Wine Spectator Awards | Highlands Cashiers Plateau
The pandemic has ravaged the restaurant industry, and restaurants continue to struggle to stay afloat.
Putting aside those challenges, Wine Spectator Magazine recently released its list of 2020 award winners, posting on its website, “amid the shutdowns and the strictly regulated reopenings have come inspiring stories, as an entire industry came together to support its members and the communities they serve.”
Honoring the best in the industry, the list gives wine aficionados a glimpse into the finest wine lists the country has to offer, while recognizing distinction in restaurant wine lists that are interesting, appropriate to their cuisines and appeal to a wide range of diners.
This year, the awards honored 3,800 restaurants. Awards were given in three categories: Award of Excellence, Best of Award of Excellence and Grand Award.
All told, 2,289 restaurants earned the Award of Excellence, which identifies thoughtfully-chosen wine lists that offer quality and diversity,
Locally, four restaurants received the Award of Excellence: Wild Thyme, Mountain Fresh Grocery, Greystone Inn, and Meritage.
Greystone Sommelier Matt Sayer noted that, “Being acknowledged for our efforts by the best in the business is extremely gratifying, and gives us the confidence to continue to build and improve our wine program.”
Meritage owner Andrea Schmitt expressed, “A well developed wine program is a labor of love, it is a bonus to have the opportunity to be endorsed by a prestigious professional organization such as Wine Spectator.“
There were 1387 restaurants that met the criteria for the Best of Award of Excellence, including three in Highlands: Paoletti’s, Wolfgang’s and Madison’s.
These lists, typically with 350 selections or more, offer an array of wines from top producers across a breadth of regions.
“This award is important to us as it shows the dedication and work that we put towards having one of the top wine programs in the Southeast,” said Madison’s Sommelier Trevor Waldrop. “We are proud to be able to offer a wide selection of wines from all over the world, from lesser known regions and varietals to some of the most iconic producers and vintages there are.”
At Wolfgang’s, co-owner Mindy Green noted that, “We devote a great amount of time and attention to our wine list – ensuring our patrons are presented with a diversity of taste profiles and price points. We are humbled that Wine Spectator continues to recognize our efforts, and we are forever grateful to the magazine, our staff and our loyal diners.”