Which of the following appeals the most to you: 800 wine gems under $100; a 1945 Mouton-Rothschild; a collection of 60 different Raveneau Chablis; 100 California Chardonnays, 70 from vintages earlier than 2010; a Sassicaia vertical back to 1985; 21 vintages of Phelps Insignia; or a contemporary wine list teeming with Australian classics and new-wave producers? Good news. All of these are among the many options and advantages that come from dining in a restaurant that has earned Wine Spectator's Grand Award.
Based on a strong showing of contenders, Wine Spectator's 2015 Restaurant Awards program has promoted eight restaurants to Grand Award status, the highest recognition for a restaurant wine list. That's the largest class since 1993. These winners are Aux Beaux Arts in Macao; Bleu Provence in Naples, Fla; Capo in Santa Monica, Calif.; Marcello’s La Sirena in West Palm Beach, Fla.; Pearl & Ash in New York; the Plumed Horse in Saratoga, Calif.; Print Hall in Perth, Australia; and Spruce in San Francisco.
These new winners join 73 other restaurants that successfully renewed their Grand Award status in 2015 and maintained their position as a world-class wine destination.
“Receiving this award is a huge honor,” says Patrick Cappiello, wine director of Pearl & Ash. “Most sommeliers could only dream of the chance, as I did for the many years working at Tribeca Grill and Veritas. It was a career goal that I was fortunate enough to achieve at Gilt in 2011 and to have it occur at Pearl & Ash is surreal and amazing! I am so appreciative that Wine Spectator recognizes all the hard work that goes into making a great wine list.”
The Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards Program has been honoring the world’s best wine programs since 1981. Grand Award winners generally offer 1,000 or more selections, with superior breadth and depth in many of the world’s classic wine-producing regions. They have also passed a rigorous inspection that evaluates the overall quality of their wine program, cellars, service, ambience and cuisine.
This year, 3,618 restaurants from all 50 states and more than 75 other countries and territories earned an award from Wine Spectator for their outstanding wine programs. Of these, 2,563 earned the Award of Excellence, which recognizes a wine list of about 90 or more quality wine selections that thematically matches a restaurant’s cuisine. Another 973 earned the Best of Award of Excellence for offering a wine list of typically 350 or more selections with significant vintage depth or superior breadth in one or more major wine regions.
The complete list of award winners is featured in the Aug. 31 issue of Wine Spectator (available on newsstands July 21), which also includes detailed analysis of wine list trends and full profiles of the new Grand Award winners. All of the restaurants can be found in WineSpectator.com’s free Restaurant Search, where you’ll find information about their wine selections, cuisine, prices, key staff and more.
Photos of Aux Beaux Arts by Timon Wehrli/Red Dog Studio, Bleu Provence and Marcello's La Sirena by Andrew Meade, Capo by Vanessa Stump, Pearl & Ash by Evan Sung, The Plumed Horse and Spruce by Alanna Hale and Print Hall by Mayfly Photography.