New York City has the most top wine lists in the world according to a new ranking from the World of Fine Wine. London is second, San Francisco third, and Chicago fourth according to the British publication, which rolled out the annual awards for best wine lists for the first time this year.
Instead of taking the measure of a wine list’s length, the panel of experts looked at quality. Here’s how Neil Beckett, the magazine’s editor put it in a press release, “As we were judging, we had in mind the wise words of our fellow judge Francis Percival about the difference between ‘a great wine list and a mere list with great wines on it’.” More about the wine list judging methods can be found on the WFW site. It is not immediately clear if the restaurants had to pay a fee in the nomination process. And it’s not clear if value/markups played a role in the deliberations.
In all, 224 restaurants achieved the top grade, a three-star rating. The list of New York’s 36 restaurants follows after the jump. Writing about the North American best wine list at Hearth, the judges said: “There are encyclopedic wine lists—–Bible-length books of the acknowledged greats of the vinous world. And then there are those lists that simply capture an individual personality, that express firmly held tastes and convictions and, in doing so, help define the zeitgeist. Paul Grieco’s list at Hearth in Manhattan’s East Village is very much in the latter camp.”
With 59 restaurants in the US winning three-star awards, it’s clear the judges think wine service in America has hit its stride. However, the best wine list in the world went to the Palais Coburg Residenz in Vienna. The wine programs on several airlines were also rated with ANA and Emirates achieving three stars.
For the complete list of 750 restaurants rated at least one star, head to WFW.