The magazine, Wine Spectator, has recently announced the winners of their annual restaurant awards.

To qualify for an award, a restaurant must submit their wine lists (with at least 90 different offerings--some have 3,500 wines) to a committee.

Once submitted, the restaurant is then chosen based on the following criteria: Wine strengths, their overall selection, the price of their wines, whether or not they have a corkage fee (*see note below) and the restaurants menu.

Just to note, the Wine Spectator bases their awards on the wine list and information on the restaurant, that was supplied by the restaurant. WS points out that these awards are not based on their actual experiences at the restaurant, i.e. food and over all service.

The local restaurants named in the 2016 award winners:

  • Crew Restaurant & Bar, Poughkeepsie
  • Ship Lantern Inn, Milton
  • Ill Barilotto, Fishkill
  • Mohonk Mountain House
  • The Local, Rhinebeck
  • Cosimo’s on Union, Newburgh
  • Fife ‘N Drum Restaurant & Inn, Kent
  • The Red Onion, Saugerties
  • Zoila’s, Circleville
  • Glenmere Mansion, Chester

*What is a corkage fee? This is whether or not people bring their own bottles of wine to the restaurant and how much the customer will be charged for the restaurant open and serve that bottle.

Keep in mind not all restaurants offer this service. If you are interested in bringing a special bottle to dinner, call ahead and ask if the restaurant allows this. Expect a few to range in price anywhere from $20-$50, it all depends on the restaurant.

Why do you pay that fee? Restaurants will argue that they are providing you a service of making sure your wine is served properly with the correct glassware. It is also not a great idea if you bring a bottle that is already on their wine lists. When calling ahead to see if they will allow you to bring your own wine, see if the wine you were wanting to bring is already on their list or not.