Sarasota restaurants recognized for their extensive wine lists



Wine spectator is the dominant magazine and source of information for the wine consumer. Since 1981 he has focused on rewarding restaurants that have invested in great wines and made serving wine a dominant part of their identity.

To this end, they annually produce a list of restaurants deemed worthy of awards in three categories: Award of Excellence, Best of Award of Excellence and Grand Award. Restaurants submit their wine list each year for evaluation and can be visited for verification. The list is like a road map for wine travelers. Many wine lovers will plan trips around these restaurants, especially in New York City and San Francisco. While the list originally only included American restaurants, it now also includes international locations.

The award of excellence was presented this year to 1,673 restaurants around the world that offer a well-chosen assortment of quality wine producers. This year’s new local recipients are Crow’s nest, Grove and wise.

Will McNabb of The Crow’s Nest says the restaurant has received the award in the past but is happy to have it again. Its wine selection includes more than 100 wines and represents both domestic and foreign producers.

Past recipients who retain their current status include Duval, Element, Ophelia is on the bay, Seasons 52, The capital grid, Marcello Ristorante Italiano and White House.

Billy Virzi, wine director of Ophelia’s on the Bay for over 12 years, describes his selections as eclectic, with few national brands. As a level 2 sommelier, he is proud of his personal selections, which number more than 200. Summer house and Marina jack.

The Best of the Award of Excellence, with 1,141 winners worldwide, “offers an excellent range and depth of selections,” according to the magazine. They must have at least 350 wine choices and demonstrate a deep attachment to wine, both in the cellar and through the service team. Sarasota is fortunate to have Michael is in the east as a winner in this category.

Grand Prize winner, according to Wine Spectator, “Demonstrates uncompromising and passionate dedication to the quality of their wine program”. The winners’ wine lists feature over 1,000 selections and “feature a wide range of leading producers and offer the highest level of wine service.” Only two restaurants in Southwest Florida hold this distinction: that of Bern in Tampa and Provence blue in Napoli. Bern’s has held the award since its inception in 1981, and there are only 103 recipients worldwide.

Bob McGinn has spent his entire career in the wine industry, forming wine clubs, working in wine sales marketing and getting involved in all facets of the winemaking process, including wine management. vineyard, fermentation and yeast analysis. He has developed wine programs for companies such as Marriott, Sheraton, and Smith & Wollensky, and consults local restaurants. You can read more about McGinn’s work at


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