Posts tagged with "wine spectator"

Wine Spectator Announces Winners of 2019 Restaurant Awards

—Dining Destinations Around the World Recognized for their Dedication to Wine

Finding a place to drink great wine around the globe has never been so easy. Wine Spectator has uncorked the winners of the 2019 Restaurant Awardswhich honors the world’s best restaurants for wine. This year, the Restaurant Awards program honors 3,800 dining destinations from all 50 states in the U.S. and 79 countries internationally.

Launched in 1981, the Restaurant Awards are judged on three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and the Grand Award, with 2,447; 1,244; and 100 winners this year in each respective category. Eight of the Grand Award winners—Alfredo Di Roma Mexico in Mexico City, Fiola in Washington, D.C., Griggeler Stuba in Lech am Arlberg in Austria, Mastro’s Steakhouse at the Post Oak Hotel in Houston; Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Downtown Houston; The Pool in New York City, Ristorante Cracco in Milan and Vantre in Paris—are first timers.

“We’re pleased to shine a spotlight on the destinations around the world that show devotion to their wine program, while also creating a comprehensive global dining guide for our readers to enjoy,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher, Wine Spectator. “Both novice wine lovers and seasoned sommeliers alike actively seek and frequent restaurants with exciting, well-curated wine lists. Bravo to all the 2019 recipients—we raise a glass to you.”

All winners are profiled at Restaurants.WineSpectator.com and in the Restaurant Awards app. The app, available free on the App store, allows iPhone and iPad users to find nearby award-winning restaurants, with maps, plus helpful information about cuisine, wine and pricing.

The Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers. Best of Award of Excellence recipients offer more extensive selections with significant vintage depth and excellent breadth across multiple regions.

The Grand Award is the program’s highest honor. This elite group comprises the world’s best wine programs, which deliver serious breadth of top producers, outstanding depth in mature vantages, excellent harmony with the menu and superior presentation. Wine Spectator carefully assesses each Grand Award candidate, including rigorous independent, on-site inspections of the wine program, cellar, service, ambiance and cuisine of the restaurant.

The full list of award winners is available in print in Wine Spectator’s August issue, on newsstands July 16.
Follow the Restaurant Awards on Twitter and Instagram, with hashtag #WSRestaurantAward.

About Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches around 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (WineSpectator.com), mobile platforms and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews of more than 15,000 wines each year. Parent company M. Shanken Communications, Inc., also publishes Cigar AficionadoWhisky Advocate, Market WatchShanken News Daily and Shanken’s Impact Newsletter.

Cameron Hughes Wine

Cameron Hughes founded his company with a simple mission: offer great wines at affordable prices to everyone.

There are two challenges customers face when buying wine:

  • High-end wine is expensive. The average price of a Napa Cabernet scoring 90+ points in Wine Spectator magazine is over $150/bottle, and typically passes through distributor and retailer hands before ever reaching the customer.
  • Buying wine is confusing. Most folks stand in the wine aisle, stare at a huge wall of bottles, and eventually settle on a label that’s interesting enough at an acceptable price and hope they aren’t disappointed.

Cameron Hughes Wine aims to make these problems a thing of the past.

As a négociant (wine trader), they don’t own vineyards or a winery – their focus is purely on finding the best wines and negotiating the best price for our customers. Cameron has worked in the wine industry his entire life, and through deep connections built over decades, has access to top wineries and producers all over the world. They look in every cellar and barrel room, and peek behind every door that says “Employees Only.” Sometimes they buy wine still in the barrel, and other times they buy “shiners” (wine already in a bottle with no label). Regardless of how they get it, the mission is simple: buy the best possible wine at the best possible price.

These deals are made discreetly, and typically protected by an agreement to keep the source winery undisclosed to protect their brand. These wines are also only available online, direct to you – this means no distributor and retailer markups. The result? They’re able to offer $100+ Napa Cabernets for a third of the price, or a $60 bottle of Pinot for under $20 (yes, the exact same wine sold under the original winery label).

Each wine acquired is given a Lot number and sold under the Cameron Hughes label, beginning over a decade ago with Lot 1.

Think of them as your personal sommelier – they curate their store to constantly showcase a wide range of some of the world’s best styles and winegrowing regions, and promise that every wine offered is a benchmark expression of the style and winegrowing region reflected on the label, at the best prices on the market.

Anybody can put wine in a bottle, slap a label on it, and sell it online. But Cameron Hughes Wine strictly does high-end wine at the best price, period. The label is a guarantee of quality for every wine offered.

Wine Spectator’s 2018 Restaurant Awards

Wine lovers everywhere, it’s that time of the year to update your wine destination list! Wine Spectator has released the winners of the 2018 RestaurantAwards, which honors the world’s best restaurants for wine. This year, the Restaurant Awards program honors 3,759 dining destinations from all 50 states in the U.S. and more than 75 countries internationally.

The Restaurant Awards began in 1981, and there are three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and the Grand Award, with 2,453; 1,215; and 91 winners this year in each respective category. Seven of the Grand Award winners—Ai Fiori in New York City, Barolo Grill in Denver, Le Coureur Des Bois in Beloeil, Quebec, Canada, Madera in Menlo Park, California, Metropolitan Grill in Seattle, Restaurant Mosaic in Pretoria, South Africa and Sistina in New York City—are first timers.

“This year’s class of restaurants is one of the most impressive and innovative ever,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher, Wine Spectator. “Their wine lists keep improving, because wine lovers are eager to explore and learn. The goal of our Restaurant Awards is to support restaurant wine programs and bring them to diners’ attention through our outreach through print, digital and social media. Wine Spectator salutes every restaurant honored in the 2018 Restaurant Awards.”

All winners are profiled at Restaurants.WineSpectator.com and in the Restaurant Awards app. The app, available free on the App store, allows iPhone and iPad users to easily find nearby award-winning restaurants, with maps, plus helpful information about cuisine, wine and pricing.

The Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers. Best of Award of Excellence recipients offer more extensive selections with significant vintage depth and excellent breadth across multiple regions.

The Grand Award is the program’s highest honor. This elite group comprises the world’s best wine programs, which deliver serious breadth of top producers, outstanding depth in mature vantages, excellent harmony with the menu and superior presentation. Wine Spectator carefully assesses each Grand Award candidate, including rigorous independent, on-site inspections of the wine program, cellar, service, ambiance and cuisine of the restaurant.

The full list of award winners is available in print in Wine Spectator’s August issue, on newsstands July 17.
Follow the Restaurant Awards on
Twitter and Instagram, with hashtag #WSRestaurantAward.

About Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches around 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (WineSpectator.com), mobile platforms and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews of more than 16,000 wines each year. Parent company M. Shanken Communications, Inc., also publishes Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and Shanken’sImpact Newsletter.

Wine Spectator’s 2017 Restaurant Awards

Attention, wine lovers around the world! Wine Spectator has released the winners of the 2017 Restaurant Awards, which recognizes the world’s best wine lists. This year, the Restaurant Awards program honors 3,592 dining destinations from all 50 states in the U.S. and more than 75 countries internationally.

The Restaurant Awards began in 1981, and there are three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and the Grand Award, with 2,335; 1,168; and 89 winners this year in each respective category. Five of the Grand Award winners—Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in New York, Grill 23 & Bar in Boston, Les Climats in Paris, PM & Vänner in Växjö, Sweden, and Wally’s Beverly Hills—are first timers.
“Restaurants continue to raise their game when it comes to wine, and we are particularly proud to present this year’s winners,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor & Publisher, Wine Spectator. “As wine becomes more important to diners, the Awards program is thriving—with an increasing number of entries, as well as growing print, digital and social audiences. Wine Spectator congratulates each and every award winner.”

All winners are profiled at Restaurants.WineSpectator.com and in the Restaurant Awards app—both of which were launched last year, and have since been updated with improved features, visuals and performance. The app, available free on the App store, allows iPhone and iPad users to easily find nearby award-winning restaurants, with maps, plus helpful information about cuisine, wine and pricing.

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The Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers. Best of Award of Excellence recipients offer more extensive selections with significant vintage depth and excellent breadth across multiple regions.

The Grand Award is the program’s highest honor. This elite group comprises the world’s best wine programs, which deliver serious breadth of top producers, outstanding depth in mature vantages, excellent harmony with the menu and superior presentation. Wine Spectator carefully assesses each Grand Award candidate, including rigorous independent, on-site inspections of the wine program, cellar, service, ambiance and cuisine of the restaurant.

The full list of award winners is available in print in Wine Spectator’s August 31 issue, on newsstands July 18; online at Restaurants.WineSpectator.com, where visitors can search and access exclusive content; and on iOS via the Restaurant Awards app.
Follow the Restaurant Awards on Twitter and Instagram, with hashtag #WSRestaurantAward.

About Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches more than 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (Wine Spectator Official), mobile platforms and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews of more than 18,000 wines each year. Parent company M. Shanken Communications, Inc., also publishes Cigar AficionadoWhisky Advocate, Market WatchShanken News Daily and Shanken’s Impact Newsletter.

Bordeaux 101 – Bitesize Guide


By Ilona Thompson

Bordeaux, France’s most high-profile wine region, is located in southwestern France, just the north of the Aquitaine region. The city is built on a bend of the river Garonne, and is divided into two parts: the right bank to the east and left bank in the west. At the center of it all is the historic city of Bordeaux, an epicenter of winegrowing, world-class cuisine, art and culture. 


  

With 280,000 acres under vine, farmed by over 6,460 producers, it is the largest wine growing area in the country. Over 707 million bottles are produced, including the famed “First Growths.” 

  

The region has sixty-five appellations, with main regions being Graves, Fronsac, Medoc, Pomerol, Saint Emilion and Côtes de Bordeaux. Interestingly, approximately 8% of the total production of the AOC wines from Bordeaux are made up of dry white wines.   

RIGHT VS. LEFT BANK 

  

The geology and climate of Bordeaux is ideally suited to viticulture. Gravel and limestone soil, well-drained and heavy in minerals and calcium deposits, tied with maritime influences from the Atlantic makes for an excellent blend of environments. Geographically, the region is delineated by rivers. There is an old saying that grand Bordeaux estates enjoy “the river views.” Everything on the left side of the Garonne river, west and south of the region, is referred to as “left bank” Bordeaux. Left bank is home to Graves and Medoc. Everything to the right side of another river, Dordogne, in the northern side, is considered the “right bank.” The area within both is the center of the region. 

  

Bordeaux, known for its outstanding viticulture, in addition to ideal climate and soils has yet another strategic advantage: it was a major port city for centuries. That gave the local vignerons an unprecedented access to the world. Unlike other French wine regions that are landlocked, Bordeaux had a direct link to the vessels and visitors that arrived daily. One of the wares the callers left with? Wine. As the word of Bordeaux being an epitome of wine degustation spread overseas, wealthy merchants and traders across Europe became the world’s first wine collectors. Bordeaux wine’s reputation as a refined drink of the upper-class began to take hold. 

BORDEAUX VARIETIES 

  

The classic roster of red Bordeaux varieties consists of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot and, occasionally, Carmenere. Merlot deserves a special mention, as it’s by far the most widely-planted variety, comprising ¾ of all red varieties planted.  The whites are dominated by Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon plantings with a smattering of Muscadelle. There are also small amounts of Colombard, Folle Blanche and Ugni Blanc. 

  

The region’s most prestigious vineyards are located on the “Left Bank” of the Garonne river, with its world-famous clay, gravel and sandstone “terroir” (aka, dirt!) It is a winery’s river bank location that determines the proportion of Merlot to Cabernet Sauvignon in the final blend. If the winery is located on the Left Bank, the blend created will have more Cabernet Sauvignon than Merlot. If the winery is located on the Right Bank instead, the blend will have more Merlot than Cabernet Sauvignon. 

  

The majority of wine produced in the region is known as “Claret”—an English term that refers to a traditional red Bordeaux blend. 

  

There are plenty of great dry white blends, referred to as “White Bordeaux,” followed by a few “Sauternes” or late harvest wines. While both red and white blends are technically Bordeaux, the classic definition of the term is primarily associated with red wine. 

BORDEAUX CLASSIFICATIONS 

  

There are several Bordeaux classifications, spread across different parts of the region. The famed 1855 one, established by Napoleon Bonaparte, is known as Official Classification. It recognized the “First Growths” of the Medoc area. 

  

They are: 

1.     Château Haut Brion 

2.     Château Lafite Rothschild 

3.     Château Latour 

4.     Château Margaux 

  

100 years later, the 1955 classification of another region, St.-Emilion, updated the list with two more:  Château Ausone  and  Château Cheval Blanc 

  

In 1953, the Official Classification of the Graves took place. Then, in 1973, another brand was added to the First Growth rarified club:  Château Mouton Rothschild. 

  

In 2012, two more Chateaux got the prestigious nod:  Chateau Angelus  and  Chateau Pavie . Oddly, there is yet to appear any official recognition for Chateau Petrus and Chateau Le Pin, which bears no reflection on their reputation with oenophiles. Chateau Petrus is often the costliest wine from the region. 

  

There is one late harvest wine, or  Sauterne , that is classified as “First Growth” – the famed Chateau d’Yquem. 

  

Many of these prestigious Chateaux wines are sold  en primeur  or as “futures.” Merchants world-wide make a rigorous effort to secure these wines at pre-release or “futures” prices, as they often go up in value after the official release. Many consumers, just as the collectors did all those centuries ago, stock up on precious juice. Despite large production levels, the wines are continuously in high demand. Newer markets, such as Asian countries, are full of consumers who are eager to acquire the prestigious, age-worthy wines.  

BORDEAUX BOOM 

  

One of the Europe’s largest cities, Bordeaux, is a vibrant, dynamic city. Although predominantly known for its wine prowess, Bordeaux is about much more than grapes. A city of over a million inhabitants, it’s a sprawling metropolis that is a study in integration of traditional architecture and modern lifestyle. 

Occasionally referred to as “Little Paris” as a nod to its cobblestone streets and charming disposition, Bordeaux’s recent economic boom has placed it among the liveliest world cities. 

 An astonishing number of restaurants, cafés, parks, and museums sprung up in the last decade. An energetic university community, 60,000-strong, establishes Bordeaux authority in educational circles. 

 Generally, the city has a laid-back vibe, yet enjoys a highly animated cultural, artistic, and music scene. 

 Bordeaux is a flat city, built on river banks, so bicycling is the preferred mode of transportation. With 370 miles of bike trails among a beautiful backdrop, you are highly advised to skip the car and hop on a bike to explore the area’s glory. 

WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK IN BORDEAUX 

  

Touring the vineyards and wine tasting is an obvious choice; one of the best you can make when visiting the region. The second largest wine-growing area in the world makes some of the most well-known wines on the planet. Make sure that you plan your trip thoughtfully. The more care you put in the process, the better the end experiences will be. Most wineries require plenty of advance notices for visiting, so pick your optimal route and see how close you can get to your dream scenario! 

  

Where there is great wine, there will be great food. Gastronomical pleasures are integral to the Bordeaux identity. The city, which is packed of restaurants and eateries of all sorts, is a mecca of cosmopolitan cuisine. Asian, African, Italian, Middle Eastern restaurants supplement an extensive array of classic French restaurants. Rue de Saint Remi is a renown culinary street with a myriad of dining options. Michelin adorned restaurants abound, courtesy of culinary stars such as Joel Robuchon, Bernard Magrez and Gordon Ramsay.