10 Restaurants with Super-Value Wine Lists

Enjoy bold wine programs without the big price tag

10 Restaurants with Super-Value Wine Lists
In Bryan, Texas, Restaurant Award winner Ronin has an affordable sparkler for any palate, from pét-nats to crémant, Cava and more. (Courtesy of Ronin)
Jul 15, 2021

Wine is often the greatest pleasure of dining out—until the bill arrives. While some destinations call for going big, like Wine Spectator’s Grand Award winners, there are many restaurants that focus on providing fine wines at exceptionally accessible prices. With affordable wine lists offering plenty of values including a plethora of picks under $100, these 10 Restaurant Award–winning destinations across the United States prove that bottles don’t have to break the bank.

To check out more wine-and-food destinations around the world, see Wine Spectator’s more than 2,900 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including the 97 Grand Award recipients worldwide that hold our highest honor.

Do you have a favorite you’d like to see on this list? Send your recommendations to restaurantawards@mshanken.com. We want to hear from you!

Note: Opening hours and menus are subject to change as the industry continues to adjust to evolving regulations.


Billy Crews Dining Room

1200 Country Club Rd., Santa Teresa, N.M.
Telephone (575) 589-2071
Website www.billycrews.com
Grand Award

 Interior of Billy Crews Dining Room
At Billy Crews Dining Room, enjoy a wallet-friendly Grand Award-winning wine list. (Courtesy of Billy Crews Dining Room)

Grand Award winner Billy Crews Dining Room has been open since 1956, offering steak-house cuisine and an exceptional wine list. Steaks can be cut to order, and chef Bernie Rocha’s menu features a wide range of globally inspired comfort dishes, from fried shrimp and a stuffed baked potato to calamari and potstickers. Owner Billy Crews Jr., son of the restaurant’s founder, serves as general manager and wine director of the program’s 2,500-plus selections. The list offers an abundance of values, even in its strongest regions of California, France (especially Bordeaux) and Italy. However, those seeking a splurge can peruse verticals from top estates like Château Mouton-Rothschild, and a diverse by-the-glass list and special wine-paired dinners offer opportunities for further vinous exploration.


CuVino Trattoria.Pizza.Enoteca

31 A E. Padonia Road, Timonium, Md.
Telephone (410) 853-7484
Website www.tastecuvino.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Bottles displayed on the wall at CuVino Trattoria.Pizza.Enoteca
Well-priced wines double as decor at CuVino Trattoria.Pizza.Enoteca in Maryland. (Courtesy of CuVino Trattoria.Pizza.Enoteca)

With a wine shop on site, it’s not surprising that Italian restaurant CuVino offers an impressive selection of bottles from Piedmont, Tuscany and farther abroad in Italy. Wine director and co-owner Ralph Di Biasi has put together more than 400 selections from up and down the boot, earning the Maryland restaurant a Best of Award of Excellence. Fans of full-bodied reds will find plenty of Barbarescos, Barolos, Brunellos and super Tuscans from top wineries like Antinori and Gaja. These wines are well-suited for classic dishes on co-owner and chef Angelo Di Biasi’s menu, including chicken marsala, salmon picatta, homemade cannolis and a wide selection of pastas and pizzas.


Domaine South

103 North Side Square, Huntsville, Ala.
Telephone (256) 759-9952
Website www.domainesouth.com
Best of Award of Excellence

Domaine South may have started as a wine shop, but this Huntsville, Ala., spot now offers guests a Best of Award of Excellence–winning dining experience. Wine director Hazel Sikorski built the 330-selection list with emphasis on Oregon, California and France. There are intriguing Southern French wines, as well as Oregon Pinot Noirs, Beaujolais picks and more options from Austria, Germany and Spain, many offering great value. Chef Luke Hawke’s small-plate menu is just as eclectic and changes often. It features a massive selection of cheeses and charcuterie, much of it from the U.S., as well as dishes like caramelized Spanish walnuts, a curried rotisserie chicken bowl, locally sourced fruit salad and tarte flambé with roasted-tomato jam.


Eurasia Cafe

960 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach, Va.
Telephone (757) 422-0184
Website www.eurasiavb.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 A dish at Eurasia Cafe
Southern dishes make an appearance on Eurasia Cafe's globally inspired menu. (Courtesy of Eurasia Cafe)

Eurasia Cafe is a charming neighborhood spot in the tranquil vacation town of Virginia Beach, Va. It opened as a 30-seat café in 2007 and evolved into an 80-seat, full-service restaurant earning its first Best of Award of Excellence in 2016. Owner and wine director David Edelen has been determined to continue growing the program, which lists 425 selections excelling in California, France and Italy. A hefty Champagne selection leads into a wide range of whites, many priced under $60, and there’s no small number of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Syrah. Guests can pair these wines with chef Brian Wegener’s eclectic menu of plates like beef-tenderloin carpaccio, shrimp-and-pork dumplings and sautéed shrimp with gouda grits.


Grapes in a Glass

575 Market Ave N., Canton, Ohio
Telephone (330) 453-9463
Website www.50shadesofvine.com
Award of Excellence

At Grapes in a Glass in Canton, Ohio, guests can explore new wines in a friendly, casual setting. More than three dozen selections are available by the glass, including 15 that are also available in flights of 2-ounce tastes. Owner and wine director Tamara Jorgensen’s 570-wine list offers many picks for $25 or less, and shows strengths in California, France and Argentina. It also features less familiar regions like India and Hungary. Chef Jess Jourdon’s menu consists of wine-friendly small plates like ricotta crostini, tomato bruschetta, shrimp tacos and charcuterie. Dishes change seasonally and are made with local ingredients.


Osteria Mamma

5732 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, Calif.
Telephone (323) 284-7060
Website www.osteriamamma.com
Award of Excellence

 Table in the dining room at Osteria Mamma
Osteria Mamma stays true to classics through its Italian cuisine. (Courtesy of Osteria Mamma)

Los Angeles has plenty of pricey wine lists, so Osteria Mamma is a breath of fresh air for value-seeking enophiles. Owner and wine director Filippo Cortivo has built the only inexpensive Restaurant Award–winning list in the city, with a majority of the 300 labels priced in the $40 to $60 range and a significant by-the-glass program. The list is almost entirely Italian, complementing chef Mirko Paderno’s regional menu. Osteria Mamma prides itself on sticking to tradition, serving staples like minestrone, fried calamari, and an assortment of classic pastas such as gnocchi with bolognese and squid-ink pasta with shrimp and bottarga.


Ronin

800 N. Main St., Bryan, Texas
Telephone (979) 704-3294
Website www.ronintx.com
Award of Excellence

Husband-and-wife team Brian and Amanda Light first ventured into hospitality when they catered their midwife's wedding in 2011. The duo added a commercial kitchen to their farm to provide the off-site service, and that eventually led to the opening of Ronin. It’s now an Award of Excellence winner, with Brian as the chef and Amanda as the wine director. Brian’s menu highlights the farm’s freshest produce. His seasonal American plates include starters like fried purple potato with spicy pesto and larger dishes like grilled quail with creamed squash and fried mushrooms. In addition to the à-la-carte options, a nine-course tasting menu is available at Ronin’s regularly scheduled Full Moon Dinners. Amanda pairs the fare with a well-priced, 260-selection wine list that’s strongest in bottles from France, California, Italy, Spain and Texas. Many bottles are priced under $50, and there’s a by-the-glass program featuring plenty of variety. Plus, all wines are offered for retail sale at a discount.


TerraCotta Wine Bistro

304 Johnson St., Santa Fe, N.M.
Telephone (505) 9891166
Website www.terracottawinebistro.com
Award of Excellence

 TerraCotta Wine Bistro dining room
TerraCotta Wine Bistro pairs seasonal cuisine with standout wines from California and France. (Doug Merriam)

TerraCotta Wine Bistro in Santa Fe, N.M., curates an affordable wine list that covers a diverse array of regions around the globe. Only five bottles on wine director Glenda Griswold’s list break $100, and the options are organized by price range and color, starting with more than 20 white-wine options in the $30 range. Many of the 230 selections are available by-the-glass, and a robust half-bottle page offers more opportunities to indulge on a budget. French wines are a highlight overall, complementing a solid selection of West Coast reds, especially from California. The list is sure to provide a match for the restaurant's accessible but sophisticated menu by chef Catherine O’Brien, which spans dishes from Southern fried chicken to ratatouille.


Up on the Roof

250 Riverplace, Greenville, S.C.
Telephone (864) 242-4000
Website www.eatupdrinkup.net
Award of Excellence

Atop an Embassy Suites in downtown Greenville, S.C., Up on the Roof has an Award of Excellence–winning list with nearly all 140 bottles priced under $100. Managed by wine director Jordon Nahon, the list is strongest in California and has several particularly outstanding values, even if traditionally pricier sections like Champagne. Chef Shane Robertson’s American menu encourages sharing, with dishes like muffaletta sliders, chicken fajita–nachos and a daily-changing charcuterie block. The team is planning to open a new location of Up on the Roof in Atlanta, slated to debut this summer.


Vinatería

2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 662-8462
Website www.vinaterianyc.com
Award of Excellence

 The bar at Vinatería
The wine list at Vinatería boasts 130 bottles with plenty of standout values. (Courtesy of Vinatería)

In New York's Harlem neighborhood, Vinatería provides a cozy setting for enjoying an Award of Excellence–winning wine list. Wine director Thomas Patrick Odeen manages the program’s 130 selections, which shows strengths in Italy and Spain. Most bottles cost less than $100, and nearly 30 wines are available by the glass. This includes everything from sparkling whites and rosés to a handful of dry sherries and an additional section of fortified wines. Chef Chris Campisi’s seasonal menu draws inspiration from Italian and Spanish cuisines for dishes such as house-made black spaghetti with octopus, scallops and mussels, and whole-roasted branzino with arugula and garlic..


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