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Kali Mireva

Wine Spectator’s Awards: How to Help Your Restaurant Win

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Earning a Michelin Star or being one of the James Beard Award winners is a great honor and can do a lot for your restaurant business. The aforementioned awards are quite popular and many businesses in the hospitality industry strive to get that recognition. However, if you have one of the top wine lists in your location, you need to participate in the Wine Spectator’s Awards. 

These awards, presented annually by the Wine Spectator magazine, recognize restaurants for their outstanding wine programs. The restaurants that an award from Wine Spectator in any of their three categories show excellence in their wine selections, service, and overall wine presentation. 

More true wine enthusiasts will start coming to your restaurant if you win any of the Wine Spectator’s Awards. The awards are the Award of Excellence, Best Award of Excellence, and Grand Award. Any of them is a symbol of an exceptional wine list that will help any diner have an amazing experience and try both popular and exotic wines

But how can you win any of the Wine Spectator’s Awards? We are here to answer this question for you! Let’s jump right into the details so you can prepare for the next awards. 

Key Takeaway: If you want to be one of the Wine Spectator’s Awards winners, you need to step up your wine game. Focus on curating a unique and diverse list, organizing wine-related events, providing impeccable customer service, and making sure that the wines you serve complement the cuisine. It requires a lot of hard work, but the results will be worth it as such an Award can boost your reputation and profit.
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How to Win Wine Spectator’s Awards 

Restaurants of various types and sizes can win Wine Spectator awards. That’s as long as they meet the criteria set by the Wine Spectator magazine. The Wine Spectator’s awards program recognizes excellence in wine programs and is open to restaurants worldwide. 

If you want to win any of the three awards given by the Wine Spectator, you have a lot of work to do. Building a unique and comprehensive wine list is no easy task. However, there are some great pieces of advice we have picked up over the years, which we want to share with you. 

1. Curate an Impressive Wine List

It should not be a surprise that the first step is to curate an impressive wine list. The list needs to showcase diversity and quality, as well as depth. You should include a wide range of wine styles from various regions. Different wine varietals and wine pricing are important, too. When you offer diversity, your wine list will appeal to a broader range of customers. 

2. Focus on the Quality and Selection

Make sure the different varieties of wine you offer at your restaurant complement the cuisine. Being able to give people amazing food and wine pairings will improve their customer experience tremendously. When the wine complements the culinary concept of your restaurant, it’s a recipe for success! 

3. Maintane Proper Wine Storage and Service

To preserve the quality and integrity of your bottles of wine, you need to have proper wine storage. Hire a sommelier and train your waiters to provide a knowledgeable and attentive wine service. All staff members need to know how to decant wine and the right serving temperatures for each type. 

4. Apply for the Wine Spectator Awards Program

Submit an application to Wine Spectator for consideration in their awards program. Provide detailed information about your wine program, including your wine list, inventory size, pricing strategy, and any special features or events related to wine. Don’t forget to mention any wine tasting parties you may be organizing at your restaurant. 

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5. Adhere to the Criteria of Wine Spectator

Get familiar with the criteria and standards that are set by the Wine Spectator’s Award organizers. The criteria are different for each category, so make sure you learn about all of them. For the best chances of winning an Award of Excellence, Best Award for Excellence, or Grand Award, ensure your wine program is meeting and even exceeding the criteria.

6. Show Commitment to Further Wine Education

Show a commitment to wine education and training for your restaurant staff. Participate in wine tastings and different seminars, as well as industry events. This way you will stay informed about new trends, producers, and regions in the wine world. 

7. Provide Excellent Customer Experience

Deliver exceptional customer service and create a memorable dining experience for your guests. Engage with your customers to understand their preferences and guide them in selecting wines that suit their tastes and budget. Know your sparkling wines, as well as reds, whites, and roses. You should be able to offer unique wines, too. Some truly unique types are CBD wine or vegan wine

8. Maintain Consistency and Continual Improvement

Whether you want to win Wine Spectator’s awards, James Beard Awards, or add another Michelin Star, you need to keep up your high standards. You may not win the desired award if your service is inconsistent and even lose a Michelin Star 

That is why you must continuously evaluate and refine your wine program to maintain high standards of quality. Seek feedback from customers and industry professionals to identify areas for improvement and innovation.

By following these steps and demonstrating a commitment to excellence in wine selection, service, and overall dining experience, you can increase your chances of becoming one of the Wine Spectator’s Awards winners.

Win Wine Spectator’s Awards with BinWise

Curating an impeccable wine list is not easy. However, maintaining the beverage inventory can prove to be an even harder job. That’s why the best you can do for your business is to use restaurant beverage inventory software, such as BinWise.

With our platform, you will be able to take inventory quickly and easily, saving time and resources. You can also manage your wine list and beverage menu. Digital ordering is another advantage, as well as detailed reports that will help you analyze customer behavior. 

Book a demo with us today, so we can tell you more about all of the great features BinWise has!

Book a demo with BinWise today!

Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Wine Spectator’s Awards Winner

Do you have further questions? Below, we have answered a few of the most frequently asked ones!

How Can I Apply for a Wine Spectator Award?

Restaurant owners can apply online through the Wine Spectator website. The application requires detailed information about the restaurant's wine program. Including the: 

  • Wine list
  • Inventory size
  • Pricing strategy
  • Any special features or events related to wine

What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning a Wine Spectator Award?

Focus on curating a diverse and high-quality wine list that complements your cuisine and provides value to guests. Pay attention to proper wine storage and service, and consider offering unique features or events related to wine to enhance the overall wine experience.

What Are the Benefits of Winning a Wine Spectator Award?

The award can provide valuable recognition and prestige for your restaurant and attract wine lovers seeking places with outstanding wine programs. It can also help differentiate your restaurant from competitors and enhance your reputation within the industry.

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