2021's List of Best Wines for Restaurants Is Out
The Sommelier Choice Awards provides on-premise buyers and sommeliers a valuable benchmark for understanding which wines would make a compelling addition to a wine list.
Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network briefing the judges
The wines were judged in five categories: food pairing ability, typicity, quality, value, and packaging. The judges ask themselves, would I stock this wine, and is it good enough for customers to order a second glass? Wines are graded out of 100, with only those above 95 points winning the coveted Double Gold award. There are also category awards, with best in show given to white, red, sparkling, rosé, and an overall winner every year, by the bottle and by the glass – reflecting how wine is presented in restaurants.
Here are the 3rd edition results:
No. 1 Spot: Wine of the Year - Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen 2019 Eroica Riesling
Wine Of The Year - 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, United States
White Wine of the Year - 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, United States
Red Wine of the Year - 2018 Persistence by Reynolds Family Winery, United States
Sparkling Wine of the Year - Albinea Canali Lambrusco "FB" Metodo Ancestrale by Albinea Canali, Italy
Rosé Wine of the Year - 2020 Baron De Ley Rioja Rosado by Baron De Ley, Spain
Top Winners By The Glass
Wine Of The Year - BTG (By The Glass) - 2019 Long Shadows Vintners - Poet's Leap Riesling, United States.
White Wine Of The Year - BTG (By The Glass) - 2019 Long Shadows Vintners - Poet's Leap Riesling, United States.
Red Wine Of The Year - BTG (By The Glass) - 2017 Carracedo, Spain
Sparkling Wine Of The Year - BTG (By The Glass) - Albinea Canali Lambrusco "FB" Metodo Ancestrale, Italy
Rosé Wine Of The Year - BTG (By The Glass) - 2020 Baron De Ley Rioja Rosado, Spain.
Riesling - 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica, United States.
Cabernet Sauvignon - 2018 Persistence, United States.
Malbec - 2018 UNO MALBEC, Argentina
Pinot Noir - 2016 Sass Pinot Noir 2016, United States.
Pinot Gris - 2019 Montinore Estate Pinot Gris, United States.
Chardonnay - 2019 Trois Noix Chardonnay, United States.
Judges at breakfast for in-person judging
"Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the industry," explained Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network, the organizing company of the Sommeliers Choice Awards, "and when we come out of this, we hope to see a strong rebound in the hospitality sector. The increased number of quantity in 2021 submissions truly demonstrated the faith our industry has in the long term outlook of the hospitality industry".
Winners will also be promoted on BTN’s new direct-to-consumer portals Los Angeles Drinks Guide, San Francisco Drinks Guide, Chicago Drinks Guide, New York Drinks Guide along with BTN’s trade portals Sommeliers Business and BevRoute.
MIA VAN DE WATER MS, Judge at the 2021 Sommelier's Choice Awards. View all judges here.
Sommelier Business Website
The top 100 wines for restaurants will also be marketed to sommeliers around the USA via the Top 100 On-Premise Wines website.
About Sommeliers Choice Awards
The goal of the Sommeliers Choice Awards is simple: to provide on-premise buyers and sommeliers a valuable benchmark for understanding which wines would make a compelling addition to a wine list.
Medals will be awarded to those wines that meet very specific judging criteria, with a goal of identifying wines that should become valuable additions to restaurant wine lists. Wines will be judged according to criteria such as how well they pair with food items in addition to their overall versatility. The pertinent questions that sommeliers attempt to answer as they judge wines is: “Would we stock this?” and “Would the customer buy a second glass of this wine?"
Judging event of the 2021 Sommeliers Choice Awards
The new online scoring system helped improve the consistency and quality of tasting notes, and accuracy of scores.
How the Scoring system works:
F (Food pairing ability Score) + T (Typicity Score) + Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P) = Sommeliers Choice Awards Final Score.
Food pairing ability
Food pairing ability of a wine is measured based on the variety of dishes that the wine can be paired with instead of just one or two.
Typicity is a term in wine tasting used to describe the degree to which a wine reflects its varietal origins and thus demonstrates the signature characteristics of the grape from which it was produced, for e.g. how much a Merlot “tastes like a Merlot”. It is an important component in judging a wine competition when wines of the same variety are judged against each other.
Quality will be assessed based on how agreeable the wine is for its target customer and chemical analysis. SCA will measure quality by its Appearance, Aroma, Body, Taste and Aftertaste.
Value in this context means how well the wine is priced based on its quality. Judges will blind taste and write what they think should be the cost on which they will buy the wines and is fair. If they think it offers excellent value, the score should be close to 100 and if they think it should be priced lower, then the score should be low. The metric to be used here is the on-premise price vs quality.
Packaging will be measured by how well judges think the wine will be perceived by the consumer. The package will be judged for the on-premise market considering factors like label design, information, closure, and overall look. This does not involve boxes, cartons and bags. It is how they think the product will be observed when placed on a wine shelf amongst thousands of other wines.
A separate weighted score will be given for each of the parts of the judging process. The scores will be added up to give a final score from which individual prizes will be awarded.
Double Gold – 96 points and above
Gold – 90-95 points
Silver – 80-89 points
Bronze – 70-79 points