The Best of Wine 

The winners weigh in.

A drinker could read a whole lot of psychology in that.

To some restaurateurs, a little framed certificate can bring another level of attention to their collections, so they present their wine list, menu, cover letter in English (and spelling counts on this) and entry fee to Wine Spectator Magazine, hoping to earn an award of recognition.

Ten local businesses made the magazine's most recent list, receiving an Award of Excellence — a salute to their commitment to a fine wine list with what the judges consider a sufficient selection of better producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style.

The magazine's Best of Award of Excellence toasts the 4,200-bottle inventory at Richmond's The Melting Pot, honoring its "display of vintage depth, vertical offerings of several top wines, excellent breadth from major wine-growing regions and typically more than 400 selections."

What this leads to is some nice cross-promotion and marketing for the winners, the magazine, its Web site and readers, who can find wine-conscious restaurants here and from Argentina to Wales.

Best Local Wine Trend: ENOTECA SOGNO

Gary York has gained a legion of followers for his concise menu of pastas, meats and fish and his carefully culled list of mostly Italian wines at Enoteca Sogno, 2043 W. Broad St. Richmond may be a late entry in the wine-bar game, but with the earnest efforts of York and chef Jason Teters, wine-lovers looking for a relaxed new sipping and dining experience should find this a winning introduction. S

  • To see the winners, click here.

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