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Jul 31

Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence: Local Winners

The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants with interesting wine lists, whose selections match the menu, and that appeal to a wide range of wine lovers. The wine list itself must include vintages and appellations for everything – including wine by the glass. Spelling, correct producer names, and appearance of the list are also included in the judging. There are three award levels:

  • Award of Excellence: Well-chosen list with a thematic match to the menu in price and style, with at least 100 selections.
  • Best Award of Excellence: This level is for restaurants that exceed the standard Award of Excellence, with vintage depth, vertical offerinces, or excellent breadth, with usually 400 selections.
  • Grand Award: This level is for restaurants that show an uncompromising, passionate devotion to the quality of their wine programs, usually offer at least 1500 selections or more. They usually have serious breadth of top producers, outstanding depth in mature vintages, large format bottles, excellent harmony with the menu, presentation, and wine service.

The Cincinnati area did quite well, with several restaurants receiving awards of varying levels. There are some pleasant surprises and some expected winners. Absent from the list are places like Red, Pho Paris, Jeff Ruby”s, and The Napa Grille. However, it should be noted that, like with so many awards, restaurants must submit themselves and pay a $250 fee.

AexcelenceCincinnati-area restaurants on the Award of Excellence list include: South Beach Grill (Covington), Zebo’s Bistro (Covington), Carlo & Johnny, Jag’s Steak & Seafood (West Chester), Jimmy D’s Steakhouse, Mesh (West Chester), Morton’s Steakhouse, One Restaurant & Lounge (Mason), Orchid’s at Palm Court, Palace Restaurant, Parker’s Blue Ash Grill, The Restaurant at the Phoenix, and Teller’s of Hyde Park. Sturkey’s also made the list, but it no longer exists.

Two stand-outs received the Best Award of Excellence: Jean-Robert at Pigall’s and, happily, the Dilly Deli in Mariemont.

Louisville and Lexington dominated the Kentucky list, whereas Dayton and Columbus had impressive turnouts for Ohio.

The list is fun to look through, especially if, like us, you travel frequently.  I enjoyed finding places in Las Vegas, Aruba, Chicago, and Florida where we’ve dined – and where I want to dine in the future. The full list is in the August 31 issue of Wine Spectator, available now, but you can also view it online as part of the free Wine Spectator Content. The online list is fully searchable and even works well on a mobile.

Congratulations to all the local restaurants, and especially to the Dilly Deli! Cheers!

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Posted by Michelle at 8:01 am in Cincinnati, Local, News, Restaurants | Permalink | Comments ()

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