Erik Neilson on November 16, 2016 0 Comments There are a variety of different things that people look for when choosing a restaurant. Obviously, quality of ingredients, preparation techniques and menu concept all play major roles in choosing where to go out to eat, as do location and pricing. For wine lovers, however, the decision often comes down to the wine list available, which can vary dramatically from one restaurant to another. Plenty of restaurants and bars offer at least a tolerable list that features one or two glasses that won’t disappoint, but there are some establishments throughout the country that take things to an entirely different level. Here are some of the best wine lists in America, all of which are worth seeking out and experiencing firsthand. Canlis 1. Canlis (Seattle, WA) There are few restaurants that epitomize the Pacific Northwest quite like Canlis, which just so happens to have one of the finest wine lists available in Washington. The list is large, the prices are fair in comparison to many other Seattle hotspots, and at Canlis, there’s a wine to meet and exceed the expectations of practically anyone. For those who love German Riesling, there are plenty of excellent options available for under $100. In addition, those who are interested in sampling wines from Oregon and Washington will have plenty to chose from, many of which offer extensive value and will match up perfectly with the exquisite food served at Canlis. Spruce 2. Spruce (San Francisco, CA) For those seeking a high-end wine list that will astonish anyone with an eye for quality, look no further than Spruce in San Francisco. There’s more to choose from at Spruce than many people will know what to do with, beginning with over 20 Madeiras available by the glass. With an extensive selection of Red Burgundies to choose from, this is certainly not a stop for those who are watching their wallets. Big parties with bottomless pockets may even choose to dive into a Methuselah (equivalent to 8 750ml bottles) of 2006 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Saint-Vivant, which sells for an astonishing $18,500. Still, plenty of bottles priced under $100 at Spruce are stellar enough to excite. Bern’s Steak House 3. Bern’s Steak House (Tampa, FL) Bern’s Steak House is worth checking out simply because the food itself is stellar, but there’s also the fact that it happens to hold the world’s largest restaurant wine cellar. Even the pickiest wine snobs will find plenty to love at Bern’s, with over 7,000 individual labels to choose from. Considering the fact that the cellar holds over 500,000 bottles, there’s very little chance that Bern’s will “run out” of anything, and if you’ve got the time, be sure to show up early for a tour of the impressive cellar. Drifters Wife 4. Drifters Wife (Portland, ME) Drifters Wife was the first “natural wine bar” to open in Portland, ME, and it’s still regarded as the best place in town for those interested about this unique part of the wine world. Focusing on wines produced with minimal intervention, Drifters Wife offers plenty of pours by-the-glass so as to allow people to design their own custom tasting alongside one of the most carefully crafted menus in the city. If you like what you had, you can venture to the wine shop in the back of the restaurant and pick up a bottle to bring home. Del Posto 5. Del Posto (New York City, NY) Del Posto is practically a household name for those who have a strong interest in Italian cuisine, and it should come as no surprise that the wine list at the restaurant focuses mainly on Italian producers. With over 20 wines available by the glass, it’s possible to find a great example of practically any Italian wine at Del Posto, and there are over 40 different bottles of Sicilian reds to choose from. Ready for dessert? You’ll find an extensive list of Italian sweet wines at Del Posto, and if you’re ready to leave Italy, don’t miss one of the many Sherries available. Gaskins 6. Gaskins (Germantown, NY) The Hudson Valley region may not be where most people would think would house one of the country’s best wine lists, but Gaskins is not your typical Hudson Valley restaurant. After years of working on the big city, the husband and wife duo behind Gaskins decided to bring upscale cuisine to Germantown, as well as a wine list to match. At Gaskins, most of the wine to be found comes from smaller producers, many of which are located either in France or Italy. With a heavy focus on organic and biodynamically grown grapes, Gaskins is a Germantown gem that’s worth a visit for the decor alone. Hen of the Wood 7. Hen of the Wood (Waterbury, VT) Waterbury, VT’s Hen of the Wood has long been considered one of the finest dining destinations in the state, so much so that a satellite location was eventually opened in Burlington. Located in a former Grist Mill, the Waterbury space speaks for New England like few other restaurants can, and the list of international wines is nothing to overlook. At Hen of the Wood, small, family-owned wineries take precedent, and there are plenty of great values to be had. The list is also organized by style, making it easy for even those who know nothing about wine to make a solid option to pair with their meal.