New York City has the world’s best wine lists: WFW

WFW Infographics World sm

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.

wfwawards New York’s 36 wine lists rating three stars from WFW:
21 Club
Ai Fiori
Asiate
A Voce Columbus
Babbo NYC
Bar Boulud
Bouley Restaurant
Cafe Boulud
Charlie Bird
Craft
Craftbar
Restaurant Daniel
Del Posto
Delmonico’s NYC
Eleven Madison Park
Gramercy Tavern NYC (Winner: Jury Award)
Hearth (Winner: Best Overall in Region/Jury Award)
Jean-Georges
Jungsik Restaurant
Le Cirque
Maialino
Marea (Winner: Jury Award)
Moderne Barn
Morrell NYC (Winner: Best by-the-glass)
Pearl & Ash
Per Se
Prime
River Cafe
Terroir
The Modern
The NoMad
Rouge Tomate (Winner: Jury Award)
Tia Pol
Tribeca Grill
Union Square Cafe

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7 Responses to “New York City has the world’s best wine lists: WFW”


  1. I wish there would be some accounting for value in these things. Per Se is perhaps the most ridiculous example on the list, with a consistent 3X retail (at least) markup. But even the more “modest” 2X markup on many of these lists seems kind of, well, ridiculous in the age of Wine Searcher. I guess there are a lot of rich people in this town that don’t mind the markup, but really, how hard is it to put together a “great” list if price is not a factor?


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  3. Le Bernardin doesn’t rate with these people?! Or am I just not using the WFW site’s search function properly?


  4. hooray for Terroir! my favorite!!! (Most of these places are out of my price range)


  5. […] interesting article for today is this post by Dr. Vino, where he talks about the results of the ranking of the wine lists at the different restaurants […]


  6. I completely agree with MF. The one thing all these publications that rate restaurant wine lists (including Wine Spectator) don’t take into account is price. Price is all that matters. If you give me enough money, I can easily assemble a knock-out wine list with all the bells and whistles. All I do is analyze wine lists in San Francisco, and it is amazing the price differences you see. How can a bottle of the ’09 Silver Oak AV C/S range in price from $95 to $195? ’03 Dom Perignon $175 to $390. We are talking about the same bottle of wine. I can understand why a steak costs $20 at Outback and $50 at Alexander’s Steakhouse, but the bottle of wine is exactly the same at both places.


  7. For those of us who love a great bottle with dinner but don’t like paying the markup, look for mid-level places with half price bottle nights – you’d be surprised how many very nice wines you can get for a lot closer to retail. We had a Jordan Cab for $36 instead of the normal $72 a couple of weeks back.

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