, not including the additional 300 dessert wines. Chef Habteab Hamde executes classic steak-house cuisine to accompany the five- to eight-week aged cuts, plus monthly specials.
1471 W. Millers Cove Rd., Walland, Tenn.
Telephone (865) 984-8166
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
The Grand Award–winning Blackberry Farm wine collection offers 9,000 selections, but the program started from literally nothing: Located in Walland, Tenn., in the Smoky Mountains, the luxury inn and restaurant had to obtain a special permit just to serve alcohol when the restaurant opened in 2000 (the county has since gone from “dry” to “moist”). The initial focus of the list was small producers of the Pacific Northwest and California. From there, wine director Andy Chabot expanded to the Old World, working with the late proprietor Sam Beall to build the 170,000-bottle inventory that exists today, carefully stored in six cellars. To accompany the growing wine list, the inn’s food offerings have changed over time too. Located in the Main House, the restaurant has tweaked its focus in recent years to provide its kitchen with fresh ingredients. The farm employs its own cheesemaker, gardener, jam maker, butcher and forager, each working with the chefs to create dishes like shaved beets with Benton’s country ham and hot smoked Carolina trout.
Palais Coburg Residenz, Coburgbastei 4, Vienna, Austria
Telephone (43) 1-518-18-0
Open Dinner, Tuesday to Saturday
In the heart of Vienna is Palais Coburg, a 35-suite luxury hotel inside a renovated 19th-century palace. The fine-dining restaurant presents chef Silvio Nickol’s cuisine through tasting menus, with options ranging from $174 for five courses without wine to $351 for nine courses with wine. Dishes are Austrian-influenced but rooted in French techniques, like duck liver with kumquat and veal shoulder. But below the hotel’s restaurant is the true palace: six wine cellars storing the 50,000 bottles that supply the 5,400-selection list. Palais Coburg has been a Restaurant Award winner since 2004, and wine director Wolfgang Kneidinger added $21 million of wine to double the inventory in 2007, when it earned its Grand Award. Since 2015, Kneidinger says he’s sharpened the list’s focus on Rhône, Loire and Burgundy. He’s also been building up selections from California, Oregon and Germany. While the wine list has several strengths, it now shines in Austria, Bordeaux, Germany and Burgundy selections. Ask for the rarities list to see the most prized wines in Palais Coburg’s cellars such as Château Cheval-Blanc St.-Emilion 1982 and Quinta do Noval Vintage Port Nacional 1963.
The Pluckemin Inn
359 Rte. 206 S., Bedminster, N.J.
Telephone (908) 658-9292
Open Lunch and dinner, Monday to Saturday
In the restored 18th-century farmhouse restaurant of the Pluckemin Inn, farm-to-table cuisine highlights top-quality Garden State produce from nearby purveyors. The restaurant’s wine choices, however, are anything but local. Wine director Brian Hider oversees the 6,000-selection list from around the wine world. Diners get a glimpse of some of the inventory (10,000 of the restaurant’s 40,000 bottles) in the three-story glass tower that rises through the dining room. A rotating list of 100 wines offers exceptional value; a list of bottles available by the glass via Coravin offers tastes of high-end treasures. Hider also organizes several wine dinners each month.
Crystal Springs Resort, 1 Wild Turkey Way, Hardyston, N.J.
Telephone (844) 414-9893
Open Dinner, Thursday to Sunday
Nestled among the rolling hills of Crystal Springs Resort, Restaurant Latour has held its Grand Award since 2006. Since then, wine director Robby Younes has built the program from 2,800 selections to 5,100, with an inventory of 62,300 bottles. The restaurant is named after the founder's favorite Bordeaux estate, so it’s no surprise that the wine program is impressive when it comes to this region’s selections. Restaurant Latour also shows strength in New World regions like California and Oregon. Chef Anthony Bucco offers his modern American cuisine two ways: guests can either select a dish from each of the five categories for $115, or opt for the $145 tasting of seven courses including Beausoleil oyster with Ossetra caviar and wagyu rib eye with cherry mostarda. Wine pairings are an additional $55 for the five-course menu and $65 for the seven-course one.
The Orient Private Hotel, Francolin Ave., Elandsfontein, Pretoria, South Africa
Telephone (27) 21-371-2902
Open Lunch and dinner, Wednesday to Sunday
An extensive wine list, seasonal cuisine and an art nouveau aesthetic are carefully selected pieces that fit together to create Restaurant Mosaic. Chef Chantel Dartnall’s tasting menus start at $60 and highlight seasonal ingredients like braised rabbit and venison. To give guests a taste of its 6,000 selections from the 75,000-bottle cellar, the restaurant hosts tastings throughout the year featuring particular vintners, styles and themes. This past year's events included a Château De Fesles tasting and a celebration of classic female film stars’ favorite Champagnes. Though most diners opt for the pairings presented on the menus, sommelier Moses Magwaza is available to assist guests with alternative selections. The list is strongest in South African selections and shows additional strengths in France—especially Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne—as well as Italy, Portugal, Germany and Spain.
Robuchon au Dôme
Grand Lisboa Hotel, Avenida de Lisboa, Macau, China
Telephone (853) 8803-7878
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
The Grand Award–winning Robuchon au Dôme welcomes diners who crave the finer things. Located in the dome-shaped top of the Grand Lisbon Hotel in Macau, China, the restaurant offers elements of luxury at every turn, from the Swavorski crystal chandelier to the expansive views of the city far below to the menu’s abundance of foie gras, lobsters and caviar. It’s the wine list, though, weighing in at a massive 16,800 selections, that steals the show. Wine director Paul Lo oversees the cellar, headlined by heady selections focusing on Bordeaux, Burgundy, Germany, the Rhône, California, Tuscany, Piedmont and beyond. The cuisine is contemporary French with a touch of Asian influence, with dishes like milk-fed lamb and eggplant confit, wagyu beef and foie gras burgers, and Maine lobster spaghetti. The hotel, also houses fellow Grand Award winner Casa Don Alfonso. For guests seeking true steak-house fare, the Kitchen is a Best of Award of Excellence winner that also sources from the hotel’s exceptional wine cellar to pair with succulent steaks.
Via Allegro Ristorante
1750 The Queensway W., Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada
Telephone (416) 622-6677
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Via Allegro Ristorante’s dedication to maintaining a stellar wine program is evident with one glance into the dining room. At the center is a 20,000-bottle glass cellar; another 30,000 are stored in 15 freestanding temperature-controlled units. The inch-and-a-half thick wine list presents 5,250 selections from which to choose. There is particular strength in Tuscany and Piedmont, offering plenty of prime pairing opportunities with chef Marco Zandona’s continental Italian cuisine. While traditional pizzas, pastas and risottos are available, chef Zandona also excels with entrées like veal tenderloin and his best-selling whole branzino. The extensive wine program can be daunting, so wine director Ivano Scarlato breaks down the selections into the “Reserve Library List” and the more accessible “House Selection List.” There is also a section for “Gem Selections” and another for featured wines under $50.
15 Quai de la Tournelle, Paris, France
Telephone (33) 1-43-54-23-31
Open Lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Saturday
No. 15 Quai de la Tournelle in Paris is a place of restaurant lore. Located near the banks of the Seine river, the majestic Tour d’Argent is an ode to the highest echelons of fine French dining—it’s rumored to be the birthplace of the fork. Beginning in 1911, the Terrail family has maintained the restaurant and grown one of the world’s strongest wine lists, which has held its Grand Award since 1986. The 400-page wine list offers more than 14,000 selections managed by wine director David Ridgway. Ridgway has overseen the wine collection for more than 30 years, and general manager André Terrail is the third generation owner and hired chef Philippe Labbé in early 2016. Labbé’s fare—which includes the restaurant’s signature caneton Frédéric Delair, or pressed duck—is available to order à la carte and in three tasting menus. Wine lovers can explore the depths of Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône, Champagne, Alsace, the Loire and other iconic French wine regions.
Centro Comercial Azalea Beach, Cn 340 Km. 173, Nueva Andalucía, Marbella Málaga, Spain
Telephone (34) 952-814-446
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence
D-Wine restaurant and wine shop in Málaga, Spain, offers expansive wine services in a contemporary, comfortable setting, including a spacious terrace. With strengths in Spain and Bordeaux, the wine cellar reaches 7,500 selections and an inventory, bolstered by the wine shop, of 220,000 bottles. Wine director Oleg Gurkov pairs wines to chef Edmunds Cicans’ Mediterranean menu.