If the first thing you ask when scoping out potential dinner spots is, “What’s their wine list like?” This one’s for you – because we’ve endured enough $5 merlots and plastic cupped cabernets to learn that if a restaurant doesn’t have good wine list, they aren’t worth your valuable time. To save you the wine list heartache, we’ve searched and sipped high and low to scout our favorite restaurants with wine lists so gourmet they rival the menu. Know a restaurant that wasn’t mentioned in this list? Don’t keep it to yourself, share the love with your fellow IB readers on our Instagram and/or Facebook pages. Now let’s get on to our favorites:
DEL POSTO – NEW YORK, NY
Tucked off of 10th avenue in Chelsea, chic Italian restaurant Del Posto is the epitome of opulence. Awarded 4 stars by New York Time’s most food and wine fluent critics, and recognized by Relais & Châteaux, and recipient of AAA’s 5 Diamond Award and The Grand Award from the Wine Spectator – the staff at Del Posto takes wining and dining to a whole new level of excellence. Unsure of which of Del Posto’s wines will resonate with you? Resident Sommelier, Christian Mambelli, and Head Sommelier, Joseph Cuvo, both know each and every one of the establishments’ wines and will undoubtedly wow you with the extent of their expertise. If that doesn’t already have you convinced, know this: their wine list has a table of contents. The list is a novel in its own right and reads like the sweetest lines of poetry to wine lovers of every distinction. If you live nearby or every in the Chelsea area, this is a must stop for any wine lover.
AUREOLE – LAS VEGAS, NV
Residing in the strip’s Mandalay Bay, famed restaurant Aureole has reimagined modern American cuisine and boasts a wine experience that is truly one of a kind. Dubbed one of the most popular wine restaurants in the world, Aureole’s wine list is comprised of a whopping 3,000 sections and is constantly being curated and refreshed by Harley Carbery, Mandalay’s Director of Wine – and has received the Wine Spectator’s Grand Award every year since the year 2000. Aureole even has an exclusive “by the glass” menu that features 50 wines that are each paired with 2 of the restaurant’s menu items, taking the guess work out of pairings and allowing patrons to taste all that Aureole has to offer.
BERN’S STEAKHOUSE – TAMPA, FL
Bern’s Steakhouse carries with it an ambiance that is both heartwarmingly vintage and luxuriously high end all at the same time. Founded by Bern Laxer in 1956, the iconic steakhouse has stolen the hearts and stomachs of guests from around the world. A true oenophile, Laxer manifested his love of stellar wines in the establishment’s famed Wine Cellar, which carries over 6,000 selections, over 200 by the glass offerings, and over half a million bottles. Of the towering selection, senior sommelier, Brad Dixon is well versed and fully prepared to talk you through your choices to find a glass that’s just right for you. Another recipient of the Wine Spectator’s Grand Award, the Bern’s wine cellar is truly a must-see.
GRAYCLIFF – NASSAU, BAHAMAS
A hallmark of fine Bahamian cuisine, Graycliff has attracted international acclaim. Our favorite part of Graycliff? The wine experiences. Guests can experience wine and cheese tastings to get a minimum of eight of the restaurant’s finest wines paired with fine artisanal cheeses. The tasting experience is capped off with a tour of the restaurant’s extensive wine cellar, and (bonus) you’ll even get to take home a souvenir. Want a more in-depth experience? You’ll love Graycliff’s Wine Luncheons, which starts with a welcome glass of champagne and a grounds tour led by the restaurant’s head sommelier, then a five-course lunch, each course paired with one of the establishment’s award-winning wines. One extra bonus, their pianist is absolutely fabulous and an extra treat that will help relax you as you sip on your favorite glass of red, white or bubbly. Cheers!