Sommeliers Pick Best Values on Top 100 Wine Lists

botti di vinoThere are many metrics that go into creating a standout wine list, and one is, absolutely, value. We asked sommeliers at several of the 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winners for Top 100 Wine Lists restaurants to reveal the best values on their wine lists. 

* Alexandria Cubbage, Head Sommelier, Veritas, New York, New York: “One of the best values on the Veritas wine list is the 1995 magnum of Stony Hill Chardonnay for $275.  It represents a great value because this wine delivers the complexities and layered subtleties of fine Burgundy with the fruit character of Napa Valley at a fraction of the cost of fine Burgundy. Stony Hill made its first vintage of Chardonnay in 1952, and continues to showcase the longevity with which well-made wines from Napa Valley can attain.  This bottle is also special because it is in magnum form and is available on the Veritas wine list from Park B. Smith’s personal wine collection.  It is a rare treat to have this wine on our list.”

* Harley Carbery, Director of Wine, Aureole, Las Vegas, Nevada: “Hirsch, Bohan Dillon, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2011 for $85 a bottle. The wine is a wonderful, true expression of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, it shows as well as many wines twice as expensive, and is always a crowd pleaser.”

* Katelyn Peil, Wine Director, Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, Woodinville, Washington: “Although there are a lot of great values to be found on my list, for me, an especially great value is found in the Catena Malbec from Vista Flores, Argentina. This wine is 100% Malbec from vineyard sites that are found at over 3,000 feet elevation. It is structured and complex, and really over delivers for a price point of $42 on our list. It is my goal to build a value-centric list while representing the many wine regions of the World in addition to being paired with the wide variety of foods offered at Purple Café and Wine Bar.”

* Branden Bidwell, Wine Director, Wine Cask, Santa Barbara, California:  “The ‘best value’ on our list is a tough question. We focus mainly on local, Santa Barbara County wines and because of our good relationships with most of the local producers on our list, we like to think that all of our Santa Barbara County selections are a great value. If I have to pick one, however, it would be the Margerum ‘M5’ Rhone varietal blend. Doug Margerum is a fantastic winemaker, and this is a terrific value. We offer the wine by the glass, and our guests love it and often buy bottles to take with them.”

* Edgar Poureshagh, Certified Sommelier/General Manager, 3Twenty Wine Lounge, Los Angeles, California: “The best value on the list is our collection of wines with significant age that are still reasonably priced. I love serving wines that are ready to drink, and when I can find wines (like aged German Rieslings and Spanish Rioja of superlative quality) that I can serve at a reasonable price, it lets me offer our guests a great wine experience, without the exorbitantly high cost often associated with fine wines.”

* Kristin Jonna, Owner/Certified Sommelier, Vinology, Ann Arbor, Michigan: “I think one of our best values currently would be the Protos Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero!  Delicious, depth of character for only $36 a bottle.”

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OpenTable Diner Reviews Reveal Top 100 Wine Lists

corks-blogAs the grape harvest continues at the nation’s vineyards, we are pleased to announce the 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Restaurants with the Most Notable Wine Lists. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 15,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Featuring talented sommeliers and lists to impress any oenophile, the winners span 27 states and include Canlis in Seattle, The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and Veritas in New York City. Home to the nation’s most renowned vineyards, California accounts for 21 honorees, followed by Maryland with eight winners and Florida, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington with five apiece. Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas restaurants each boast four winning restaurants. Michigan and Nevada both claim three winners. Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon, and Tennessee each have two winning restaurants. Arizona, Delaware, Iowa, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin restaurants are also represented. American fare restaurants had the greatest number of winners, followed by those serving Italian and tapas/small plate cuisines.

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San Francisco 2014 Michelin Starred Restaurants Unveiled: Reserve Today!

Quince earned a second Michelin star this year.

OpenTable is pleased to highlight the honorees in the MICHELIN Guide San Francisco 2014. Thirty-eight restaurants are included, with two Bay Area restaurants receiving the Michelin three-star level, the highest recognition in the culinary world, and seven achieving two Michelin stars. Twenty-nine restaurants earned one Michelin star, with one new addition for State Bird Provisions.

Being included in the respected MICHELIN Guide is a sign of excellence and quality. In the U.S., San Francisco is one of only three cities where Michelin publishes an annual guide. The others are New York and Chicago. The MICHELIN Guide New York 2014 was published October 1, and the MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2014 will be released on November 13.

Congratulations to all the recipients, including:

Three Stars: The French Laundry and The Restaurant at Meadowood.

Two Stars: Atelier CrennBenuCoiManresa, Quinceand Saison.

One Star: AcquerelloAll SpiceAmeAuberge du SoleilAzizaBouchonBoulevardCampton PlaceChez TJCommisFarmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Keiko à Nob HillLa FolieLa ToqueLuceMaderaMadrona ManorMichael MinaPlumed HorseSolbarSons & DaughtersSPQRSpruce, State Bird Provisions, and The Village Pub.

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On Our Plate: Delaware Dines Out; Hawaii Restaurant Week; Hakkasan Beverly Hills; Brussels Sprouts Converts; Food Day 2013 + More

DDOHappenings on and around OpenTable…

* Wednesday, October 24 is Food Day, a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Find an event near you.

* Hakkasan has opened its latest location in Beverly Hills. Read all about it, and book a table.

* The 2014 San Francisco Bib Gourmand restaurants have been named. Did your favorite affordable Bay Area eatery make the list?

* Had trouble booking a RezBook reservation at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco? Here’s why.

* Help fight hunger in Boston. Purchase tickets to the Lovin’ Spoonfuls Ultimate Tailgate Party on November 10.

* Voting for the Charlie Awards is open. Vote for your Twin Cities’ food favorites and purchase tickets to the ceremony on November 17.

* Trending on recent OpenTable restaurant reviews? Brussels sprouts converts.

* Seattle Restaurant Week returns tomorrow. Snap up three courses for $28, October 20-24.

* Silicon Valley Restaurant Week is here. Reserve now for special three-course dinners, October 16-23.

* Delaware Dines Out gets underway on Monday. Book now for $15 lunches and $30 dinners, October 21-27.

* Richmond Restaurant Week starts Monday. Order up $25.13 three-course dinners, October 21-27.

* Long Island Restaurant Week begins November 3. Enjoy three-course dinners for just $27.95 through November 10.

* Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Restaurant Week reservations are open. Book today for $10-$20 lunches and $30 dinners, October 20-25.

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