One of the greatest things about compiling a list is that you inevitably notice some trends.
This is the fourth year they’ve assembled this “directory” of great restaurants with great wine lists. As you might imagine, the top restaurants do things right — after all, there’s a reason they’re at the top — but what we found interesting were some commonalities across those top restaurants. We found them so interesting, in fact, we talked to executive editor Susan Kostrzewa to get the inside scoop.
So here’s what trending in the wine world now:
1. Laser-focused wine lists.
Sure those big thick wine lists are still out there, but don’t be surprised to walk into a restaurant now and only see a particular varietal on the wine list. For instance, just Riesling or just Greek wines. Or even only natural wines. Wine directors really are honing in on their selections and that, indirectly, forces customers to try new wines.
2. Local wines.
There is so much focus on regional and local cuisine that it should not be surprising that we are seeing the same interest in the wine world. Much like people want to know where their food comes from, they want the same information on the wine they’re drinking, says Kostrzewa.
You probably can thank the millennials for this trend but we love it.
3. Non-Napa big reds.
While steak houses will always have a list of Napa Valley Cabernets, expect to see big reds from other places – like the central coast of California, or countries like Chile, Portugal, and Argentina.
4. More by the glass options.
Thankfully, we are seeing more options by the glass. And from exotic places – like Croatia and Israel. “I commend restaurants who do that because it encourages experimenting,” says Kostrzewa. Because let’s face it, it’s much easier to try a glass than commit to a bottle.
5. Creative categorizing.
Restaurants are now grouping wines in a much more creative way. So you may not see all the burgundies listed together. Instead, it may be more by a particular style – like dry wines, or even the personality of the dinner. Its all in effort to helps us make good choices.
So be sure to check out the Wine Enthusiast 100 Best Wine Restaurants list and embrace these trends.
Restaurants are giving you the option to explore new areas of the wine world so go for it.
“Don’t be afraid to try new things because there’s no right or wrong answer,” says Kostrzewa.
And we so agree.
Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for Foxnews.com, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip.